ENCORE – A.M., P.M., Daylight Saving Time–Could Time Get Any More Confusing?

Sunday, March 9, marks the beginning of daylight saving time throughout most of the broken-clock-300x198United States. Being an Arizona native, I remember when we tried daylight saving time here. It’s tough to put a kid to bed when the sun is bright overhead. Arizona has not observed daylight saving time for many years, but that’s not the intended topic.

You may have noted that in the paragraph above it was daylight saving time NOT daylight savings time. Singular “saving” is correct. The proper way to indicate the time for the different time zones during daylight saving time is:

EDT – Eastern daylight time

CDT – Central daylight time

MDT – Mountain daylight time

PDT – Pacific daylight time

That designation indicates that the specified time is during daylight saving time in the specific time zone. For instance, 3:00 p.m. MDT would be 3:00 in the afternoon in Denver (and other cities in the Mountain time zone) on dates between March 9, 2014, and November 2, 2014 (the date range when daylight saving time is in effect this year). The other part of the year is standard time and would be designated as:

EST – Eastern standard time

CST – Central standard time

MST – Mountain standard time

PST – Pacific standard time

An alternative is to eliminate the specific designation altogether and use these terms year-round:

ET – Eastern time

CT – Central time

MT – Mountain time

PT – Pacific time

While we’re talking about time, the difference between a.m. and p.m. is important. The designation “a.m.” stands for the Latin term ante meridiem and means the time from midnight to noon. The designation “p.m.” stands for the Latin term post meridiem and means the time from noon to midnight. While people seem to grasp that concept, the exact times of midnight and noon seems to confuse them. The time 12:00 a.m. is midnight (it is between midnight and noon) and 12:00 p.m. is noon. Note that 11:59 at night is 11:59 p.m. because it is between noon and midnight. It is always good to confirm whether the a.m. or p.m. is correct so people don’t think an event is 12 hours earlier or later than intended.

To those of you who will “spring forward” this weekend, enjoy it and keep the time straight so others know exactly what time you are talking about.

Is It The Privilege Or The Privileged Information?

MANHATTANA reader wrote and asked me whether the phrase “attorney-client privilege” or “attorney-client privileged” was correct. I gave her my answer and told her that I would write a blog post on it.

“Attorney-client privilege” is defined as “the requirement that an attorney may not reveal communications, conversations and letters between himself/herself and his/her client, under the theory that a person should be able to speak freely and honestly with his/her attorney without fear of future revelation.” (http://dictionary.law.com/default.aspx?selected=2467)

“Attorney-client privileged” would be used if you were talking about an “attorney-client privileged communication” or “attorney-client privileged information.”

I did find a law firm article (http://www.faegrebd.com/the-holey-grail-a-guide-to-attorney-client-privilege) indicating memos containing privileged information should be marked “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL.” This makes sense because you are talking about the information in the memo, which is attorney-client privileged information (as mentioned above) and is confidential information.

So, if you are indicating on a memo or on a letter that the information is confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege, the correct designation appears to be “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED INFORMATION.” It follows that you could say that the word “information” is assumed and “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED” is a correct designation.

When you are talking about the privilege and not the information, then “attorney-client privilege” is proper, but if you are talking about information or a specific communication, then “attorney-client privileged” is correct.

This research proved that my original answer to the reader was . . . wrong! But now I know and will be able to figure out if we are talking about the privilege or the communication so that I get it right.

What If I’m More Interested In The Property?

I saw this sign the other day and had to go back and make sure it said what I thought it said and to get a picture of it. For Sale Buy Owner? I don’t want to buy the owner, but surely someone is interested in the 4+ acres of property that would seem to be for sale if the sign were correct. Is the property for sale or the owner? It is definitely confusing.

For Sale

Age or Aged in Disneyland

IMG_0497I saw this sign more than once at Disneyland (consistency is good!). I thought something was wrong with it, so snapped this picture vowing to do some research and figure out if I was correct. The problem is whether it should be “age” or “aged.”
According to Gregg:
I interviewed a man aged 52 for the job. [NOT: a man age 52.]
I don’t plan to retire at the age of 65 [NOT: at age 65.]
NOTE: Elliptical references to age–for example, at age 65–should not be used except in technical writing such as human resources manuals.
See the chart on page 64 for the schedule of retirement benefits for employees who retire at age 65.
The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines “aged” as
1. a: of an advanced age <an aged man>
    b: having attained a specified age <a man aged 40 years>
2. typical of old age
Another source defines “aged” as “having reached the age of.”
So if you use those definitions with the Disney example, “Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older,” since the chaperone will have “reached the age of” 14 or “attained a specified age” (in this case, the age of 14), I think the Disneyland signs should be changed to either “Children under the age of 7 years must be accompanied by a person aged 14 or older” or “Children under 7 must be accompanied by a person 14 or older.”
Not everyone spends time in the happiest place on earth internally deliberating the correct usage of a word, but it is something I am pretty passionate about and it didn’t cut into my “happy time.” Now I just need to figure out how to use that passion to get a proofreading job with Disney.

