Vast momentousness coming to the Hoosier state this weekend: Daylight Saving Time, for the first time in decades. No topic is good for more endless jaw-flapping. No topic is, for a columnist, so evergreen. You’d think this would be ending with the changeover, but apparently there’s lots of hilarity ahead. Our ace correspondent in Elkhart, Connie, files a brief report:
I have received endless messages at work in my email, basically explaining how to go on daylight saving this Sunday. From the State Chamber, State Library, assorted political news lists, etc. I have answered endless questions from co-workers who have never gone on daylight time before. Example: 2 a.m.? So I have to get up at 2 a.m. to change my clocks?
Is this so hard? Who knew? I am amused.
But hey, that’s nothin’:
But IT staff at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, fear the change will create complications galore.
“This is like Y2K except this one is really happening,” said university IT spokesman Steve Tally.
Currently, most Indiana computer users set their PCs to a special “Indiana East” setting — Eastern time that doesn’t spring forward every April. Starting this April, however, they’ll change their PCs to Eastern Daylight Time. The few who observe Central time set their computers to Central, and will also make the switch. Tally predicts the changeover will create havoc with the widely used Microsoft Outlook calendar application. When the time changes, he said, appointments will still be listed according to the old Indiana East time. The calendars of Central time Outlook users, in turn, will continue to list appointments according to Central time.
Well, there’s a tragedy.
A BoingBoing link offers more hand-wringing:
I happen to be an IT manager for a philharmonic orchestra in Indiana and the changeover is going to cause massive problems for anyone who uses outlook as a calendar. By the time this is all said and done, it’s going to end up costing businesses in this state a lot of time and money. Perhaps the greatest irony is the fact that our governor pushed the change under the premise that it was going to increase revenue in the state. I’ve been actively encouraging fellow IT professionals in my area to contact the governor and give him an idea just how much the change is costing their company in money and man hours.
Oh, get a grip, girlfriend. When I moved to the enlightened ranges of DST last year, how did I handle it? Let me think…oh yeah, I opened the control panel and changed my home city. Of course, I had actually changed my home city. So what’s to stop all these IT people from just changing their own home cities — in essence, to tell their network a little lie? Can it possibly be this complicated? Some calendars are disrupted? Big deal.
I guess this is progress. When I was there, the argument was made that it would throw milking schedules off and young children would be kept up dangerously past a healthy bedtime.
Good luck, Hoosiers. Keep us posted — if you can get booted.
I don’t know about you, but stories like this make me break out in hives. I love a good trend as much as the next person, but as a writer, when editors start talking up ideas like this I always pretend to have an urgent appointment with my periodontist.
Literally, a Web Log is after my own heart. The other day a local news anchor who likely makes 30 times what I do said, “Bob has literally poured his heart out over these kids.” I thought, hmm, messy. LaWL tracks abuse of the word.
Next stop: Hopefully.
alex said on March 30, 2006 at 9:46 pm
How about Per Se, a Web Log? Or Flaunt, a Web Log? My keen editor’s eagle eye tells me those are the two most misused words/phrases in journalism, so much so and for so long now that you’d think Webster’s would just give up and make the misuse the accepted one.
No luck linking to New York Magazine. Is it my ancient, rotting Apple or the link itself?
vince said on March 30, 2006 at 10:49 pm
Hopefully a blog will literally tackle grammer offenders irregardless of public pressure!
Laura said on March 30, 2006 at 11:27 pm
Sorry, Vince. I gotta step in. Your post is a joke, right? Subtle humor is so hard to grasp online.
SusanG said on March 30, 2006 at 11:59 pm
DSL is going to mess up Outlook?
Start Menu, Control Panel, Date & Time, Time Zone?
Change from Indiana East to Eastern Time USA & Canada; check “automatically adjust clock for daylight savings time.”
IT people love to lay it on thick to the press.
Jim said on March 31, 2006 at 7:52 am
Folks, we’re talking Indiana here … the state where “Much Ado About Nothing” should be the official state play.
Randy said on March 31, 2006 at 9:25 am
The New York Mag story reminds me of a great Kids In The Hall sketch (circa 1993) – “He’s Hip, He’s Cool, He’s 45”.
Nick said on March 31, 2006 at 9:35 am
It seems to me that the New York Mag article author must have moved to New York last week.
