Using "midnight" to mean the beginning of the day could be confusing

Martin J. Dürst duerst at
Fri Jan 22 00:40:18 CST 2016

In my opinion, "could be confusing" is a gross understatement :-(. I 
just recently wanted to submit some abstracts to a conference where I 
spent about 10 minutes to figure out which end of a day the actual 
deadline was.

While there may be conventions for such things in some communities, and 
CLDR has an ambition to follow them, it's highly confusing in the world 
wide context of the web. The less such things are made defaults, and the 
more exact terms are used (e.g. "midnight at the start of the day" or 
some such), the better.

Regards,    Martin.

On 2016/01/22 10:30, kz wrote:
> Dear CLDR users,
> I'm currently trying to implement in ICU the pattern characters b and B for
> datetime formatting, which involves the use of the word "midnight". See
> .
> Currently, according to the CLDR spec, the word "midnight" refers to 0:00,
> i.e. the beginning of the day. However, after a conversation with my
> colleagues, we feel that it's more natural for "midnight" to mean, at least
> in English, the end of the day. For example, "Wednesday midnight" would
> refer to midnight of Wednesday-Thursday, not the midnight of
> Tuesday-Wednesday. This could cause confusion to users.
> In addition, other languages could have different problems with the use of
> "midnight". For example, Chinese has two different words for "midnight
> (beginning of day)" (*lingchen*) and "midnight (end of day)" (*wuye*).
> As such, it'd probably be worth discussing to either (1) remove "midnight"
> as a time period, (2) use a different word for "midnight", or (3) modify
> spec to have "midnight" refer to the end of the day.
> Any opinions?
> Thanks
> kz
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