Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

“Time and Tide Wait for No Man” (Geoffrey Chaucer)

Date: 25 October 2018
Category: Grammar

It’s that time of year, again: no, not the World Series, nor the leaves changing colors; not about Election Day, and it’s not Halloween.

We’re talking…wait for it…here it comes: Wait a second! Wait just a minute! No, wait just an hour!

Come the weekend of November 3rd and 4th, the country (at least most of it) gains an hour of sleep and returns to Standard Time. This year represents the 100th anniversary of Daylight Savings Time (DST)! It was instituted on March 19, 1918 during World War I to conserve fuel needed for war industries and for the purpose of extending the work day. A year later, it was repealed when the war ended. However, during the World War II, our Congress passed legislation in 1942 reinstating it temporarily.

President Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, declaring DST a national policy with uniform start and end dates within standard time zones. Twenty years later Congress extended DST from a six to seven-month period, and then again in 2005 to eight months — mid-March to mid-November.

Today, however, Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories do not observe it. On the other hand of the clock, Florida’s legislature has passed a law establishing year-round DST, but Congress has to amend the federal law for it to actually go into effect.

You’re going to need that extra hour next month just to sit down and figure out all these exceptions in our country.

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