Time stamps

I posted to Language Log yesterday about a bit of complexity in saying that Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day. At the beginning of the posting, I said that the day in question was “tomorrow, Thursday 12 February”, but added that it already was Thursday 12 February in some places — much of Australia, for instance. At the end of posting I noted that by that point it was Thursday 12 February throughout Australia.

The time stamp on that  message says it was posted on February 11, 2009, at 10:35 a.m. In fact, I clicked on Publish at 7:35 a.m., my time (US Pacific Time). Language Log time is US Eastern Time. So if I submit a posting at 10 p.m. on one day it will be stamped as posted at 1 a.m. the next day — which can make reference to previous postings a little tricky (“as I wrote yesterday”? “as I wrote earlier today”?).

For this blog, WordPress uses UTC, so that the time stamped on postings is eight hours later than local time, with occasional odd results: “An eye-catching headline” is labeled as having been posted at 2:07 a.m. on February 8, though I wrote it the evening before (local time).

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