Six-month anniversary?

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John Hall

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Oct 9, 2003, 8:39:50 PM10/9/03
to
Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
"the six-month anniversary of...".

Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
future general acceptance of meaning change?

However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
alternative.

--
John W Hall <wweexxss...@telus.net>
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.
"Helping People Prosper in the Information Age"

Robert Lieblich

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Oct 9, 2003, 9:00:13 PM10/9/03
to
John Hall wrote:
>
> Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
> "the six-month anniversary of...".
>
> Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
> being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
> future general acceptance of meaning change?

It's no harbinger, but only because the meaning has already changed.


>
> However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
> alternative.

Before knocking yourself on a search for some alternative, have a
look at what the dictionaries say about "anniversary." Like it or
not, the word is now used for the passage of time periods as short
as a week. Usage doesn't necessarily match up to etymology.
Witness "decimate."

--
Bob Lieblich
Happy six-month anniversary

R H Draney

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Oct 10, 2003, 1:59:43 AM10/10/03
to
John Hall filted:

>
>Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
>"the six-month anniversary of...".
>
>Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
>being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
>future general acceptance of meaning change?

Future, indeed...I've heard references to a "two-week" anniversary....

>However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
>alternative.

"Sixth mensiversary"?...r

mb

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Oct 10, 2003, 3:31:14 AM10/10/03
to
Robert Lieblich <Robert....@Verizon.net> wrote
...

> Before knocking yourself on a search for some alternative, have a
> look at what the dictionaries say about "anniversary." Like it or
> not, the word is now used for the passage of time periods as short
> as a week. Usage doesn't necessarily match up to etymology.
> Witness "decimate."

I'd suggest again that this is not a good enough answer. Now used, OK,
but by whom? Where? In which ling. environments exactly? Which ones
see no problem with it and which ones won't buy it at any price? Even
"decimate_2", pretty general by now, would still cause a pinching of
nostrils in a few circles.

John Dean

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Oct 10, 2003, 8:05:28 AM10/10/03
to

Tain't in OED 2nd - they cling tenaciously to the annual business. A quick
browse through OneLook suggests the same of others. Can you cite a
dictionary with a different approach?
--
John Dean
Oxford
De-frag to reply


Harvey Van Sickle

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Oct 10, 2003, 8:09:10 AM10/10/03
to
On 10 Oct 2003, R H Draney wrote
> John Hall filted:

-snip-

>> However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
>> alternative.
>
> "Sixth mensiversary"?...r

Surely that's *way* too easy to mistake for a sexist term (cf.
niggardly.....)

--
Cheers, Harvey
...sstruggling not to use a winking thingie...

Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)

Ross Howard

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Oct 10, 2003, 8:13:40 AM10/10/03
to
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 00:39:50 GMT, John Hall
<wweexxss...@telus.net> wrought:

>Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
>"the six-month anniversary of...".
>
>Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
>being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
>future general acceptance of meaning change?
>
>However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
>alternative.

Isn't what people have always said as simple as "exactly six months
ago, on 10 April. . ."?

***********
Ross Howard

Raymond S. Wise

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Oct 10, 2003, 8:41:44 AM10/10/03
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"John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:bm678t$3tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...


*Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary,* 11th ed.:


[quote, from entry "anniversary"]

1 : the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; _broadly_ : a
date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in
units other than years <the 6-month _anniversary_ of the accident>

[end quote]


--
Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com


Ross Howard

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Oct 10, 2003, 9:30:43 AM10/10/03
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On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 07:41:44 -0500, "Raymond S. Wise"
<illinoi...@mninter.net> wrought:

Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
decades and eighty-three-year centuries.

WIth dictionary entries like that, who needs solecisms?

***********
Ross Howard

Steffen Buehler

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Oct 10, 2003, 9:35:32 AM10/10/03
to
Ross Howard wrote:

> Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
> decades and eighty-three-year centuries.

You forgot the forty-hours week and the eight-hours day.

Best regards
Steffen

david56

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Oct 10, 2003, 10:03:21 AM10/10/03
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steffen...@freenet.de spake thus:

English idiom is not to pluralise "unit" nouns, so we say: the eight
hour day, the forty hour week, the six foot man, the four stone cat.
I'm not convinced by those hyphens either.

--
David
=====

Raymond S. Wise

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Oct 10, 2003, 10:33:16 AM10/10/03
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"Ross Howard" <ggu...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:vscdovklo5e6u6dk1...@4ax.com...


No semester which I ever had to deal with was as long as six months. Four an
d a half months was probably the longest.

"Six-month anniversary" may be a solecism to you, but your usage doesn't
make another person's usage of it a solecism: "Six-month anniversary"
contains an extended sense of the word "anniversary." Its meaning, like that
of any other word, depends entirely on usage.

