Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In the Zone

One of my favorite things about flying back home to Michigan is hearing the automated timezone announcement at Detroit Metro Airport. In case you've never heard it, it runs about every ten minutes in the terminal and announces in English, Japanese, and Mandarin that Detroit is in the Eastern Timezone. As far as I know, this is the only message that they bothered to translate into any foreign languages. I can appreciate how confusing it can be for someone who doesn't speak English to travel to the US, but is it really necessary to tell people the name of the current timezone in their native language? For starters, airports have clocks all over the place, so anyone who is confused about the current time after a 12 hour flight from Asia only needs to look around for a few seconds. Never mind the fact that I doubt people who live outside of North America are familiar with the names that we give the timezones over here. I've found that the only people who really need to be reminded that Detroit is in the Eastern Time Zone are certain residents of the northeast who think that the Central Time Zone begins somewhere west of Schenectady.

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