Snap shot of the day and I encourage your thoughts on this matter. Would it ever occur to you if someone asked to meet you at midday to say ‘but when exactly?’ or if someone said lets meet at half seven to ask ‘do you mean 7? Or 8?’
Timings are a unexpected challenge between English English and American English. I was quite taken aback when I said I’d meet someone at midday and they replied with
‘okay, when exactly?’
So I repeated ‘midday’,
‘Yeah but midday when, 1 o’clock or 2 or 3?’
Again ‘midday, the middle of the day, noon’
‘Oh right noon, you should have said’
‘I did say you fucking idiot because I said midday which is the middle of the day and the day has 24hrs with the middle being 12 noon MIDDAY!’ (Okay so I didn’t say it quite like that but it’s kind of where my mind was going)
I did try and understand how there could not be a concept of midday in the US and ultimately I guess it’s just not a used term, but even so surely it’s self explanatory?
Dinner reservations are always a mare. I naturally (other than when I wish to book at a non half way past the hour time) request a table for ‘half past whatever the hour. Again not a term used in America.
‘I’m sorry you’d like a table at 7?’
‘No half 7 please’
‘So 7 yes?’
‘No half past 7’
‘I’m sorry when would you like the table?’
‘Half past 7 please, you know 7.30?’
‘Oh of course you should have said’
What makes this one worse was the response I recieved when I tried to talk it through with someone else, to ask them why this isn’t understood, since even as a non widely used term I would think it fairly comprehensible. And this was what followed.
‘ I just don’t get why people don’t understand it. Half past 7, an hour is 60 minutes, half of it is 30 so that’s 7.30’
‘well yeah, but it’s half way to somewhere so it could be like 7 or 8 or 8.30’
There are no words suitable for writing, and neither was the dialogue going through my head at the time, one that could be spoke out loud.