It’s ‘Daylight Saving Time’ not ‘Daylight Savings Time’

Each and every year we spring forward, moving our clocks ahead an hour in the Spring, and fall back, moving our clocks back and hour in the Fall. This year, Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins this Sunday, March 10, 2013. Not every state complies with this yearly ritual. Daylight Saving Time is not observed in most of the Eastern Time Zone portion of Indiana and the states of Arizona and Hawaii. Making appointments in Indiana can be very confusing since some of the state observes it and other parts don’t.

Before we continue, it’s Daylight Saving (singular) Time and not Daylight Savings (plural) Time. When you put money in a bank, you open a “savings account.”

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to extend the period of daylight in the Spring by moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, thus, saving daylight. One of its recent goals is to save energy, cut down on traffic accidents, and give people more daylight in the evenings for outside work and recreation.

Some claim that Benjamin Franklin is the inspiration behind the practice, although cutting down on automobile traffic deaths was not in his purview, but I guess nighttime carriage deaths were an issue.

Franklin’s rationale appeared in a 1784 article with the title An Economical Project. The idea took some time to catch on. There is some debate over who actually got the practice enacted. Some argue that it was first proposed by the New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, whose shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and led him to value after-hours daylight.

Others claim the idea “was first advocated seriously by London builder William Willett (1857–1915) in the pamphlet, ‘Waste of Daylight’ (1907) that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September.”

The plan was finally adopted in the United States in 1918. During WW II, the clocks were messed with again, but only temporarily. During the energy crisis of 1973, because of an oil embargo by OPEC, President Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act into law. Clocks were set ahead for fifteen months through April 27, 1975.

Dr. Joseph Mercola writes that there are some health risks in tinkering with our innate internal clocks:

“A number of studies indicate that springing ahead to Daylight Saving Time (DST) may be hazardous to your health. Although the one-hour time change may seem minor, when it comes to your body’s internal clock, it actually is a big deal.

“The latest study suggests turning your clock ahead for DST may set the stage for a small increased risk of heart attack the following day.”

Here’s my proposal: Let’s move the clocks ahead 30 minutes and leave them there.

23 thoughts on “It’s ‘Daylight Saving Time’ not ‘Daylight Savings Time’

  1. That 30 minute permanent change has always made more sense to me than this silly notion of constantly bouncing back and forth. I guess that’s why it’ll never catch on.

  2. Why can’t they just make up their minds what time they want, set the clock and leave it instead of jumping back and forth. I guess that would be way too simple.

  3. DST is nothing but obsolete. Just get rid of it and use the time in DST as standard throughout the entire year.

  4. Daylight Saving Time probably served a purpose at one time. It does not save anything. It is obsolete. It serves no purpose any longer. The time stays the same no matter how the clocks are moved. Just because we move the clocks ahead one hour it gives the illusion that the daylight is longer? It really isn’t. It’s just a big farce! I say get rid of it!

  5. I always thought that Day Light Saving Time was for farm workers so that they could start the day closer to sunrise in the summer making more use of the sun to plant and harvest crops. The same is true for construction, logging and other outdoor trades. More work is done and longer hours are needed in the summer. We make hay while the sun shines. There is no lighting in the fields.
    So why don’t the outdoor workers just start an hour earlier than everyone else? Because as a construction worker we need to first go to the supply houses and hardware stores; and the office is where workers must report to clock in and get daily assignments. So offices and stores must start earlier to support outdoor trades.

  6. I’m sure our ancient ancestors appreciated the longer daylight days, it gave them more time to hunt and gather food stuffs, etc.. Makes sense to me to stay on Daylight Saving Time all year round, just to enjoy the saving we may enjoy on our electric lighting bills alone!

    1. John,
      Our ancient ancestors were usually up at the crack of dawn, worked or hunted most of the daylight hours, and were early to bed because they had little access to light, other than that provided by the sun. As the seasons changed they were still up at dawn, even if dawn occurred “later” and dusk “earlier” in the winter than it did in summer. Time doesn’t change according to our whims, but we can adjust our schedules to make the most of the daylight hours. DST is just a method of coordinating when people and businesses are at “work” at the same times.

      I agree that we do save on energy costs during this period, but if we just returned to our ancestral scheduling of up at dawn and to bed at dusk, we would save much more.


  7. We should confer with the Mayans and find solace in their answer. What BS, Let time do its own thing, it always does, or has the human race created a “time Global” problem by working too much?

  8. ** Before we continue, it’s Daylight Saving (singular) Time and not Daylight Savings (plural) Time.**

    I don’t think this is the ideal place to be lecturing people on grammar…

  9. I have always noticed that for a couple of days after the annual “spring forward” and “fall back” I experienced symptoms remarkably similar to jet-lag. It stands to reason that sudden shifts of the clock would cause some effect since the clocks – which seem increasingly to dictate the tempo of our lives – would suddenly be out of sync with our bodily rhythms. I experience similar effects every time my wife and I (who live in central Texas) drive out to visit our son and grandchildren in New Mexico. Actually we get going and coming. I see no reason why we should not drop the whole idea of DST and just permanently leave our clocks set where they are now.

    That being said, I consider what they do in Indiana to be just plain asinine. I wonder why the folks in the eastern part of the state don’t get with the program. But it’s their problem not mine.

    1. That’s the best thing that I can say since we moved to Az. I love not messing with the clocks. It’s great!

  10. The blog said, “The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to extend the period of daylight in the Spring by moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, thus, saving daylight. ”
    Well, I hate to break your bubble, but the amount of time the sun is up is the same regardless of what man does with a clock. The only way to “save” daylight is to charge a battery with a solar panel, and then re-release the energy with a lightbulb at a later time. Pretending that you are ‘saving’ daylight with a clock change is like the government ‘pretending’ that it still has money in the social security trust fund.

  11. I’ve always referred to it as play like savings time. I just go to work an hour early and leave an hour early. Keeps things simple and I don’t have to fool around with all the clocks.

  12. Just another load of government hooey IMHO…uses the same logic that spawned ‘carbon offset credits’ or whatever feelgood semantics algore uses when he is confronted by the notion that he is one of the single largest energy consumers on the planet.

  13. I liike the idea if you want more time in the evenings convince your boss to let you start an hour earlier. other wise learn to live with it. Leave the clock alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *