Mike MacDonagh's Blog

Somewhere in the overlap between software development, process improvement and psychology

Tag Archives: rant

Rant: Get rid of Daylight Saving Time

I normally avoid commenting on political matters but this one annoys me from a purely selfish perspective…

I read recently that the UK Govt is considering a move to double sumertime, which it’s important to point out has nothing to do with double rainbows. I can’t quite make my mind up about it in terms of this change, it’ll make it easier to work with Europe but put use yet another hour away from the US.

I don’t see why we need to do it at all. Like Income tax, Daylight Saving Time (DST)  was introduced during wartime and never repealed (ok, that’s not entirely true, income tax was repealed and reinstated a few times as wars came and went, the last time it was reintroduced was to deal with a defecit in 1842). I don’t think we need to change timezone at all, if people in some industries want to use the daylight more then why don’t they personally adjust their sleeping patterns? I’m rubbish at dealing with time zone changes, jet lag and sleep generally. Changing DST just tires me out and makes me grumpy.

I’d like to see us dump DST entirely and just stick with the same timezone all year around, like the Russians are doing. Let’s look at the impact of dropping DST in Russia and then see if it’s worth doing here too.

/rant

The difference between initialisms and acronyms

Yes “initialisms” is a real word and not all abbreviated terms are acronyms! Taking the first letter (or syllable) of a set of words and combining them is generally an initialism. For example EETC = Estimated Effort To Complete and it is not an acronym!

DOS = Disk Operating System and although it’s an initialism it’s also an acronym. That’s because the resulting “word” is pronounced as a single term.

Acronym: An abbreviation composed of the initial letters or syllables of a compound term and which is pronounced as a single word

Initialism: An abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase (for example, IRS for Internal Revenue Service), syllables or components of a word (TNT for trinitrotoluene), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP for extrasensory perception) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.

So all acronyms are initialisms but not all initialisms are acronyms. Both are abbreviations and the difference is in how they are pronounced.

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