We are twins by last name
Our duty is almost the same

We are off twice a day
When shown in a lengthy way

In our duty we alternate
In that way, mutually we are considerate

Who are we ?

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Are you

AM (ante meridiem) and PM (post meridiem)?

We are twins by last name

meridiem

Our duty is almost the same
We are off twice a day
When shown in a lengthy way

Literally, using "ante meridiem" (i.e. "before midday") at 12:00 AM (midnight) and "post meridiem" (i.e. "after midday") at 12:00 PM (noon) makes little sense. (thanks @Pugmonkey)

In our duty we alternate
In that way, mutually we are considerate

A day is equally split between AM and PM which alternate every 12 hours and have the same duty: telling what part of the day a 1-12h time is referring to.

  • 1
    I see we have similar lines of thinking. (Now that I think about it, your answer is probably better than mine, and probably correct). – Joe-You-Know Aug 10 at 17:07
  • Well explained, except for the we are off twice ... lengthy way part. Can you please elaborate on this? – Mea Culpa Nay Aug 10 at 17:12
  • I will elaborate on "we are off" which is linked to alternate IMO, but I'm unsure about the "lengthy way" which probably refers to the full name. I don't see why it is different from the abbreviation. So I'll probably need some help for that part. – xhienne Aug 10 at 17:16
  • "Off twice a day" refers to rot13(abba) and rot13(zvqavtug) which are neither rot13 (nagr abe cbfg gur zrevqvrz). – Pugmonkey Aug 10 at 17:26
  • There you are @Pugmonkey :P – Mea Culpa Nay Aug 10 at 17:38

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I believe you are

The minute and hour hands on a clock

We are twins by last name

Minute hand and Hour hand

Our duty is almost the same

Both measure time differently

We are off twice a day
When shown in a lengthy way

Six O'Clock

In our duty we alternate

Depending on the type of clock, the hour hand may only move when the minute hand reaches the hour. In that case, they would alternate.

In that way, mutually we are considerate

Each hand plays off of each other.

As for the title

The minute and hour hands constitute the most important parts of a clock.

  • Curious and interesting one. They(the hands of a clock) are off more than twice technically ...in a day :P – Mea Culpa Nay Aug 10 at 17:14

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