Grammar

The Savings Controversy

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Mrs. B, the resident grammar expert over at Newsblues, has changed her mind about the seasonal resetting of clocks.

For years, she has argued that it should be “Daylight Saving Time” and has fought all efforts to add an s at the end of Saving. But she says that after checking several sources, including the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and The New York Times Manual of Style, she began having second thoughts.

What ultimately convinced her, she says, is this explanation from Bryan Garner:

“Although the singular form daylight saving time is the original one– and is preferred by some usage critics– the plural form is now extremely common in American English. The rise of daylight savings time appears to have resulted from the avoidance of a MISCUE: when saving is used, readers might puzzle momentarily over whether saving is a gerund (the saving of daylight) or a participle (the time for saving). Also we commonly speak of how to “save time” (of saving time), and this compounds the possible confusion. Using savings as the adjective– as in savings account or savings bond– makes perfect sense. More than that, it ought to be accepted as the better form.”Regardless of whether you use the plural or the singular, you can prevent most miscues by hyphenating the PHRASAL ADJECTIVE: daylight-savings time or daylight-saving time.”

So that should give you a little to ponder (and probably more than you ever wanted to ponder) about what to call it when you lose that much-needed hour.

The good news is that we’re one day closer to that day in the fall when we set the clocks back and gain an extra hour of sleep.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.