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From: (Emmanuel Uren)
Subject: Standardized names for Time Zones?
Date: 3 Nov 1994 01:21:09 -0500
Organization: The Internet
Lines: 17
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <399vgl$74p@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>
Reply-To: (Emmanuel Uren)

Does anyone know if there are standardized names for time zones?
How about in English, American, French, Spanish, Italian, German?  
Are there national standards for those names?
In American, would you use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) or UCT (Universal
Coordinated Time) as the time origin?
Thanks for any help.


Emmanuel Uren 
83 Seward Street        Compuserve:  76020,155
San Francisco CA 94114

Voice/Fax  415-552-9085 (but I must turn on my Mac to receive faxes)

From: (Paul Eggert)
Subject: Re: Standardized time zones
Date: 3 Nov 1994 18:34:24 -0800
Organization: Twin Sun Inc, El Segundo, CA, USA
Lines: 37
Message-ID: <39c6jg$>
References: <39b3mj$jav@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>
NNTP-Posting-Host: writes:

> Emmanuel Uren ( asks on 3 Nov 1994 01:21:09 -0500:
> > Are there national standards for those names?

> In Canada yes, CAN/CSA-Z234.4-89 (abbreviations given in both English and
> French, in both French and English versions).

That's interesting.  Mind telling us what the abbreviations are?

As far as I know, no other country officially standardizes the abbreviations.
The best informal list of time zone names that I know of
can be retrieved via FTP from in pub/tz*.
Those tables contain all sorts of fun data, e.g.
Montreal first used daylight savings time as a 1-month experiment
starting March 25, 1917.

> > In American, would you use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) or UCT
> > (Universal Coordinated Time) as the time origin?

In popular English usage, the term ``GMT'' dominates.  GMT is not quite
the same as UTC, but most people don't care about the difference.

> Correction: not UCT, but UTC, Universal Time, coordinated.

My understanding is that ``UTC'' is the international standard abbreviation,
and was chosen because it's equally awkward in both English and French.
In English I've seen the abbreviations ``UCT'' (Universal Coordinated Time)
and ``CUT'' (Coordinated Universal Time), but I see ``UTC'' the most often.

> Based on measurements made in Paris Observatory,

Actually, UTC is based on measurements made in observatories all over the
world.  The Paris Observatory used to coordinate these observations,
but these days it's done at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures,
located in S<e`>vres.

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