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March 2017

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holmes confidence

who knows, mister gibson, what is and what is not relevant?

Dialect questionnaire!

In my recent European travels, I've noticed a couple of dialect markers of which I was previously unaware, and it made me curious.

So.

Poll #1752272 What time is it?

If you wish to indicate a time, such as 7:30 PM, which of the following idioms would you use?

"seven thirty"
346(59.0%)
"half eight"
13(2.2%)
"half seven"
72(12.3%)
"half after seven"
9(1.5%)
"nineteen thirty"
74(12.6%)
something else, which I will list in comments
72(12.3%)

I am from:

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...the only one of those which looks odd to me is "half eight." I grew up with "seven thirty" or "half past seven" when I was a kid (New Englander, but you know that :)), and tend to use "half seven" now after getting started with writing HP fic. "Nineteen thirty" I'm used to thanks to Kev and his military time...
I say "half past seven" too.
I'll use "ten till..." or "quarter after..." but once you get to 30, it just seems to make sense to say 30.
I would typically use "seven thirty", but less frequently "half past seven".
Ditto.
"Half past seven." (viz: "a quarter past seven" or "a quarter til seven." ETA (or "a quarter of seven" for 6:45)

Edited at 2011-06-14 06:49 pm (UTC)
YES! this is me as well. :)
I never remember if "half seven" means 7:30 or 6:30. I've spent plenty of time around a variety of Brits and Kiwis and Aussies and such, so I've heard the variations. I might use half past seven, but not half after seven. In writing I might use 19:30, especially if I know I'm communicating with people who use that system regularly. But I don't think I'd say it. But if someone says half seven I always have to ask because I can't remember which way that one goes! D'oh!
I say seven-thirty, but I write 19:30.
I'd also say half past seven, and if I'm in Germany, I'd say halb acht (half eight). (There are also regional variations on that in Germany, and people from Swabia say viertel acht (quarter eight) to mean 7:15 and drei-viertel acht to mean 7:45, which is confusing as hell.)
I might say seven-thirty, or half past seven. Never "half after". Time is "past" in that first half-hour, and then "to" the next. "After" and "till" and "of" all still sound strange and wrong to me, even after weeks in America...
Looking at the question, I realized that it depends on where I am and who I'm talking to. "Seven-thirty" in NYC but with my family we say "half-past," and when I talk to friends who use military time, I'm reasonably comfortable saying "nineteen-thirty."
I should add that we rarely distinguish the hour when we use "half past." It's (allegedly) identifiable by context. "When will you get here?" "Oh, half past-ish" or "We'll be heading out half-past, don't be late."

*frowns* That sounds very New Englandish, doesn't it? "Go down the road a piece, turn left where the barn used ta be..."
I forgot to add in the box that I was born in Australia, and raised for a chunk of my childhood in Germany. They would say Halb-Acht there. Which I sometimes lapse into and say half-eight ^_~
Nearly always "half seven," if not that then "seven thirty." The "past" in "half past seven" tends to get swallowed in most Northern English dialects, as far as I can tell.
I'd say "half past seven" as well. "Half after seven" sounds weird to me tho.
Ditto.
The first thing that tripped me up terribly with Finnish is that the idiom is 'half eight' (really, 'half to eight', but the 'to' is implied because there is no such particle in Finnish). 'Nineteen thirty' and 'seven thirty' are also common.

My MIL has been known to use a regional variation that's even more confusing -- 'quarter to half eight' or sometimes just 'quarter to half'!
I will sometimes use "half past seven", and the accent of "half" changes depending on my conversational partner.
This is in Swedish: "half eight" if I want to indicate a rather loose point in time - "yeah, around half eight" - whereas I'd use "seven thirty" or "nineteen thirty" if I want to indicate a precise point in time, using "nineteen thirty" for where I have to be specific about morning or evening (going out for beers or a movie - the first would be "half eight", the later "seven thirty" - but a flight would be "nineteen thirty").

In English I say "seven thirty", "nineteen thirty", or "half past seven".
But I'd only use the hour if I was referring to something in the past or future. If it was an inquiry, I'd most likely just say "x past" or "x to".
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