A question for any readers from the U.S.A. that are in the audience.

I have a question about the American education curriculum … I’m fighting the urge to suggest that’s an oxymoron, but only because it’s be a bit cheeky of someone from the ‘worst small country‘ in Western Europe, a certain case of the pot calling the kettle an uneducated and unwashed boiling implement.

I digress, quite often as it happens and it usually ends up with me trying to figure out how best to punctuate such digressions. Should I move them to their own paragraph, or perhaps enclosing them in parenthesis? Dashes maybe? Or ellipses? (which are grammatically incorrect I know but we are more about style than substance here). Ahh yes, the joys of the English language are many and manifest themselves constantly, no wonder it’s so bloody hard to learn comprehensively (do they still have comprehensive schools or do I mean ‘completely’? See, I’m doing it again!). Now, where was I?

Ohh yes, can any of my esteemed American readers confirm whether or not they are taught ‘timezones’ at school?

An example, if I’m ‘attending’ a webinar or some kind of online event or meeting, it is invariably with American colleagues and they invariably set the time using a timezone in America. Now, coming from a country which only uses one, this continues to baffle.

PST, EDT, MST… none of which seem tied to a city or state and leave me flummoxed and late… or early… depends.

Apparently, to use one of my examples above, MST equates to “Mountain Standard Time”. What the HELL does that mean? Are your mountains so high that the timezone at the top is different to that at the bottom, thus defying the very premise of establishing timezones based on longitude?

Does this confuse other Americans? Do you too have to check your time zone abbreviations or do you mostly know the different zones in your country?

And whilst we are on the topic, can anyone tell me what happened to GMT, when did it become UTC? What bloody timezone is that!! Honestly, it’s a wonder that I get to work on time… although I guess I could use timezones to my advantage, I mean, as the old saying goes, “it’s always beer o’clock somewhere on the planet!”.

What timezone are you in?

Post at 10.26 am (GMT). Or should that be 1026 GMT… UTC?? AARGH!