Monday, October 29, 2001

Where exactly did the phrase ''Daylight Savings' Time'' come from? I vaguely recall that the concept was instituted during the War (WWI or WWII, take your pick) to help farmers by giving them more time to work in the fields. Although the only extra time it would seem to give is to the poor farm children who need daylight to do chores before going to school. I don't see how it saves daylight at all. And while it was nice to get that extra hour of sleep yesterday, it's so dark now. Daylight Savings' Time seems, at this point, mainly to benefit people who for some strange reason like to be up early in the morning.

I don't understand.

The Swedish phrase for the day is klockan 6.59, which is the time the sun rose this morning in Stockholm. This particular time could be expressed in several ways, one of them being en i sju - one before seven - or sex-femtio-nio - six fifty-nine. The pronunciation is even more interesting, but I'm not so good on proper phonetic spelling, and the proper pronunciation of the word sju here in Stockholm is nearly impossible to describe: the sj is sort of like an sh spoken through slightly more clenched teeth and with the tongue low in the mouth and almost touching the lower teeth as opposed to more raised, rounded and touching the sides of the upper teeth. It also requires blowing more, and making almost a wh sound as well. It's probably the most difficult Swedish sound for an English speaker.

- by Francis S.

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