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Pedants' corner

One-year anniversary

13 replies

badtime · 14/07/2014 13:39

When did everybody start saying x-year anniversary, instead of xth anniversary?

Anniversary means 'year's return' (ish). Why do people feel the need to say 'year' again?

(see also 3-month anniversary. Aargh.)

OP posts:
DadDadDad · 14/07/2014 18:14

Relax: etymology doesn't fix meaning and usage forever.
Does saying "x-year anniversary" cause any ambiguity? Isn't "3-month anniversary" an entirely sensible, comprehensible and fertile extension of the meaning?

badtime · 15/07/2014 13:46

This is Pedants' Corner.

I don't come here to be relaxed, I come here to be pedantic.

OP posts:
LiberalPedant · 15/07/2014 13:51

Grin at badtime

DadDadDad · 15/07/2014 20:22

But fellow pedants, let me show you a third way: be picky in your own writing, promote good writing, enjoy your grasp of subtle points of meaning and grammar, but don't judge others.

Particularly, don't judge others when they are posting informally on a forum. It's easy to think that poor spelling and the rest are signs of low intelligence, but I don't think the correlation is always that clear.

Now, when I read a book and come across lazy style or grammatical errors then I get irritated because an editor has not done the job they were paid to do, but otherwise I prefer to keep calm.

(Singular 'they' used consciously in previous sentence as a widely accepted and respectable genderless pronoun)

badtime · 15/07/2014 23:32

Yes, but this is Pedants' Corner.

This thread is not having a go at people, it is expressing frustration with woolly use of language. It is perfectly appropriate for Pedants' Corner.

Go to a nasty 'pedantry' thread on AIBU or Chat and tell people to stop.

This section is to discuss the correct use of language, and to try to understand use and misuse better. Most of the people who post here do not pick at people on other boards, and are often critical of those who do. Why have you appointed yourself the Sheriff of Pedantville, and do you not think you would be better off directing your judgemental comments at people who actually do what you accuse them of? (And there is nothing wrong, in English, with ending a sentence with a preposition - that was early-modern classicist grammar wank.)

(WRT the singular 'they' - I am a big fan, and tend to go apeshit at anyone who says it is incorrect, as it is very well established.)

OP posts:
BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure · 15/07/2014 23:38

"... but don't judge others. "

Have you been on MN long?


Seriously, I agree with badtime - this topic is to save the other topics.

DadDadDad · 16/07/2014 00:02

Hmm, well I was only making suggestions, not telling anyone what to do.

This section is to discuss the correct use of language, and to try to understand use and misuse better. I totally agree, but I don't see why that then implies we need to get angry (even within the confines of this topic) about people elsewhere on a discussion forum for not follow formal grammar or spelling, or even always getting the meaning right, as long as they are communicating with each other and able to sensibly discuss whatever subject they want.

I see the value of Pedants' Corner as helping people understand and answer questions like "is it all right to use they for as a singular pronoun"? Surely, friendly, enlightening discussion about such topics is more appealing than rage?

And, yes, I read AIBU, so I'm well aware that a fair bit of judging takes place on MN. Smile

DadDadDad · 16/07/2014 00:06

I can see a couple of typos in what I've just written, so please don't judge me either! Sad

Isabeller · 16/07/2014 00:11

Is pedant's corner really the appropriate place to discuss judgemental posting? Grin

Would third mensiversary or Thirteenth hebdomadisary work?

DadDadDad · 16/07/2014 00:14

Anyway, badtime, I'm much more interested in having a fruitful discussion about the question you originally raised, rather than trying to get confrontational, so sorry if I came across that way.

So, I think you are saying that you find the usage "three-month anniversary" frustrating and woolly. Can you explain a bit more? I mean woolly to me suggests some ambiguity of meaning, but I can't see that.

And is there no merit to my suggestion that it's a perfectly comprehensible and fertile extension of the meaning?

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure · 16/07/2014 00:49

The original post simply said, "Aargh." A fairly mild expression of exasperation. Your second post in particular was pretty fulsome, given what OP had posted up to that point, don't you think?

Back on topic - I am never sure whether "bi-weekly" means "once a fortnight" or "twice a week". So I never use it. Which is it, please?

PetulaGordino · 16/07/2014 04:32

Bill both are used correctly, though I think more commonly the bi part refers to the month rather than the event, so it would be every two months usually. If you want to say twice a month it would be easier to use "fortnightly" (if you're British) anyway.

Thumbwitch · 16/07/2014 05:13

Daddad I think you may be posting in the wrong area. Wink

We're not here to be enlightened, we're here because we already think we ARE the Enlightened Ones and to rant about others who are not so Enlightened.


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