The thing worth complaining about is when a word is used with two meanings
which may cause some actual misunderstanding. I am convinced, for example,
that the metaphorical meaning commonly given to
"schizophrenia/schizophrenic" leads some people to misunderstand the nature
of the disease schizophrenia. I suspect that some people who use "galaxy" to
mean "a solar system" actually have no idea of the true nature of the
universe, and don't know about the universe being composed of huge
collections of stars called "galaxies."

But no one now takes "melancholy" to mean an unbalance in the body's humors
and "six-month anniversary" leads no one astray.

Padraig Breathnach

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Oct 10, 2003, 11:37:47 AM10/10/03
to
Ross Howard <ggu...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
>decades and eighty-three-year centuries.
>

Ten-day fortnights? That's shortchanging the punter; the French offer
fifteen days.

Hotels in Ireland offer weekly rates which include six night's
accommodation.

--
PB
The return address has been MUNGED

Raymond S. Wise

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Oct 10, 2003, 12:56:01 PM10/10/03
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"Padraig Breathnach" <padr...@MUNGEDiol.ie> wrote in message
news:bdkdovkqsbg85lbl7...@4ax.com...

> Ross Howard <ggu...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
> >decades and eighty-three-year centuries.
> >
> Ten-day fortnights? That's shortchanging the punter; the French offer
> fifteen days.
>
> Hotels in Ireland offer weekly rates which include six night's
> accommodation.


Some American newspapers contrast the "weekday editions" of their newspaper
with the "Sunday edition." Some contrast the "weekday editions" with their
"Saturday edition" and "Sunday edition." *Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary,* 11th ed., gives a definition of "weekday" which agrees with
both of those: "a day of the week except Sunday or sometimes except Saturday
and Sunday."

Steve Hayes

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Oct 10, 2003, 1:28:41 PM10/10/03
to
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 00:39:50 GMT, John Hall <wweexxss...@telus.net>
wrote:

>Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
>"the six-month anniversary of...".
>
>Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
>being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
>future general acceptance of meaning change?
>
>However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
>alternative.

I sometimes say "monthiversary", only half in jest.


--
Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk

Ross Howard

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Oct 10, 2003, 1:42:47 PM10/10/03
to
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 15:03:21 +0100, david56
<bass.c...@ntlworld.com> wrought:

How else would you hyphenate "83 year centuries" without using
figures?

***********
Ross Howard

Ross Howard

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Oct 10, 2003, 1:49:14 PM10/10/03
to
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 11:56:01 -0500, "Raymond S. Wise"
<illinoi...@mninter.net> wrought:

>"Padraig Breathnach" <padr...@MUNGEDiol.ie> wrote in message

We're getting off the point (but not in the traditional way in this
group). If "anniversary" is now accepted to mean "the point upon which
any cycle of any period of time ends and the next begins" instead of
"the day upon which something happened exactly a year earlier", with
no notes about it being substandard usage, then why not open the
floodgates and let in infer=imply with no comment?

It seems to me that modern dictionaries seem all too ready to warn us
of what words and usages several different groups might find offensive
(cf. the niggardly business discussed in other threads) -- to the
exclusion of one group: those of us who aren't too keen on sloppy
English.

***********
Ross Howard

david56

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Oct 10, 2003, 2:02:50 PM10/10/03
to
ggu...@yahoo.com spake thus:

Eighty-three is hyphenated as a matter of course, or so I was taught
when learning to write cheques.

So, Eighty-three year centuries.

--
David
=====

Ross Howard

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Oct 10, 2003, 2:19:28 PM10/10/03
to
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 19:02:50 +0100, david56
<bass.c...@ntlworld.com> wrought:

Exactly: 83 periods, each 100 years long. Not what I meant!

cf. "Got change for a fifty?"
"Yes. Do you want ten dollar bills?"
"No, I want ten-dollar bills.

Although I'm a fan of hyphenating compound premodifiers, I don't much
like them in chains, either, unless it's for effect, but in
"eighty-three-year centuries" I think they're absolutely essential.

***********
Ross Howard

Jerry Friedman

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Oct 10, 2003, 2:43:21 PM10/10/03
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david56 <bass.c...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f0cc79c...@news.cis.dfn.de>...

We do pluralize the units when the phrase is not attributive. If you
work an eight-hour day, you can go home after eight hours, more or
less. (I like the hyphens.)

One exception is "stone", which as far as I know is never pluralized
when it's a unit of weight. Some Americans don't pluralize "foot" and
"mile", and I think most of us don't when giving heights in feet and
inches, as "five-foot-eight" (though "five-eight" is probably still
more common).

--
Jerry Friedman

Skitt

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Oct 10, 2003, 2:56:25 PM10/10/03
to
Ross Howard wrote:

> It seems to me that modern dictionaries seem all too ready to warn us
> of what words and usages several different groups might find offensive
> (cf. the niggardly business discussed in other threads) -- to the
> exclusion of one group: those of us who aren't too keen on sloppy
> English.

