Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1993 05:17:03 -0600

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: Half Past the Hour

As a complete outsider - being a Frenchman - I HAVE

discovered Twenty after three and twenty of three

in Stephen King's novel.What is the actual US norm?

That's a good question. I've reached the conclusion that I'm wrong

in thinking that "half past" is uncommon in the US since almost everybody

I've asked, both on and off this list, has said that it's quite common.

Interestingly, I still haven't heard anybody use it -- I've just heard

people SAY that they use it and then a little while later say X-thirty

in a different conversation. My informal research has been going on for

only a few days, however.

Do twenty past and twenty to sound English to an American


They sound like ordinary US usage to me, although I would say "twenty

after" and "twenty till" or possibly "twenty of."

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]