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833Re: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)

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  • BUDAI Andrew
    Mar 2, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tex Texin
      Sent: 2004 03  01, Monday  18:58
      Subject: [ISO8601] weekends (was Re: DayLight Savings Time Changes)

      NGUYEN Adam wrote:
      > Yes, 'weekend' is almost always used in a social sense. It usually isn't
      > (well, it shouldn't be) used in technical, scientific, or legal documents.
      > The term 'weekend' technically can mean Sunday in an ISO (and western)
      > (work)week but, is almost always used to mean the last two days of the week.

      No, and that's my point. Sunday is the first day of the week in western
      calendars. (?)

      weekend generally means the days I have off, it is the end of (or more
      accurately "after") the work week, and is not strictly the end of the week
      meaning days 6 and 7.

          2004 03 02  (Tuesday)  15:52
      I feel compelled to support NGUYEN Adam's view, and disagree with Tex this time.  As a European-born American teaching English in Asia, I look at the question more from the angle of language as a tool of social communication, rather than what something one computer tells another computer.  While I read with interest all you programmers and techno-gurus had to say about the computer end of dates and times, I need to re-emphasize that there is a more pressing need for English in e-communication for everyday folks like us. 
      Firstly, I refuse to start from the premise that everything originated in the USA is world standard and to be emulated without criticism.  The Sunday to Saturday week is a US phenomenon, and it would be far-fetched to call it "western".
      My Canadian and Brazilian calendars, as well as the French and German calendars with which I became familiar in the last few years, all subscribe to the idea that the week begins on Monday.  Otherwise, we would have a 5-day workweek sandwiched between a week-beginning day off and a week-ending day off, and everyone would be uncertain just when a week is a week.
      Another point I refuse to consider is that of religions.  See the following:
      > >From a religious point (Jewish and Christian) the Saturday is the end
      > of the week (the seventh day). Therefore the week start Sunday from
      > this sight. During the Jewish people have its rest day Saturday, the
      > Christian people have move its rest day to Sunday, the day of the
      > resurrection. IMHO two rest days was introduced in the last century,
      > maybe in future there are more than two rest days.
      Once you mention Christian, Jewish or Islamic rules, we may as well stop trying to make sense.  Religious leaders have never striven to establish a unified, world standard in any of the areas of science or business. 
      For them, Divide & impera works fine, thank you.
      So much for lumping all of Europe and South America together with U.S. traditions and customs and claiming it to be blind followers of the States.  When I teach English, I tell my students that international communication is NOT synonymous with American English.  My Dutch and Scandinavian friends also follow a general European attitude about dates and times, are supporters of inserting logic into a language that heretofore lacked logic in many areas.
      There may not be any scientific argument behind this. However, it all boils down to politics: should the world be an All-American family, accepting without hesitation everything that comes from the New World, or should we use some pragmatism, ask some questions about traditions, and especially, should we try to make some sense when using English as a world language. 
      BUDAI Endre  A. S.
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