Griping About Time Zones

October 26, 2017

Daylight savings is ending in two weeks and I’m going to gripe about it. Not the usual gripe about people having to adjust their clocks and schedules (I for one, actually like daylight savings), but about how basically everyone writes time zones incorrectly. When people give a time with a time zone, such as “five o’clock in San Francisco”, many people just write “5 PDT” or “5 PST” without giving a thought where that “D” or “S” come from. Well, those acronyms stand for “Daylight” and “Standard,” respectively, so you should only use “PDT” to refer to times in the summer, and “PST” refer to times in the winter. If you want to be generic, you can use “PT” for everything and let context take care of the exact time zone.