Adam Sternbergh: Attention!!! There are New Yorkers over the age of 30 who are acting hip! OMG – WTF!?
Because this never has happened in the history of NYC. Ugh. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. Oh, and stealing the catch phrase from a Star Trek episode is so unoriginal it makes me want to hurl.
colleen said on March 31, 2006 at 11:19 am
Good one, Jim!
Actually, I think changing the time zone thing won’t cure the ills of your outlook appointments. and MS decided NOT to put out a fix because, well, it’s just for people in IN.
Media is treating this like it’s defusing a bomb. People who’ve never lived anywere else really ARE freaking out. Me, I’m looking forward to being able to take a nice bike ride after work, and not have to make sure I get home a little early to do it while it’s still light out. Bring on the DST!!
Jim said on March 31, 2006 at 11:28 am
My mother, who died last year, was a staunch opponent of DST. Her reason: “I’ve lived here all my life and never had to mess with the clocks. It’s stupid.” Given her Hoosier stubborness, I think she would have refused to observe DST. I suspect some Indiana old-timers will do the same. And, by God, they’ll just wait it out until things get back to normal in October.
a different Connie said on March 31, 2006 at 12:07 pm
Hey, how about the random use of “poured” for “pored”?!
And my in-laws in the eastern time zone of da UP never change their clocks because–really–they don’t want to mess up the cows. AND they keep their clocks 15 minutes fast. I just wear my watch when we vist, keep it on Wisconsin time, and don’t worry about what time it really is.
brian stouder said on March 31, 2006 at 12:50 pm
I don’t like the mis-use of ‘infer’.
But on the brighter side, the word ‘awesome’ seems to have faded out of fashion (more or less), so that mundane things aren’t routinely described as wondrous.
The young folks and I caught Narnia at the dollar theater, and it was awesome! We were thunderstruck! The hype was that the movie makers inferred a lot of religiosity – but frankly it had about as much subtext as Meet the Fokkers (if you ask me)
As for the time change –
Cathy said on March 31, 2006 at 1:26 pm
A first time poster but I just couldn’t resist getting in on the fun. I have lived in central Indiana for the last 10 years and have been desperately seeking DST for all 10. Hallelujah!
My husband and I have been laughing about the Indianapolis Star publishing articles each day this week about dealing with the time change. I have Hoosier friends who refer to Indiana time as “God’s Time.” People are worried about the kids standing at the bus stop in the dark. You get the idea. Nice place to live but a tad backward.
As a transplant, I am delighted the Indiana has finally succumbed to DST.
joodyb said on March 31, 2006 at 1:40 pm
Good Christ. And before there were Outlook Calendars, did we scratch our plans in the dirt? She clearly never had Outlook just vaporize on her before her eyes. She should go outside and see what the real world is like.
deb said on March 31, 2006 at 2:22 pm
nance, re “hopefully,” forget it. we are dinosaurs. the usage we consider improper — “hopefully, we aren’t raising a generation of illiterates” — is now considered acceptable.
i refuse to give in, however, on that/which!
Laura said on March 31, 2006 at 3:16 pm
‘irregardless’ and ‘could care less’ drive me mad
Cynthia said on March 31, 2006 at 4:34 pm
Is the reason “could care less” drives you mad because it’s incorrect? Because what drives me nuts is it should be “couldn’t care less.”
nancy said on March 31, 2006 at 4:52 pm
“Could care less” was explained to me by a kindly elder editor in my earliest days in the newspaper biz, and I haven’t made that mistake since. Another taught me to always leave out the “for” before “free” and still another explained how “reason why” is redundant. After I wrote “panda bear” in a story, Kirk, an editor who sometimes comments here, photocopied the dictionary page with a sketch of a panda on it and added a little dialogue balloon: I am not a bear! Another editor gave me a mnemonic for further/farther I’ve never forgotten: “Nancy, you can drive me further toward the brink of insanity, but my car farther toward the edge of a cliff.” (This simple lesson still helps me remember when to use “less” and “fewer” too, even though they’re really not related.)
I guess my point is, some of us have good teachers when we need them and some don’t. And not all of us are writers. However. I think everyone who’s a professional communicator — and this includes you, TV people — should strive to speak and write clearly. Especially if you have children. I’m convinced ninety-nine percent of the work was done by my parents, who used correct grammar around the house. I’m not even close to knowing all the rules — I went to public school, not Catholic — but I can almost always make the right call by “ear.” Thanks to mom and dad.
P.S. You haven’t been driven mad until you’ve heard someone say “irregardlessly.”
Carter said on March 31, 2006 at 4:56 pm
The AT RANDOM column in Wednesday’s Trib tackled the could/couldn’t thing and concluded, it seems, that they mean the same thing. I can’t get my head around it but will stay tuned for their retraction.
And you can hear unique used 2 dozen times before lunch.
Q. Besides the common “I could care less,” my second-ranking pet peeve is the use of “and” rather than “to” in the phrase “try and do something” as though these were two separate actions, like “eat and drink.”
A. “Could care less” and “try and do” can be considered idioms — phrases whose meaning is understood separately from the meanings of the individual words. “Could care less” is a variation of the phrase “couldn’t care less”; strangely, these two phrases would seem to be opposite but actually have identical meanings.
The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style says that “try and” is “commonly used as a substitute for `try to,'” but it cautions that “the usage is associated with informal style and strikes an inappropriately conversational note in formal writing.”
mary said on March 31, 2006 at 5:04 pm
Irregardlessly is right up there with my fave, “for all intensive purposes.”
nancy said on March 31, 2006 at 5:08 pm
I no longer use a paper dictionary (much), and rely on a widget on my laptop — the Oxford American, it tells me. The other day I was editing a piece of copy and came across the phrase “ran the gauntlet.” No no no, I thought, it’s gantlet, a military term for two facing lines of men holding sticks, who beat you when you run through.
The OA dictionary says I’m wrong, that each word is an alternate spelling for the other, so “run the gauntlet” is as correct as gantlet.
Our ever-changing language.
nancy said on March 31, 2006 at 5:10 pm
Mary, the next time I’m in LA, I’m buying you a drink. Several of them.
brian stouder said on March 31, 2006 at 5:15 pm
See – a week or two ago I used the term ‘gauntlet’ in this blog, and looked it up on dictionary.com to see if I was spelling it correctly. I was thinking of the glove one throws down – as in ‘throw down the gauntlet’ – and came across this –
“The spelling gauntlet is acceptable for both gauntlet meaning “glove�? or “challenge�? and gauntlet meaning “a form of punishment in which lines of men beat a person forced to run between them�? but this has not always been the case. The story of the gauntlet used in to throw down the gauntlet is linguistically unexciting: it comes from the Old French word gantelet, a diminutive of gant, “glove.�? From the time of its appearance in Middle English (in a work composed in 1449), the word has been spelled with an au as well as an a, still a possible spelling. But the gauntlet used in to run the gauntlet is an alteration of the earlier English form gantlope, which came from the Swedish word gatlopp, a compound of gata, “lane,�? and lopp, “course.�? The earliest recorded form of the English word, found in 1646, is gantelope, showing that alteration of the Swedish word had already occurred. The English word was then influenced by the spelling of the word gauntlet, “glove,�? and in 1676 we find the first recorded instance of the spelling gauntlet for this word, although gantelope is found as late as 1836. From then on spellings with au and a are both found, but the au seems to have won out.”
Dorothy said on March 31, 2006 at 5:15 pm
Slightly off topic, but Mary’s entry reminded me:
My dad used to be a mail sorter in the US Post Office. He came across an envelope one time that had the words “In Tents of Care” written. The letter was going to someone in a hospital.
Laura said on March 31, 2006 at 5:56 pm
Is the reason “could care less�? drives you mad because it’s incorrect?”
Yep, that’s the reason, idiom or no.
Laura said on March 31, 2006 at 5:58 pm
And yay! (or yea!) my sister posted on nn.c.
mary said on March 31, 2006 at 8:22 pm
You just want to hang out with me in case I have another brush with celebrity. I saw James Darren gassing up his Mercedes once in Encino, by the way.
Dave said on April 2, 2006 at 4:41 pm
Oh, the research on here, I always thought the gauntlet was from the Indians, from the days when they made frontiersmen like Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton run through it, as all tribemembers took a shot at them with a club, strap, or anything else that came in handy. I see that the English may have been having gauntlet sessions, wasn’t aware of that.
As for DST, I’ve lived in Indiana for twenty years now and I’ve waited all this time for the world to end by going to DST. It’s finally here and I can’t believe it, I’ve been worried sick about what the livestock did this morning.
mary said on April 2, 2006 at 8:16 pm