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March 14, 2016
Let’s get this out of the way first: it is “Daylight Saving Time.” Singular. It is not “Daylight Savings Time.” We’re not talking about banking sunlight, or investing some non-dark hours that we can reclaim next winter. When someone calls it “Daylight Savings Time” it has the same affect on me as when I see the “10 Items or Less” lane at the supermarket. They mean “10 Items or Fewer” (duh!), and it’s annoying.
My gut tells me the phrase “Daylight Savings Time” was first uttered by a politician in Washington, D.C., where the word “Savings” has absolutely no basis in fact. When a senator or representative says, “We’re saving the American people 20 million dollars,” what he/she really means is that the government isn’t spending that 20 million. There are no “savings” in our nation’s Capitol. There is only spending, and the amount being spent. So if a program gets the OK or is signed into law, and the cost was originally $52 million but only gets earmarked for $38 million, that is not “savings.” It’s still government waste that will end up costing more than anyone can calculate. Same with the time change. IT IS SAVING, NOT SAVINGS!
Around this time every year, for the past decade or so, there is a battle cry to get rid of “Standard Time” and just keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. Some states have already done this. Arizona has its own time. Indiana has a few different time zones, so some of the state follows the time change with the rest of the country. Some of the state doesn’t, and too bad if you miss a flight or a meeting because you thought Indy was in the Eastern Time Zone, which it is, but 30 miles away everyone is an hour ahead. Or behind.
That’s the best way to do it: each of us should have our own time zone. It’s 11:00 AM in New York, but I’m on Taylor Mason time: so it’s 6:00 AM in my zone, which is why I’m still in bed and not at the audition on 34th Street. Sorry. You need to sync your clock with mine!
The days of “Greenwich Mean Time” are long gone, replaced by atomic clocks and , so that everyone’s Apple Watch is perfectly synced. But I liked the term “Greenwich Mean Time.” Because time is mean. It keeps going. It’s relentless and it’s unkind and it’s undefeated. “Mean” describes it perfectly. Time doesn’t care if it’s standard, daylight saving, Eastern Time or Mountain Time. You can’t stop it and you can’t “save” it. It could care less if you’re enjoying the extra sunshine or you lost an hour of sleep the night you were supposed to “spring forward.”
Saving, not “Savings.” Whatever, I’ll take the extra daylight.