Time, and how to convert it (for idiots)

Have you ever read an article on the internet, in print or wherever and thought, “do they really need to tell people this?”. I just have.

The usually excellent Lifehacker.com has published an article on how to convert 12-hour time into 24. Honestly. You know, 9pm is 21:00, 1pm is 13:00, that kind of thing. You know, the kind of thing we all know without thinking.

If I needed to explain it to anyone, perhaps a small child, I’d just say “add 12 hours if it’s the afternoon” and leave it at that. Their solution is the same but written in a needlessly confusing way:

For a military time that’s 1300 or larger, simply subtract 1200 to get the standard time. So for example if someone says “Meet me in room 202 at 1545,” you’d just subtract 1200 from 1545 to get 3:45pm. Simple right?

If you want to convert standard time to military time, add 1200 to any time from 1:00pm to 11:00pm. So if you want to say 6:30pm in military lingo, add 1200 to 6:30 to get 1830.

It’s clearly understandable, yes, but not as succinct as my explanation I reckon. Then again, I’m not sure my explanation would’ve been published on a popular website or get 40+ comments, either.

They’ve wasted time in writing the article and now I’ve wasted time writing about it!



About Scott

Motorsport, football, AFL, noisy music, Pez. Web designer from S. London/Kent, lives in the north. Lapsed punk drummer. Probably craving a walk in the hills

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