I was reading a Halloween party announcement that stated the party starts at 12:00. Midnight? Which day? The day that 1 hour before midnight belongs to — or the next day that 1 hour after midnight belongs to?
This has always been confusing for me. I never write 12:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. but use noon or midnight instead. It’s obvious which day noon belongs to, but what about midnight?
Specifically, midnight refers to the transition between one day to the next. That seems acceptable as a generic time, but causes confusion if referring to a specific day. I have often seen it written as “midnight (Saturday/Sunday).” This clearly refers to that transition time between Saturday and Sunday.
According to the US Government Style Manual (2008 version), you should use 12 a.m. as midnight and 12 p.m. as noon. But in the Japanese system, 12 p.m. is midnight.
I propose that there is no more midnight! It will be:
- 11:59 p.m. (today)
- blank time (no midnight! they don’t call it the witching hour for nothing)
- 12:01 a.m. (tomorrow)
What do ya think?