Well, that's PC for you.
--
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/

Evan Kirshenbaum

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Oct 10, 2003, 3:24:50 PM10/10/03
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Ross Howard <ggu...@yahoo.com> writes:

> On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 07:41:44 -0500, "Raymond S. Wise"
> <illinoi...@mninter.net> wrought:
>
> >"John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
> >news:bm678t$3tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
> >> Robert Lieblich wrote:
> >> > Before knocking yourself on a search for some alternative, have
> >> > a look at what the dictionaries say about "anniversary." Like
> >> > it or not, the word is now used for the passage of time periods
> >> > as short as a week. Usage doesn't necessarily match up to
> >> > etymology. Witness "decimate."
> >>
> >> Tain't in OED 2nd - they cling tenaciously to the annual
> >> business. A quick browse through OneLook suggests the same of
> >> others. Can you cite a dictionary with a different approach?
> >
> >*Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary,* 11th ed.:
> >
> >
> >[quote, from entry "anniversary"]
> >
> >1 : the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event;
> >_broadly_ : a date that follows such an event by a specified period
> >of time measured in units other than years <the 6-month
> >_anniversary_ of the accident>
> >
> >[end quote]

That's new. The Tenth (online) only says

1 : the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event

Good change.

> Coming right up: eight-month semesters,

I don't think I've *ever* had a six-month semester. Every place I've
been that measured in semesters had them as notionally half a "year",
where a "year" was something less than twelve months, but which
repeated annually. Indeed, the first definition in MWCD10, says that
a "semester" is usually 18 weeks. "A period of six months" is a later
definition, although the word is etymologically from "sex+mensis".
Presumably, it had lost its sixness as Latin "semestris", which they
gloss as "half-yearly".

> ten-day fortnights, seven-year decades and eighty-three-year
> centuries.

When I was at Stanford, from 1982-1987, we were on the quarter system.
There were three quarters in the year. Okay, there was a short
"summer quarter", but it was entirely optional and few people stayed.
All the course requirements were based on a year being three quarters.

And, of course, there are lots of other "quarters" that long ago lost
their fourness.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Now every hacker knows
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 | That the secret to survivin'
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |Is knowin' when the time is free
| And what's the load and queue
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |'Cause everyone's a cruncher
(650)857-7572 | And everyone's a user
|And the best that you can hope for
http://www.kirshenbaum.net/ | Is a crash when you're through


mb

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Oct 10, 2003, 5:38:26 PM10/10/03
to
"Raymond S. Wise" <illinoi...@mninter.net> wrote
...

> > WIth dictionary entries like that, who needs solecisms?
...

> "Six-month anniversary" may be a solecism to you, but your usage doesn't
> make another person's usage of it a solecism:
...

> But no one now takes "melancholy" to mean an unbalance in the body's humors
> and "six-month anniversary" leads no one astray.

It doesn't, of course, but that isn't enough to say it's not a
solecism in someone else's usage. If the listeners or readers are the
jury, their dialect is not very often that of the speaker or writer;
most people would (and some do)bristle with solecisms if they carried
to work their home dialect and vice versa. In different environments,
one's use of many current and registered words (like "unbalance")
would show a conscious testing of the local rules.

Raymond S. Wise

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Oct 10, 2003, 7:52:57 PM10/10/03
to
"mb" <azyt...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:668d6151.03101...@posting.google.com...


I could have said, flatly, "'six-month anniversary" is not a solecism,"
since it undoubtedly is not in my dialect. Note, however, that I did not say
that.

The question then becomes what strategy one should adopt when addressing an
international forum such as the current one. When I argued that one should
avoid "I could care less" in this forum because only Americans use it,
someone else answered that, no, it makes it interesting to see different
usages. But some expressions inevitably puzzle those not familiar with them:
"Are you taking the piss?" for example. No American I have mentioned that
usage to was aware of what it meant in Great Britain, and several took it to
be a variant on "Are you taking a piss?"

R H Draney

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Oct 10, 2003, 8:10:24 PM10/10/03
to
Raymond S. Wise filted:

>
>The question then becomes what strategy one should adopt when addressing an
>international forum such as the current one. When I argued that one should
>avoid "I could care less" in this forum because only Americans use it,
>someone else answered that, no, it makes it interesting to see different
>usages. But some expressions inevitably puzzle those not familiar with them:
>"Are you taking the piss?" for example. No American I have mentioned that
>usage to was aware of what it meant in Great Britain, and several took it to
>be a variant on "Are you taking a piss?"

A less startling example would be the British expression "not half"...first time
I heard "you don't half look silly" it seemed to me that it should mean "you
don't look silly; not even half as much as would be considered properly silly"
and not "you look as thoroughly silly as it is possible to look"....

