Blog Post

Is it Daylight Saving or Daylight Savings?

Today is the day when Australians start their annual summer experience of time-zone madness. Today we have five time-zones, while in winter we only have three. As a Queenslander, it becomes oh so easy to dial in an hour late for teleconferences or arrive an hour late for interstate meetings.

But is this time shift an experience of ‘daylight saving time’ or of ‘daylight savings time’?

I’ve always assumed that ‘daylight saving’ is correct and that people who use ‘daylight savings’ are making a mistake.

I was amused to see that this weekend’s Courier-Mail uses ‘daylight saving’ in its article, while using ‘daylight savings’ in the accompanying chart. Two different authors perhaps?

Wikipedia suggests that ‘daylight saving time’ is usually considered to be correct, but that ‘daylight savings time’ is a common variant. Wikipedia suggests that ‘savings’ used here is an analogy to ‘savings account’.

A Google search brought up examples of both ‘daylight saving’ and ‘daylight savings’ – though with ‘daylight saving’ in the clear majority. Interestingly, the summaries and macro-data often seemed to use ‘savings’, while the text on the site tended toward ‘saving’. More examples of different authors?

To me, ‘daylight savings time’ always sounds as though there’s confusion about whether it should be possessive or plural. ‘Daylight saving time’, in contrast, makes sense as a way of describing time – though it would probably be more precise to add in the hyphen and use ‘daylight-saving time’ instead.

And maybe I should occupy my mind with bigger questions.