Sunday, 10 May 2015

Reading The Time

When I 1st started my job here, I couldn't get used to the way they read the time. Since I work in an operating theatre, we frequently need to agree on the surgery time start & time end so it tallies on both the casenotes & on the computer system. I did this in Sg as well but we always say the time as it is. 10.10 am is ten ten. 4.25 pm is always four twenty five. But over here, up to 30 mins past the hour is always read XX past. 15 mins past the hour is always read as quarter past. 30 mins is of course half past. Anything after the half hour mark is always XX to. 45 mins past is always quarter to.

After a while, I came to realise that this is the Australian way of reading time. I was giving out appointment time when I was working in recovery & I said eleven fifty (11.50 am). The patient repeated the time back to me as ten to twelve. When I thought about it, it occurred to me that it is always the same on the radio. The DJ will always read the time as twenty seven past six (6.27 am) or thirteen to seven (6.47 am). Although we were taught briefly in school as a kid, it did take me a while to get used to this way of reading the time. But when I read the time, I'll unconsciously use the SG way like I did with the patient in recovery. It's not easy to undo 30 years of conditioning.

1 comment:

  1. > we were taught briefly in school as a kid

    I think we were taught the same "x (min) past y (hour)", "x (min) to y (hour)" in school because both Australia and Singapore are former British colonies, and British often tell time in the above form.