High noon and the midnight dilemma


Sir, – Malachy Thompson (April 12th) responding to Margaret Butler (April 11th) claims it is correct to call midnight 12am, since am is an abbreviation for ante meridiem. He could similarly argue that midnight should be called 12pm as it has an equal but opposite relation to noontime.

Sir Boyle Roche told us that no man could be in two places at the same time unless he were a bird. Unfortunately he provided no wisdom regarding being in two times at the same place.

I once heard an endearing resolution of the midday dilemma from an Aer Lingus flight attendant announcing that the local time was “12am (pause) in the afternoon”.Thankfully I regularly retire before 12 and so avoid the midnight uncertainty in real time.

I suggest we use military time for clarity. Tonight I will be sound asleep at twenty four hundred hours – or should that be zero hundred hours? – Yours, etc,


Greystones, Co Wicklow.