No, not that PM. I mean PM as in ‘post meridiem’.
The idea of dividing the 24 hours of a day into 2 groups of 12 has been around for about 2.5 thousand years. In comparison, the 24 hour clock, favoured by scientists and the military, has been around for a few centuries, really only gaining any popularity in the 20th century.
And you can see why certain people benefit from the lack of ambiguity associated with a 24 hour clock, particularly the military. For most people, though, you’re not going to get confused at 5 o’clock as to whether it’s the afternoon or early morning – that level of preciseness is not required. Yet most digital clocks automatically default to 24 hours. Personally, I’ve, more than once, got confused by it, often thinking 17:00 is 7pm.
And I refuse to comply! Let’s stand up for the humble AM and PM. Where I can, I’m switching all my devices to show a 12 hour clock (my damn oven being a rare exception in that it can’t be switched). Let’s throw down the shackles of that blasted 24 hour timepiece and return to a simpler time.
It’s time. And in more ways than one.