Originally Posted by rabend
Ziggy: I am trying to establish why you would not want to hook up the base with reverse polarity from an authoritative source such as the folks that developed the standard for the socket.
I think the likelihood of a short is marginally greater with reversed polarity, but normally the outer shell is hidden inside the fixture anyway.
The same convention applies to the 110V AC circuits. The base is normally hot, and the outer case is neutral. This reduces the chance of a shock from accidentally contacting the socket.
Same convention also applies to cigarette lighter plugs.
It makes sense to me that there should be a convention for the polarity of sockets and connectors, and if you have to make a choice, negative outer shell seems more sensible than the reverse. If you want an authoritative source, you should contact ABYC. Good luck getting a response.