Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by kira, May 4, 2012.

  1. kira Valued Senior Member

    Hello all, especially Fraggle Rocker, how are you? I come here to bother you again :eek:.

    I haven't been around for so long, and now that I am here, I am in a very tight deadline, so I hope you would excuse me if this question has been asked before. Also, I am a bit panic with some deadlines :eek:

    My question probably sounds silly ^^, but I honestly don't know the answer. I would like to ask your help regarding the definition of deadline.

    Supposed in an Application Form it is written:
    #1. The deadline of submission is May 5, 2012.
    #2. Please submit it by May 5, 2012
    #3. Please submit it not later than May 5, 2012
    #4. Correction of abstracts can only be done before the deadline of May 5, 2012.

    Does this mean that for each of the question above, I can still submit my document on May 5, 2012, 23:59 PM (or is it May 4, 2012, 23:59 PM)?

    Is this valid for all forms of "deadline" above (#1 ~ #4), or do they have different answers?

    :shrug: Thank you in advance :)
  2. kira Valued Senior Member

    Of course everyone else besides Fraggle is welcome to respond. My native language isn't English. Thanks in advance :)
  3. kira Valued Senior Member

    If possible, please help me to answer within the next 30 min, because over here is 23:25 PM, and I need to correct something which deadline is May 5, 2012.

    I need to know whether I still have 24.5 hours or 0.5 hour.

    If 24.5, I have enough time to make proper correction. If not, I must send it within 0.5 h :bawl:

  4. kira Valued Senior Member

    What I mean is, I have already prepared something, but I am not happy with what I made.
    If I could fixed it until the next 24.5 h, I will not send it now. If I could not, I will send it now because if the deadline is crossed it will be useless. I don't want to send 2 times (now, and then taking a risk to send again tomorrow).

  5. kira Valued Senior Member

    I'd be happy enough if you could answer it with just A (May 5, 23:59 PM) or B (May 4, 23:59 PM). Ok, I think I post too much. Thanks and bye for now.
  6. spidergoat alien lie form Valued Senior Member

    It depends. Sometimes things must be postmarked by that date, even if they arrive later. But if they don't say that, it means that it must be in their hands before the end of the business day on that day, so before 17:00 May 5. If they accept electronic documents any time, I would guess it means before May 5, 2012, 23:59. Just my guess.
  7. kira Valued Senior Member

    That makes sense, thanks! I was hoping someone would reply earlier though :bawl: I pressed the "send" button a few minutes ago (on May 4, 23:58 PM) because I don't think I should take a risk. I think the end of the office day in a week is also Friday. Perhaps I should sent it before 17:00 on May 4, though. Anyway, I submitted it on May 4, so I am a 100% sure I submitted it before the deadline.

    The tale of a procrastinator :wave:

    p.s.: I am still curious, though, the answers for each question I posted above. Just in case of emergency ^^v

    Thanks, may you have a nice weekend :)
  8. spidergoat alien lie form Valued Senior Member

    Oh yeah, today is friday. I think you did it correctly. Even native English speakers get confused by this, they should make it more clear.
  9. kira Valued Senior Member

    That's true. It would be much easier if a deadline is written something like:
    May 5, 2012, 17:00 PM.

    In that case, people know that May 5, 2012, 16:59 PM is still ok, whereas May 5, 2012, 17:01 PM is not ok. The number of people who do it exactly on May 5, 2012, 17:00 PM is probably very few because there is only 1 minute chance for that, not 24 h :p

    /unhappy but relieved, fiuuhh... thanks, bye for now :sleep:
  10. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    Sorry, I have a day job like most people so my ability to log onto SciForums during working hours is very limited. But you've gotten some good advice.

    If a deadline is expressed as a day, without a clock time, then the default value is 23:59:59. In other words, until the clock turns over and says it's now the next day, it's still the day of the deadline.

    There's some controversy over whether midnight is the last second of the old day or the first second of the new day. But since we call midnight 12:00a.m., it obviously belongs to the next morning, not the previous evening. AFAIK all computer systems use that rule.

    In the United States, the deadline for submitting our income tax forms and checks is April 15th. That means we have until midnight at the very end of April 15th to take the envelope to the post office and have it postmarked on April 15th. (Unless that day is a holiday anywhere in the country. This year it was Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia so the date was moved to April 16.)

    In practice every major post office in America stays open until about 3am the night after tax day. They have people standing out in the street to collect the envelopes in order to make the traffic more efficient so they don't cause a safety hazard. And they always kindly stop their clocks so they are all postmarked April 15.
  11. visitor123 Registered Member

    Hi Kira, I will try to help you although it is late for this time. You may save it for next time.

    Here we go statement by statement:

    #1. The deadline of submission is May 5, 2012.

    ++ You must submit the application before May 5, 2012 or on May 5, 2012.
    Your attention is drawn to a point in time (deadline) as a stop sign. Beyond that
    line, your action is pretty much "dead". If you happen to be in different time zone
    than the receiving end, keep in mind that it is about the date and time of the
    other party, not yours. Some institutions may be strict on the time stamp
    ( May 5, 2012 at 24:00). You better stay on the safe side and submit an hour
    before the very last hour.

    #2. Please submit it by May 5, 2012

    +++ Here the word "by" has the same meaning as "deadline". The nuance is that
    with "by" the focus is on the lengrh of time leading to the deadline rather than the
    stop sign.

    #3. Please submit it not later than May 5, 2012

    +++ #3 and #2 are synonymous.

    #4. Correction of abstracts can only be done before the deadline of May 5, 2012.

    ++++ It may be easier for you to interpret this statement through its opposite (contraposition) :
    "Beyond (after) the deadline of May 5, 2012, it will not be possible to make any correction
    of abstracts."

    In elementary logic, it is said that if a statement is true then its "contrapositon" is true also.

    Isn't the second infered statement easier to understand ?

    In essence, all these statements are saying pretty much the same thing: submit before this date or you are out.

    # Does this mean that for each of the question above, I can still submit my document on May 5, 2012, 23:59 PM (or is it May 4, 2012, 23:59 PM)?

    +++ Why wait the very last second to make an electronic submission ? You can never trust computer communications to work perfectly all the time. My little experience taught me that,
    a computer misbehaves (runs amok) when you least expect it to. It can betray you any time.

    I hope this helps you and other non-native speakers of English (like me) who have been struggling for decades to understand this beautiful language.

    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  12. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    In general, this is not true of paper mail in the USA. The postmark is what matters, and each time zone uses its own time. We only have four time zones in the Lower 48 States so it's no big deal, but Alaska and Hawaii stretch that. (They are newcomers which were merely territories when I was young. ;))
    No. They are saying: submit on or before this date. If it includes a time then okay, you're right. But in this case it does not. If it says the deadline is June 30, then you can submit it at any time on June 30, right up to 11:59:59 pm.
    Indeed. In my observation all e-mail programs record the date and time when the item was received, not when it was sent. Your "Sent Mail" folder may show that you sent the document at 11:50pm on June 30. But if your internet service provider has a problem and can't clear all of its customers' e-mail right away, it may show up on the recipient's "Received Mail" folder with a receipt time of 12:05am on July 1.
    Anglophone is the word for a native speaker of English. Everyone else is a non-anglophone. We also have the words francophone, russophone, hispanophone, sinophone, etc.; although in the USA we seldom use any of those words except anglophone and francophone.

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