Reference to times such as 12 AM and (especially) 12 PM can elicit adverse comment. Look you (runneth the argument) — A.M. and P.M. are Latin, meaning ante and post meridiem respectively, where meridies is of course noon. Noon is at noon, therefore it is neither A.M. nor P.M. It is just M. And midnight is likewise not properly assignable to the A.M. or P.M. One would like to call it anti-meridiem, abbreviated “A.M.” but this might baffle the vulgar — and besides, surely the temptation to form portmanteau words from different classical languages, though not so villainous as some of those which beset us, is one from which deliverance is devoutly to be wished. An altogether deplorable habit, and most injurious to the young, the ever-impressionable young, who should only be exposed to the purest linguistic constructions.
This argument against calling noon 12 P.M., however, fails — it has feet of clay — for noon is not, in fact, God’s noon. Our whorish parceling out of the continuing expanse of earthly creation, our mastery-seeking quantization of the Lord’s subtle meld of sea and sward, mountain and moor, into Time Zones (or as I call them, Mammon Zones) has perverted the notion of noon beyond all recognition.
This, however, is not even the half of it, friends. We Americans, with our prideful fiction of “Daylight Savings Time”, pervert the notion even further. (O Columbia! If even thou, fair lady, sinnest so, what hope have other nations?) It is possible for what we errantly call “noon” to be hours from God’s noon.
Should we cast down these prideful fictions, and return to God’s noon as our noon? Or would that be in itself overly prideful — should we, that is to say, keep our current Mammon-noon and thereby bear the sins of our forebears on our shoulders as a reminder (and a chilling one) of our own propensity to sin? Friends, I cannot say.