[LEAPSECS] Saint Crispin's Day

Zefram zefram at fysh.org
Mon Oct 25 18:07:09 EDT 2010

Michael Sokolov wrote:

> Are you saying you are going to vote for a sheriff

>who would storm her house with guns to force her to stop using the term

>UTC for her own time scale with her own leap seconds?

No, and I don't see how you could think I was proposing such a thing.
I might well object to someone using a technical term in a manner
contrary to its official definition, but it's not the kind of thing
that's up for enforcement. In any case, I didn't actually address my
own opinion on the usage of the name.

I think a couple of people on this list are reading too much into legal
definitions. It is not in general prohibited to use the timescale
of your choice in whatever way you like. No one is proposing legal
penalties for the use of sundials, TAI, moondials, or whatever, and it
would be ludicrous for there to be any such penalty.

For the record, I think the name "UTC" should refer only (as it does
now) to a time scale that approximates UT1 using a piecewise linear
function of TAI. If something radically different from this were to
be called "UTC" then it would make the term de facto ambiguous. As, in
fact, is the case, in less esoteric fora, where "UTC" in practice means
"whatever form of UT I have to hand", just as "GMT" does. I get annoyed
but haven't sent in the sheriffs.


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