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EDITOR'S BLOG

Daylight Saving

Daylight Savings or Daylight Saving ?

David from NSW wrote to us asking which is correct Daylight Savings or Daylight Saving (with or without the 's' at the end) ?

The correct spelling in Australia is without the 's'. However, Daylight Saving, Daylight Savings and even Daylight-Saving all mean the same thing. 

Some people have written to chastise us that we have let an Americanism into our website.

When someone lets me know they spotted an Americanism on our website, I do try to remove it. An example is the word "synchronised". The Yanks spell it "synchronized" while Aussies spell it with an 's' instead of the 'z'. So I quickly correct them when they're spotted.

So why do we use Daylight Savings with the 's' on our website?
The simple truth is that more people, including Australians, search for it with the 's' than without it. Unless people can find our website in searches, they won't know we are here.

Daylight Saving Complaints ... again

Sheila N. writes us, "Please don't be offended, but I have to tell you what you really should know: The term is not "Daylight Savings." It is, all over the world, in every book, in every dictionary and encyclopaedia, called DAYLIGHT SAVING. We are saving daylight. There is no "s" at the end. Your use of 'Savings' makes us sound simply ignorant."

Answer .. again. Daylight Saving with and without the 's' at the end are both used. In fact so are Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, Daylight-Saving and DST. Common usage, as Wiki points out, is with the 's'. You'll find more searches in Google with the 's' than without. Our own site statistics show us that as well.

Websites using the 's'
Here are just a few of the Australian web pages I found that use the 's'.

Fair Work Australia government website
ABC WA Local Radio Discussion
QLD Government Library Services

The ABC website even has a site legend that tells us ... "AEDT = Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time" You can find that at the bottom of this page on their site.

The absolute best use of savings is the government's ACT Standard Time and Summer Time Amendment Bill 2008.

To quote the bill's Outline ...

"On 12 June 2007, the ACT, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania formally agreed to harmonise daylight savings arrangements from April 2008. This delivers on a long held desire to bring daylight saving in line with most other States in Australia."

In the one paragraph they used BOTH savings and saving. Savings is used no less than 5 times on the page. So it is clearly not a typographical error.

I can go on, but I think I've made my point. Language is a living thing, always changing. So if you don't like the 's' in daylight savings, then don't use it. I, on the other hand, will throw caution to the wind and continue to use it both ways on this website.

How daring of me! (Joke Joyce)

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Daylight Savings Historical Dates

Jodi wrote us to find out if there was daylight savings in Melbourne in 1964.

Interesting question. So I did a bit of research and created a new page with Historical Australian Daylight Saving dates starting back in 1917.

The answer to Jodi's question is no. After WWII, Victoria didn't start again until 1971. Tasmania in 1967 holds the honour of being the first to risk upsetting the cows (but that's another story).

Daylight Savings in the USA

Thank you to Ian B who let us know that we needed to update our USA information on GMT and daylight savings. It seems we were a bit behind the times.

WA Tries DST - Huh?

What do you think of when you hear the words "daylight savings time"? For some people it's fighting words and for others, it starts a discussion (?) about cows and curtains fading.

Yes, after failing 3 times to get a Daylight Savings Referendum passed (' 75, ' 84, ' 92), Western Australia finally decided to just do it. So for the next 3 years they'll try it and THEN ask for a vote to keep it ... or try it before you buy it. So as of 3 December 2006, WA now has daylight savings time.

Update ...
They tried it. They voted. It failed ... again. So Western Australia once again joins Queensland and the Northern Territory living without Daylight Saving.

Now back to our story ... one of the reasons some people do not want DST is because they think getting up an hour earlier would disrupt their sleep. People move to different time zones all the time, such as from Sydney to New York or WA to Sydney. They adjust quite nicely after a few days. The reality is the human body is very adaptable.

We have all heard the jokes about the cows being confused over milking. The cows need milking at the same times of day as before. They are not confused. It's the humans who need to "think" differently. When you milk the cows is the same as always. However, your "clock" will show it as 1 hour later.

Speaking of jokes, some people really do believe their curtains will fade if they have daylight savings. Try this experiment ... set your clock so it says 9pm in the middle of the day. Did your day change to night? Of course not.

The clock only rules people, not the environment. So moving your clock forward 1 hour will not fade your curtains any more than they fade now. We promise.

Having said all that, does Western Australia really need daylight savings? Is there a real benefit or just government hype?

 

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