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West Midlands Police said the devices were found outside an address in Coronation Road, Tipton, just after midnight on Wednesday.

MSN news : Bomb Squad Called

It is now Wednesday. To me, 'midnight on Wednesday' means midnight tonight. And after 'midnight on Wednesday' it will be tomorrow - Thursday.

It actually took me a moment or two to work out that the Bomb Squad incident in Tipton (West Midlands, UK) happened early this morning.

I think the report should have said 'after midnight on Wednesday morning'.

Am I wrong ?

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  • It's ambidextrous.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2020 at 12:16
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    There is a semantic ambiguity, as in "squad called just after (midnight on Wed.)" versus "squad called (just after midnight (on Wed.))". The former sounds like it could be on Wed at 12:02 AM. You might be thinking of the latter. But I think there is no pragmatic ambiguity. The latter, being just after Wed's midnight, should also refer to Wed at 12:02 AM. I don't think Thu. is in view.
    – rajah9
    Jun 24, 2020 at 12:18
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    'On Wednesday, just after midnight'. Though inherently ambiguous, this is the heavily default reading. Jun 24, 2020 at 18:54

1 Answer 1

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It's a matter of style.

I can't determine what style MSN deliberately uses, but it may be that they have inherited the Microsoft corporate style, midnight belongs to the day it starts, or Wednesday as in the example.

midnight, noon Use noon and midnight. Don't use 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight.

Midnight is the beginning of the new day, not the end of the old one.

By comparison, the AP (Associated Press) Style Guide, says this

AP Style also notes that midnight is part of the day that is ending, not the one that is beginning.

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    Your answer appreciated. I have no idea why it was down-voted (since the voter did not tell us) so I have cancelled it with an up-vote.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 25, 2020 at 3:08
  • I rarely worry about downvotes; I guess the answer could be more focused on just the MSN/Microsoft style, though I thought the comparison to "generic journalism" was of material interest.
    – user662852
    Jun 25, 2020 at 19:21

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