The Time Clock – a.m. or p.m.?

Let’s talk about the time!  First of all lets talk about a.m. (ante meridiem) and p.m. (post meridiem), or the 12 hour time clock.  According to ‘The Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage’ noon = a.m. and midnight = p.m. as follows:

“…pm times begin immediately after noon, and so the first minute after 12 noon (= 12 am) is 12.01 pm.  This naturally means that 12 midnight is 12 pm, and the first minute of the next day is 12.01 am.”

Isn’t that confusing – and I thought it was the other way around?!  To avoid people like me from getting confused it is recommended in all sources I have stumbled across so far that we use the term 12 noon or 12 midnight in lieu of a.m. and p.m.

The sample of the time conversion to the 24 hour clock according to ‘The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition’ is as follows:

1200 = noon
2400 or 0000 = midnight
0001 = 12:01 a.m.
1438 = 238pm

A useful link to help understand time a bit better is here: http://www.mathsisfun.com/time.html

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