Reason Writers Around Town


In The Washington Times, David Nott pulls back the blinds on Daylight Savings Time.

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  1. Arizona doesn’t obey DST because the extra hour of afternoon sun burns more energy by increasing the use of air conditioners,…

    This would be a valid argument if there was actually an extra hour there. But as noted elsewhere there’s still just as many daylight hours, and the same load on an air conditioning system.

    AZ is probably absolutely correct in rejecting DST, but I hope they’re not really relying on this kind of reasoning.

  2. I have long believed that any energy savings are overridden by those of us who didn’t realize it was clock changing time, and by everyone getting a one hour jetlag twice a year.

    Now after reading this article I can’t help but thinking there isn’t any reason for daylight savings time at all, with significant downside.

    Thank God for the ability to program my cable to warn me my program is about to start. I almost missed the first hour of something yesterday. It used to be that I’d get my Sunday morning paper and see that a ha, I need to change my clock. I haven’t bought a newspaper, with a few exceptions, in years now that I can get better news from Yahoo et al via their Middle East categories etc. Why bother paying for a newspaper with hugely incomplete coverage of what I want to read about, other than the fact that it pisses off tree huggers?

  3. Can someone with knowledge of the international airline bidness explain how calling 2 o’clock 3 o’clock causes such dire effects? I really don’t understand why it matters what you call that time when your plane arrives late.

    I’m not a retailer and I love the dst. 18 holes of golf after work!

  4. The feds withhold an hour of my valuable time in the spring only to refund it in the fall with no interest earned.
    It ain’t right!

  5. “This would be a valid argument if there was actually an extra hour there. But as noted elsewhere there’s still just as many daylight hours, and the same load on an air conditioning system.”

    Actually, while the amount of daylight is the same, that doesn’t necessarily mean the total amount of electricity being consumed for air conditioning is the same. The amount of electricity necessary to run AC for a 20 person office will typically be lower on a per person basis than to run AC for each of those people in 20 separate apartments, homes, etc. (Employers are also usually more willing to keep an office warmer than most individuals would prefer on their own, so there’s a further savings there besides that derived from efficiency alone.)

  6. Please, please, please get this part right. It is daylight saving time. There is no “s” on the word “saving.” Think about it. It doesn’t even make sense with the “s” there.

    Word Usage Nazi will go back to his hole and mumble about lousy modern schools for awhile now. 🙂

  7. Isaac: while there isn’t any more sunlight, wouldn’t DST change the time of peak load for energy generation?

    If the peak load happens to coincide with rush hour traffic, the concentration of pollutants might be problematic (in the Phoenix area, anyway). While the total amount of pollutants of the course of a day doesn’t change, that high spike of concentration might be a worry.

    Of course, for convenience alone, I’m thankful Arizona doesn’t meddle with the time.

  8. Word Nazi:

    It makes perfect sense. “Daylight Savings“. As in, we have savings in daylight—like, on your grocery store flyer, An AVALANCHE of SAVINGS!

    It is a different sense of the word, but it makes sense either way. “Daylight Saving Time” indicates a time in which you are saving daylight. In this variation, “saving” is a verb. However, “Daylight Savings Time” indicates a time in which you accomplish a savings in daylight. In this variation, “savings” is a noun.

    What kinda word usage nazi ARE you, anyway?

  9. “If DST really worked, you can bet California, a testing ground for any and all half-witted energy regulation, would use it year-round.”

    That’s a really silly thing to say. The hypothesis is that by switching the clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall, the net effect is to save energy. That’s what California does (as opposed to Arizona, which doesn’t). So California does use time switching year round.

    If putting on coats in the winter and wearing short-sleeves in the summer really worked, you can bet people living in the northeast, a part of the country with four seasons, would what? wear coats year-round, or switch between coats and short-sleeve shirts?

    I’m not arguing for or against the time-shift, I’m only pointing out that David Nott’s argument against that cites California is goofy.

  10. SR at April 3, 2006 02:43 PM

    Maybe, does anyone ever actually turn off the AC.

    My very unscientific trial showed no significant difference in electricity consumption whether I turned my AC off while I was out of the house in the daytime or whether I left it on. It was unscientific enough to not be really valid in any sense. But it was good enough for me to decide the hour that I waited for the house to cool down again after I got home from work wasn’t worth it.

