A good candidate for the Blog Post of the Year from Zach Holman. I think Eric Portis’ “w descriptors and sizes: Under the hood” is up there too, but perhaps even nerdier. Ooooh, also Frank Chimero’s “The Good Room” is up there. But I digress.
Zach’s article is as educational as it is funny.
But yeah, this UTC initialism doesn’t make any sense. Let’s dig into this a little more.
So you’ve got a bunch of scientist types around 1960 who are like, hey, time is all screwy we should totes make a standard. And some of them spoke English, and some of them spoke French, which, of course, is the cause of so much conflict over so many generations. (In hindsight, maybe we should have split all those troublemakers up from the start.)
The English-speaking folk were like yo, this definitely sounds like Coordinated Universal Time, boom, ship it. And the French speakers were like yeah that makes total sense! Temps Universel Coordonné DOES work out well in our language, too, ship it! Then they both looked up and realized cool, they’ve created both CUT and TUC for acronyms. Shit.
When your standard — that is expressly meant to standardize time — doesn’t even standardize on a standard acronym, well, damn, that probably doesn’t bode well for your standard.
It’s a big custom-designed multimedia adventure, not to mention a clever bit of content marketing done right.