Possible Duplicate:
“Yesterday” time specification shown when it was actually the day before yesterday

I asked the question on 26 January at 16:07:44.

Today, on 28 January at 15:06:12 GMT+2 it is marked as "asked yesterday", while tooltip message still displays the "2 days back time":

Odd date

I've found almost the similar question on Meta from April 2011. And I guess the "problem" remains because of different time zone used internally, besides my basic calculations still can't give me "yesterday" for the given time (and it seems I'm wrong).

Anyway, even if my maths is bad, and the question can be tagged with , I see an obviously confusing discrepancy of labels and tooltips. Maybe we need to change the contents of labels to make things more clear? Since mentally for me "yesterday" was yesterday from the wake up till night sleep, but not 46 or 47 hours ago. Meanwhile many even might not know what Z in the date means.

Let it be a feature request. What I see to be less confusing:

  1. before 48 hours: "asked/answered X hours ago"
  2. after 48 hours: "asked/answered MMM DD 'YY at HH:MM"

In order to prove my idea, here is a link to English online dictionary for the word "day". We can see that there are several common meanings like: "when you are awake", "not night", "time at work", which contradicts with the astronomical meaning of the word.

  • 2
    Short info: You didn't ask that question at 16:07 of your time, but at 16:07 UTC. Still confusing as it wasn't yesterday even in UTC.
    – Ral Zarek
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:22
  • 5
    Equate downvotes on this with "I've gotten used to this weirdness and am now just comfortable with it, screw clarity for everyone else." Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


Posting times are displayed in the UTC timezone. At the time you took that screenshot, it was 13:06:02 UTC, and the post was made less than 45 hours before. You can see that in the time displayed in the tooltip; it's formatted as a ISO 8601 date time string; the Z stands for the UTC timezone.

You need to wait another 4 hours before it'll show that it was asked 2 days ago.

If you look at the reputation dropdown in the top bar, you'll find it displays the current time in UTC:

UTC time

  • OK. Thanks for giving a reason for that, I see that I am totally confused with time zones. But the request still remains: the users shouldn't know anything about the internal time, they need a clear time display, considering their own time zone.
    – VisioN
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:21
  • @VisioN: Do you see that the time display in the title tooltip has a Z behind it? That Z means UTC time.. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:24
  • So, does it mean that it shouldn't be yesterday by all means, if I definitely asked the question two days ago?
    – VisioN
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:39
  • @VisioN: Any age between 24 and 48 hours old is called 'yesterday'. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:44
  • 12
    Not to most humans. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:49
  • The problem is that the definition of "yesterday" differs from timezone to timezone. SE users live all over the world! Only after 24 hours is it definitely yesterday for each and every timezone on earth. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:07
  • I would like my questions to be marked as being asked two days in the future. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:17
  • @MartijnPieters Mathematically it is true, but not mentally. For me yesterday was on 27th from my wake up till the late night, when I went to bed. And I'm sure most have the same criteria.
    – VisioN
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:29
  • @VisioN: Not just mathematically. For someone in the world, you posted that question at 00:07. It won't be 'yesterday' for them until 24 hours later. That's the reality of running a site for a worldwide audience. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:37
  • 3
    @MartijnPieters Then I'd refuse of utilizing the constructions like "yesterday", "2 days ago" etc, since "day" as a word has different meanings.
    – VisioN
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:39
  • 1
    @DaveNewton I would also like to reserve a table at the restaurant at the end of the universe ^_^. I heared that Jon Skeet has his personal chair there, just near Chuck Norris one (so THAT is how he manages to always reply before others)
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:47

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