This is a clock. (Photo: Public Domain)

This is a clock. (Photo: Public Domain)

This isn’t about Daylight Saving Time in general, though I think it has outlived its usefulness. This is about people’s misuse of terms surrounding it. We’re adults. Can’t we agree to educate ourselves to the point where our communication is clear? Huh? Can we? Please?

I don’t want to get off on a rant here (see what I did there?), but it really irks me when otherwise-intelligent people don’t understand the difference between Standard Time and Daylight Time and the abbreviations surrounding them. I will totally give you a pass if you don’t live in the U.S. of A., but if you live here and have lived here your entire life, please, educate yourself. Stop making this simple mistake. You’re confusing people.

1. Most of the United States participates in Daylight Saving Time. This means that somewhere in the spring (the exact date keeps moving around), people are supposed to move their clocks forward an hour. Then, at some also-fluid date in the autumn, you move your clocks an hour back.

2. Some parts of the United States don’t participate in this shenanigans, such as Hawaii, and my home state of Arizona. This means that during Daylight Saving Time for the rest of you folk, our time stays the same. So it appears that we are in another time zone even though we aren’t. We didn’t move, you did.

3. I live in the Mountain Time Zone. Arizona is in MST (Mountain Standard Time) all year ’round. We never go to MDT (Mountain Daylight Time). There are similar acronyms for the other four main time zones in the United States: PST/PDT, CST/CDT, and EST/EDT. Know these. Love these. Use these, correctly. Please.

Working online as I do, I encounter people in other time zones all the time. Sometimes we have to coordinate with each other. Sometimes we have to meet online at a certain time, or join a Skype call. When someone in, say, New York State uses “EST” during the summer months, it injects quite a lot of confusion. At least, to me. I assume they meant “EDT”, but maybe they meant something different? Maybe they forgot to change their clocks?

Please, people. Know your time zones. Know your Daylight Saving Time vocabulary. And use it correctly.