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My Biggest Complaint About Standard vs Daylight Time

There is a difference between EST and EDT. Many, if not most, people think that “standard” time is the time it is where you are. Or that it is the standard time for the time zone.

Right now, September 4, 2007, the “normal” time in New York is EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) not EST (Eastern Standard Time).

If you say today, that we have a meeting at 4:00 PM EST, that is a hour off from 4:00 PM in New York, because New York is on EDT right now.

Better to say 4:00 PM ET. That to me is Eastern Time. Standard or Daylight, whichever is in effect at the time.

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11 Comments

  1. You are correct but I have never heard of any confusion on this issue as if someone were to show up late because of nomenclature.
    I have however heard of people who are dumb enough to think that if we have daylight savings time the curtains will fade more quickly :)

  2. This is a perfect example of why I am addicted to this site. I do this.

    I didn’t even realize this before you pointed it out like so many ot the other things I’ve read here at My Biggest Complaint. Thanks for pointing this out. I am now officially on “ET - Eastern Time”.

  3. But on the same token if you Say ET then people will think your an Extra Terrestrial.

  4. Granted, it was a bigger problem in areas surrounding Indiana when they did not change with DST every summer. In Indianapolis it was EST all year long. Now it is EDT in the summer, and EST in the winter.

    Problem is that if you had tickets to say the Indy 500 they said race starts at 11:00 AM EST.

    People on the East coast think that means 11 am NYC time, when it is really 12 noon NYC time…again, they would not be late, they would be early.

    I’m not sure how saying 4pm ET would ever be thought of as Extra Terrestrial.

    But then again, I’m usually saying CT…

  5. wow I never realized that anyone would ever print tickets with the incorerct time on it. Some real rocket scientists on the project!

    The ET thing its a joke!! Ok Rembember the movie ET?

  6. I got the joke…

    Printing the tickets with EST was not incorrect. Indiana at that time did not observe DST so they were always on EST.

    I’m sure the confusion was part of the reason Indiana now observes DST. While I wish they had chosen CT over ET, it is at least consistent.

  7. Helpful to know. for contract purposes and official notices or for example a bid due date for a public entity, this little nuance could make a difference.

  8. Correct, for contracts the specific time zone can be critical. Maybe use GMT rather than local time, or use “local time” or correctly use EST or EDT.

  9. It is now August 2009. My observation is that 85% to 95% of people in the US refer to their time zone as being on “Standard” time all year long. For whatever reason, they know to adjust their clocks “Spring forward, Fall back”, but they don’t relate the act of adjusting their clocks to a change from “standard time” to “daylight time” or vice versa. Personally, I find it very annoying to hear someone say that, in August, their office operates on a “summer schedule” 8 AM to 4 PM Pacific Standard Time. Really? Amazing.

    Let’s just give up and say Pacific Time, all year long!

  10. It was initially for World War II in order that homes would be dark and so would not attract enemy airplanes. But the war has been over almost 70 years and so should that stupid time change.

  11. The amount of daylight varies from day to day as the earth goes around the sun in a year….no matter what time assignment we give the clocks i.e., shorter days in winter, longer in summer, at least in the upper hemisphere. How about we keep noon as the middle of daylight hours and midnight at the middle of nighttime hours?!?! Stop moving the damn clocks. People can be responsible enough to remember to change their smoke alarms, light bulbs and boxes of baking soda without interference by clocks. Most of us adjust to, and appriciate earlier and later light as the days get longer anyway….a sudden jump one hour either way helps no one. Leave the clocks alone!

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