    I’m not a retailer and I love the dst. 18 holes of golf after work!

    Someone told me that here in FL that’s who’s behind the DST push.

  11. However, “Daylight Savings Time” indicates a time in which you accomplish a savings in daylight. In this variation, “savings” is a noun.

    Actually, it’s a gerund.

  12. Shouldn’t the post have been titled “Reason Presidents Around Town”?

    As to the article, interesting food for thought. I’ve read enough to have been swayed to the notion that permanent DST would be preferable, but I ne

  13. I believe it costs the airlines money because in the fall, planes have to stay in the air an extra hour in route to their destinations -to avoid an early arrival. And in the spring, they have to pay the night shift for 8 hours even though they’re only really working 7. Something like that, anyway.

  14. I prefer standard time year-round, but I can live with either one. I just wish we wouldn’t have to change twice a year. For me, it subtly affects how I feel and my sleeping patterns for a couple of weeks every time we change. I suspect research would show that’s true of most people (whether they’re aware of it or not). I would be interested in seeing whether it affects productivity enough that it offsets any alleged energy saving. I just wish we’d pick one of them and stick with it.

    And is IS simply “daylight saving time.” The S at the end of “savings” doesn’t make sense to me, but even if you can define a way in which it makes sense to you, it’s unnecessary and incorrect. The word usage Nazi didn’t go far enough, though. He should have pointed out that AP style requires that it be hyphenated as well: “daylight-saving time.” 🙂


  15. The CORRECT official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.

    Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Similar examples would be dog walking time or book reading time. Since saving is a verb describing a single type of activity, the form is singular.

    Nevertheless, too many idiots feel the word savings (with an ‘s’) ought be right, and their ignorant misuse of the letter ‘s’ is a clear and present danger to the social fabric; in fact, the wrong usage has become so prevalent that the pussies who print dictionaries have started including “Daylight Savings Time” as common usage.

    Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, but it is not as politically desirable.

    As far as the hyphen goes, I really don’t care about the hyphen, go knock yourself out.

  16. Actually, it’s a gerund.

    Which is, after all, a noun . . . 😉

  17. I think airlines have an extra expense because they have to print two schedules and make sure the right schedule is in effect at the right time. This is made even mor difficult when places like AZ and IN don’t go DST.

    Back in the day the railroads didn’t bother with DST. The same schedules remained in effect year round and all times were in standard time.

  18. I’m not a Word Nazi so I’ll just pass along Wikipedia’s take on the issue.

    “In the normative form of the name, “daylight saving” is a compound adjective (part of which is a gerund) that modifies “time.” A common variant is daylight savings time, which appears in some dictionaries, including The American Heritage Dictionary. In this form, the singular noun savings forms a compound adjective with daylight, in analogy with phrases like “retirement savings plan”. Although this alternate form is frequently heard in speech, some consider it to be nonstandard. Sometimes compound adjectives are joined with a hyphen, but “daylight-saving time” is not a common usage, except in AP Style, a stylebook used by many journalists in the United States.”

  19. As a person who gets up at 5:30 or 6 to run in the dark four or five days a week, I still am so glad to have the extra hour of daylight in the evenings. There are few things more depressing in life than those endless weeks in December and January where you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. I just don’t get the anti-daylight savings people. I am sorry you have to slop the hogs or whatever it is you people do in the early mornings in the dark for a few months a year, but the rest of us who live and work in the 21st Century, so like coming home in the daylight.

  20. I landed in Paris one winter at 9am and was surprised to see that the sun had just risen. I was concerned that I was somehow two hours off or had landed somewhere in the Atlantic. This allowed the sun to set just after 5, which was about an hour later than I was used to despite living farther south.

    What is the point of having sunlight at 7am when it’s dark an hour before leaving work? (If it’s cloudy it’s even worse.) In the summer it is still bad — the sun comes up at 5am. I’d take 7am and have the sun set at 10:30pm.

  21. noun


  22. Saving, savings, shmavings. FDR called it War Time when it was used year-round during WWII.

    I will admit that when I was a tad, DST came in handy during Little League games. We played on weeknights, and if we didn’t have the “extra hour” of daylight on our unlighted fields we would never get a full game in.

    There used to be a phenomenon in retailing known as “summer hours.” Businesses would adjust their workday to fit the habits of their customers. Nobody made them do this, it was just a necessity to cope with, frex, an influx of tourists.


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