The Phenomena of the Vortices and Cacti

twisted-juniperA friend and I were recently discussing what our possibilities for recreation are for a trip to Sedona, Arizona, this summer. When I said “vortexes,” her response was “shouldn’t it be vortices?” I had never heard that word, but told her I would investigate and use it as a blog topic. So here we are.

According to the Gregg Reference Manual nouns of a foreign origin retain their foreign plurals while some now have English plurals and others have two plurals—both foreign and English. How confusing is that? When there are two plural forms, one form may be preferred to the other and you are instructed to check your dictionary to be sure of the correct plural form.

I will not quote the entire section from Gregg, but it is interesting indeed. It is in the Tribute (11th) edition starting on page 204. Here are select entries:

WORDS ENDING IN US (the asterisk indicates the preferred form)
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
cactus cactuses cacti*
focus focuses* foci
nucleus nucleuses nuclei*
stylus styluses styli*
thesaurus thesauruses thesauri*
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
agenda agendas
dogma dogmas* dogmata
formula formulas* formulae
vertebra vertebras vertebrae*
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
addendum addenda
auditorium auditoriums* auditoria
consortium consortiums* consortia
curriculum vitae curricula vitae
erratum errata
maximum maximums* maxima
memorandum memorandums* memoranda
stadium stadiums* stadia
ultimatum ultimatums* ultimate
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
crescendo crescendos* crescendo
tempo tempos tempi (in music)
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
criterion criterions criteria*
phenomenon phenomenons phenomena*
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
appendix appendixes* appendices
crux cruxes* cruces
index indexes (of books) indices (math symbols)
matrix matrixes matrices*
vortex vortexes vortices*
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
analysis analyses
crisis crises
ellipsis ellipses
parenthesis parentheses
synopsis synopses
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
Adieu adieus* adieux
Bureau bureaus* bureaux
Plateau plateaus* plateaux
Singular English Plural Foreign Plural
chaise longue chaise longues* chaises longues
hors d’oeuvre hors d’ouevres* hors d’oeuvre
maître d’ maître d’s

So did you learn anything from this taste of English and foreign pluralization of foreign nouns? I sure did! I was wrong and will forevermore refer to Sedona’s vortices correctly. Who knew?


Grammar Giggles – The House Has Its Own Trainer!

This was in my Facebook feed recently. Apparently this company wanted to get the attention of a house in Mesa for its program. Otherwise, it would have addressed it to Mesa RESIDENTS. And, once again, it also uses an apostrophe to make a word plural. It seems that a company paying to promote an ad would make sure it was correct.


The Case of The Stationary Stationery

I was in a CVS drugstore recently looking for something searching the aisle markers trying to find what we needed when this gem caught my eye:


I was taught a long time ago that when you’re talking about products to help you write a lEtter, use the stationEry with an “E.” That tip still holds true. StationAry means to stay in one place unmoving. Unfortunately for CVS they obviously know better because you can see part of an even bigger sign on the wall (but I took another picture to make it easier for you!):


You’ll note that they both have the same Spanish word, so they were attempting to show us where the stationery was located. At least the stationery is stationary!

P.S. – don’t do a Google search for a definition for stationAry, because this will come up:

Stationary images

I’m hoping that is only so they can catch people who don’t know the difference, but I’m scared that that is a very big hope!

Grammar Giggle – Licensed Under The Arizona Revised Statues

I swear I’ve looked at this license on my nail tech’s desk a hundred times, but just last weekend I finally saw IT. The mistake that I make on occasion, but in proofreading, I find it and make the correction. I do see it quite a bit because it is not something spell check would catch. Apparently, the State of Arizona spell checker didn’t catch it either. And just as an aside, I do not consider this a “fraudulent” purpose–it is an educational purpose. But I do wonder what the Arizona Revised Statues look like. What part of the statue was revised? What are they modeled after? Where are they located? What do you think an Arizona Revised Statue would look like?


Missouri Lawmakers Need To Be More Fiscally And Physically Responsible For Their Grammar

You know that a grammar error irritates the heck out of you when you bring a resolution before the State House to change instances commonly used on the floor of the House of an incorrect word–physical–to the correct word–fiscal. Missouri Representative Tracy McCreery did just that. Missouri Law

These two words have VERY different meanings. According to dictionary.com:

  • Physical (among other definitions): of or relating to the body; tending to touch, hug, pat, etc.; requiring, characterized by, or liking rough physical contact or strenuous physical activity 
  • Fiscal: of or relating to the public treasury or revenues; of or relating to financial matters in general.

Obviously on the floor of the House when they are discussing the state’s finances, fiscal is the appropriate word. If they were talking about school physical education issues, it could be either–if it is a money issue, it would still be fiscal issues with the physical education program, and if it were just about the schools’ physical education program itself it would be physical.  Although it seems that perhaps an email could have accomplished the same thing, I’ve got to hand it to Rep. McCreery for making a statement for proper grammar usage.

Grammar Giggle – Isn’t It Wrought Iron?

I saw this online on a Facebook page. This is a very common mistake, but it is a mistake. Here is an interesting article by Avion Metal Works that I found explaining how wrought iron has evolved over the years.

Rod iron