NEWS

When does the evening begin?

06/20/2013 10:54 EDT | Updated 08/20/2013 05:12 EDT
An innocuous discussion in the CBC Radio One On the Coast pod has led to a full-on, drag 'em out, gloves off debate: when does evening begin?

Stephen Quinn, the host of On the Coast, says "good afternoon" to greet guests throughout the show, which runs from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. He believes the evening begins at 6. So does traffic reporter Lisa Christiansen.

Story producer and fill-in host Matthew Lazin-Ryder disagrees. He thinks the evening begins at 5 p.m. and, when he hosts, can be heard opening the five o'clock hour with "good evening". (For the record, I agree.)

With all of the discordance and disagreement flying across the newsroom floor, we decided to investigate.

David Coley, an assistant professor of English at Simon Fraser University says the word evening originates from the old English word "æfnunge" which means "to grow towards evening," which explains nothing really.

But if you go further back, that word comes from "ǽfen" which Coley says seems to mean "moving toward twilight".

"My sense is that this idea of 'moving toward twilight' means that evening changes from day-to-day as the length of the day changes," he said in an interview with On the Coast.

"It's the point just before night."

Because a winner of the argument could not be crowned, the On the Coast team was not completely satisfied with this response. So we asked for your thoughts on twitter. Almost no one could agree.

On the Coast, hosted by Stephen Quinn, is on the air every weekday afternoon (and evening?) between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on CBC Radio One. 88.1 FM / 690 AM in Metro Vancouver.

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