Daylight saving time

Why is it that so many people say “daylight savings time” when the correct phrase so clearly is “daylight saving time”???? Do they think it’s like a savings account, where you put an hour of daylight in at one time and withdraw it at other?

Or is the problem the lack of a hyphen? Of course the phrase is supposed to be “daylight-saving time,” i.e. a time that saves daylight, where “daylight-saving” is used as an adjective (OK, technically it’s a participial phrase in which “daylight” is the direct object of the present participle “saving,” but it’s still used adjectivally). Things would be so much easier if we only spoke Latin.

My closely related rant is about the many people who think that the end of DST (now November, formerly October) is actually the beginning! The reason that this is (or may be) closely related to the phenomenon described above is that those who don’t understand the adjectival nature of  “daylight-saving” also don’t understand that it’s what the Brits call “summer time.” Of course you could argue that no daylight is actually being saved in this process; it’s just shifted from one end of the day to the other during the summer. But the theory is that you lose an hour while you’re asleep and gain an hour while you’re still awake, thus saving daylight for your waking hours.

OK, enough of that. You may now return to your regularly scheduled activities.



Categories: Life, Linguistics