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Eastern Time Zone

1338926942
Agemegos
KS Backer
I have to say that I'm surprised and a little confused to see so many people co-ordinating game times using EST— Eastern Standard Time —because I'm pretty sure that it's been EDT in the North American Eastern Time Zone since March. And if you're planning a campaign that might run on past November surely the most convenient thing to do would be to schedule it using just plain <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Time" Eastern Time and let the changes between EDT and EST keep the game in sync with your work and game schedules. I'm trying to get up a campaign in which I will GM in the middle of the day for players in North America who will be playing in their evenings. My daylight saving (from October to April) will be totally out of synch with theirs. And so it's important to understand clearly whether people actually mean EST or ET.
AZ huh? Yv?
1338959755
Agemegos
KS Backer
AU, actually.
I think your point is ultimately a valid one due to the international circumstrances, so let me try to explain for my fellow Eastcoasters. It is customary for Americans, rascals that we are, to refer to ET as EST regardless of the current Daylight Savings situation. So when people say "6 pm EST" they really mean "Whenever it is 6 pm on the East Coast of the United States."
1338962291
Agemegos
KS Backer
Yes, and the formal term for that is " Eastern Time ", contracted to "ET". Whereas "EST" is " Eastern Standard Time " as contrasted with " Eastern Daylight Time ". Or at least that that is what standard reference works tell us poor foreigners when we look things up. It's unfortunate that the colloquial "EST" (meaning "ET") corresponds exactly with the technical "EST" that is different but closely related enough to cause no end of confusion.
1338977005
Morbus Iff
KS Backer
What Daniel said. US folks tend to "know" internally when DST is, just like we know what "See you at 6" means contextually based on other clues (what time of day it is, previous conversations, etc.). Anytime folks use a S vs. a D, they mean D if D is active.
It only confuses people who actually know the technically correct time zone designations and choose to be pedantic about it. Normal people who live in central and see 9AM EST know that the event happens at 8AM central time, 7am mountain, 6am pacific. To Americans, we're all in the same daylight savings shift, so it doesn't matter, as all we are doing is confirming that you are stating an east coast time and I live in central, so I shall subtract an hour. The few lucky Americans who live in places that don't do daylight savings shifting at all are also attractive and clever enough to figure out what was meant anyway.
1338977949
wadledo
KS Backer
Also, since EST is more commonly used than EDT (since EST is during the winter when it's likely to be pitch black at 6), EST is more of a common parlance than EDT (which, personally, I've never used before).
I can also attest to the fact that I've never used, nor in fact heard, anyone use EDT. If you said you were playing a game at 6:00 EDT.... I'd have to look it up XD
1338993663
Ken Bauer
KS Backer
New rule: All times will be referenced in GMT+- designations. As an example North American Central is GMT-6 I kid, I kid. But it would cut down on confusion when attempting to schedule trans-continental pickup games.
1339000768
Agemegos
KS Backer
It only confuses people who actually know the technically correct time zone designations and choose to be pedantic about it. No, that isn't right. Those people probably aren't actually confused at all. The people who are confused include anyone who for any reason has to look it up. I'm a godless foreigner, trying to co-ordinate a game with players in the American Eastern and Central time zones. The only time zone offsets that I actually know are Australian Eastern Time, Central Time, and Western Time. So when a player says that he is free at, say, 8 PM EST I have to look it up to make sure whether American EST is UTC-04, UTC-05, or UTC-06. I just don't have the details of foreign time zones at my fingertips. And when I do look it up, I get mislead. All standard references tell me one thing, when the players have meant another. And now that I know I can never feel sure whether any particular poster is using the official or the colloquial terminology.
1339001662
Agemegos
KS Backer
New rule: All times will be referenced in GMT+- designations. GMT has been replaced by UTC now. Happened in 1961. The differences are small, but I think that people in some countries might be pleased that international standard time is no longer named after a town in the UK or using English word order.
well, sorry. americans don't know the right terminology. If you see ET, EST, EDT they all pretty much mean ET as you defined it which is already adjusted for DST. The probability that somebody saying EST and NOT meaning ET when we are in the middle of DST right now is pretty low. What might help would be a tool to post game schedulings, with specific fields for entering the time by the poster's current time zone which will then be stored in Zulu time. Then, the page will perform the correct calculation for each viewer to their current timezone (as detected by javascript and their client's clock). What this would then do is when I post that my game is at 8PM and my time zone is Central DST, it'll store it and re-render it to a time relevant to you in Australia. thus, no confusion when due to mis-stating things.
1339003026
Agemegos
KS Backer
well, sorry. americans don't know the right terminology. If you see ET, EST, EDT they all pretty much mean ET as you defined it which is already adjusted for DST. The probability that somebody saying EST and NOT meaning ET when we are in the middle of DST right now is pretty low. I'm sure some of them must know the official terminology, since I'm pretty sure the ET/EST/EDT thing is an American invention. And I imagine that aviators, railway engineers etc., and military personnel are pretty picky about using standard official terminology about time. There remains the question though of whether those who know it use it in everyday usage.
EST is pretty much the only used one. Someone Somewhere probably knows better. But fact is that 95% plus of Americans will use EST as their marker to tell everyone what time something is (because everyone knows where they are in relation to EST). It's wrong, it is, but if it's confusing to you, you need to either figure it out, or ask your gm/players personally, not whine to the internet about how they're wrong for doing things by convention instead of properly.
I have never once heard someone refer to "6 pm" as anything other than "6 pm on the daylight savings time currently in use", to the point that if any American did try to use it I would accuse them of trolling because there will be more Americans confused by distinguishing between EST and EDT than not. Nobody but someone you don't want to play with is going to be posting 6 EST during EDT and then went "Oh, I thought you guys knew we'd be using 6 EST, so you all are an hour late. LOL." Seriously, trust me. If you are talking to an American, any of the 3 variations means ET. Anyone else is deliberating trying to cause a ruckus.