RE: Warning text

Subject: RE: Warning text
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 10:11:34 -0400

"Poshedly, Ken" wrote on 08/07/2006 09:16:54 AM:
> (Remember, common usage of incorrectness does NOT necessarily make it

Perhaps. But obsessing over the mundane and meaningless just gives you

> ---> "At this point in time, . . . "

While I will agree the that the above phrase can in more cases than not be
replaced with the simpler "At this point, ", here's an interesting
discussion of time points:

> ---> "12 a.m." or "12 p.m." - Because "a.m." is the abbreviation for
> "ante meridiem" (before the meridian) and "p.m." is the abbreviation for
> "post meridiem" (after the meridian)

In the same pedantic vein of argumentation, it is impossible to consider
exactly 12:00:00 am or 12:00:00 pm. Unless you have the power of measuring
infinitesimally small fragments of time. Even nanoseconds is too large a
measure. For as soon as the clock strikes 12 (or digitally displays) as
soon as you register it and a comparative eon before the clock displays
it's next unit of measure, the fleeting instant of 12:00:00.0000000 has
long passed.

For a simpler argument against the pedantic complaint of "Which 12 is
which?" simply consider this: Is 12:00:01 am or pm? Which ever it is, it
stands to reason (and by definition) the 12:00:00 preceding it was the
same. So, if 12:00:01pm occurs when the sun is up, 12:00:00 does as well.

This annoying existential argument about the nature of clocks and time is
matched only in futility by whether 12:00am is 24:00 or 00:00 on a 24-hr
clock. Or perhaps whether decades and millennia begin in years 1 or 0.

> How'd I get this way? From years and years of bosses who didn't have a
> _grasp_ of the English language, they had it by the throat!

Unfortunately, arguing the inconsequential and jousting against the
windmills of common usage, or that more annoying philosophical trait of
arguing improbable or rationally impossible paradoxes, does nothing to
boost one's credibility or popularity.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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RE: Warning text: From: Poshedly, Ken

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