Time it right: Don’t use 12 a.m./12 p.m.

Quick, is 12 a.m. noon or midnight? What about 12 p.m., is that midnight or noon?

Don’t know the answer? Don’t feel stupid, most readers won’t either.

And that’s a good reason to not use either term. Doing so is akin to including words from a foreign language that your readers wouldn’t know.

Instead, use noon or midnight.

Incidentally, 12 a.m. is midnight, and 12 p.m. is noon.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.