Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: correct English usage ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: correct English usage
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: puffin1932-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 31 Aug 2005 05:07 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2005 05:07 PDT
Question ID: 562585
sometimes twelve noon is written 12pm.  Is this correct?  Is this an
acceptable convention?  Is twelve midnight then 12 am?
Subject: Re: correct English usage
Answered By: websearcher-ga on 31 Aug 2005 05:15 PDT
Hi puffin1932:

Thanks for the interesting question. The short answer to your question
is that, yes, the accepted convention is that 12 noon is written as
"12 p.m." and 12 midnight is written as "12 a.m.". However, the
following websites list reasons why the whole a.m./p.m. thing is not
really the "factual" way to go with midnight/noon.

Midnight and Noon
Quote: "While the sun is to the east of this meridian, it is morning.
So a.m. is an abbreviation for antemeridian or before mid-day. After
the sun has crossed the meridian, it is after mid-day or afternoon. So
p.m. is the abbreviation for post meridian or after midday or
afternoon. Hence to express the time from 12 noon to 12 o'clock at
night, we use the term p.m. and from 12 o'clock at night to 12 o'clock
noon we use a.m.
However 12 o'clock midday is neither ante meridian or post meridian.
It is simply 12 Noon."

12 PM .com - Noon or Midnight?
Quote: ""Technically speaking," neither noon nor midnight can be a.m. or p.m.
'Technically speaking' you are correct -- noon is not post meridian --
it IS meridian. However, since 12:00:01 is post meridian (or
12:00:00.01, for that matter), it makes more sense to say that
12:00:00 is post meridian for consistency's sake (or else you would
have both PM and AM in the same 12 o'clock hour). Similarly midnight
could be classified as BOTH PM and AM, because it is equidistant from
the meridian. But classifying it as PM would produce the same
confusion (i.e., 12:00 PM followed by 12:01 AM)."

Search Strategy (on Google):
* noon "12 pm"

I hope this helps.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy