What’s the Deal with Daylight Saving Time?

By Mark Skoultchi

November 4, 2010

As we get ready to Fall Back this weekend, Catchword has to wonder, how did the custom wind up saddled with such a clunky name that has little to do with its reality?

People, can we at least start calling it by a more accurate name?

It doesn’t actually “save” time. Technically, it only moves the hands on the clock. Clock Rearrangement Time might be more accurate!

It costs money. Studies show that energy costs increase (air conditioning costs rise more than the cost savings from reduced lighting). This was an unforeseen consequence, and hardly surprising given that Daylight Saving Time was widely instituted fully 20 years before air conditioning made it into houses.

The name itself doesn’t convey much fun. Frankly, by now it conjures up images of stumbling through the house changing all the clocks (if not searching for various User’s guides first). Plus, as US News reports, “When clocks spring forward, people lose sleep (and) have more heart attacks.”

Maybe one of these names would put the practice into more proper focus:

National Reset Day
Because you’ve got to recalibrate every damn clock you own, as well as reconfirm every appointment you’ve made. And call your grandparents to make sure they reset their clocks. One certainty is that you will own at least one clock for which resetting the time is a mystery for the ages. So you’ll spend the next six months mentally converting the time on that one clock. As if you don’t have enough to think about already!

Mulligan Time
Much like mass transit, the shift in Daylight Saving Time offers a convenient, irrefutable excuse. It’s an ass blanket you can use for days to absolve yourself for lapses large and small.

Later Last Call Day
Since on that one glorious Spring day your favorite drinking establishment will be slinging the suds for an extra hour.

Zero Sum Timing Season
That “extra” time Daylight Saving gives you? That gets spent rearranging your life and clocks. A total time suck.

RTFM Day
Daylight Saving Time exposes the ugly truth that there is little commonality in clock design and operation. It’s also the day that prompts a panicked frenzy searching for the manual much like Eric Stoltz in Pulp Fiction.

At the very least, we much prefer the British term Summer Time; it’s sunnier, friendlier and evokes memories of lounging about in seersucker and madras, deep into our cocktails and croquet.

Would it be too much to simply go anglophile for a hot second on this? Until we can make this a Tea Party / Terrorism / Wall Street style hot button, that’ll have to do.

And by the way, it’s Daylight, not Daylights. And Saving, not Savings.

You’re welcome.

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