Then, of course, there's that whole "right off the road" business....r

Aaron J. Dinkin

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Oct 10, 2003, 10:02:12 PM10/10/03
to
On 10 Oct 2003 11:43:21 -0700, Jerry Friedman <jerry_f...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> We do pluralize the units when the phrase is not attributive. If you
> work an eight-hour day, you can go home after eight hours, more or
> less. (I like the hyphens.)
>
> One exception is "stone", which as far as I know is never pluralized
> when it's a unit of weight.

Or alternatively, the plural of "stone" is "stone" when it's a unit of
weight. There's probably a way to tell which interpretation is correct,
but it's not coming to me right now.

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom

david56

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Oct 11, 2003, 4:50:39 AM10/11/03
to
ggu...@yahoo.com spake thus:

> On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 19:02:50 +0100, david56
> <bass.c...@ntlworld.com> wrought:
>
> >ggu...@yahoo.com spake thus:
> >
> >> On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 15:03:21 +0100, david56
> >> <bass.c...@ntlworld.com> wrought:
> >>
> >> >steffen...@freenet.de spake thus:
> >> >
> >> >> Ross Howard wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> > Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
> >> >> > decades and eighty-three-year centuries.
> >> >>
> >> >> You forgot the forty-hours week and the eight-hours day.
> >> >
> >> >English idiom is not to pluralise "unit" nouns, so we say: the eight
> >> > hour day, the forty hour week, the six foot man, the four stone cat.
> >> >I'm not convinced by those hyphens either.
> >>
> >> How else would you hyphenate "83 year centuries" without using
> >> figures?
> >
> >Eighty-three is hyphenated as a matter of course, or so I was taught
> >when learning to write cheques.
> >
> >So, Eighty-three year centuries.
>
> Exactly: 83 periods, each 100 years long. Not what I meant!

I don't see that - a "year century" is not a unit of time.



> cf. "Got change for a fifty?"
> "Yes. Do you want ten dollar bills?"
> "No, I want ten-dollar bills.

I agree that there are difficulties. Some of these can be overcome
with spoken stress, which obviates any need for spoken hyphens.



> Although I'm a fan of hyphenating compound premodifiers, I don't much
> like them in chains, either, unless it's for effect, but in
> "eighty-three-year centuries" I think they're absolutely essential.

--
David
=====

mb

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Oct 11, 2003, 5:10:23 AM10/11/03
to
"Raymond S. Wise" <illinoi...@mninter.net> wrote
...
> I could have said, flatly, "'six-month anniversary" is not a solecism,"
> since it undoubtedly is not in my dialect. Note, however, that I did not say
> that.

I know you didn't. Just felt that a truism/banality was being
overlooked (something approx. like "involuntary solecism is in the ear
of the listener only, so let's not discuss the mouth")



> The question then becomes what strategy one should adopt when addressing an
> international forum such as the current one. When I argued that one should
> avoid "I could care less" in this forum because only Americans use it,
> someone else answered that, no, it makes it interesting to see different
> usages. But some expressions inevitably puzzle those not familiar with them:

...

Absolutely right. This, er, forum being here to discuss usage, all
dialects, meaning also the 'environment' is our meat. US vs UK vs
India etc is great; my point is that the ehm, microenvironment has to
be mentioned to avoid skewing.

mb

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Oct 11, 2003, 5:16:42 AM10/11/03
to
R H Draney <dado...@earthlink.net> wrote
...

> A less startling example would be the British expression "not half"...first time
> I heard "you don't half look silly" it seemed to me that it should mean "you
> don't look silly; not even half as much as would be considered properly silly"
> and not "you look as thoroughly silly as it is possible to look"....

I think this one belongs to another category: That of "usage-usage".
My first serious encounter with US English was in the person of a very
appetizing user of it. When parting at her door after our first date,
she said: "I'll call you soon". I'm still waiting.

Jonathan Miller

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Oct 12, 2003, 7:26:43 AM10/12/03
to
"John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> wrote in message
news:bm678t$3tu$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...

Regardless of dictionaries, there have been insurance contracts in the
United States that refer to "monthly anniversary" since the early 80s at
least -- possibly the mid 70s.

I suppose sense can be forced into such a thing. It does seem a bit
wasteful of the reader's good will to force him to think hard and long to
find the sense in a piece of writing, but such seems to be the way of people
who write contracts, and especially contracts of adhesion.

Jon Miller


Jonathan Miller

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Oct 12, 2003, 7:28:28 AM10/12/03
to
"Ross Howard" <ggu...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:vscdovklo5e6u6dk1...@4ax.com...

>


> Coming right up: eight-month semesters, ten-day fortnights, seven-year
> decades and eighty-three-year centuries.
>

As I recall, by the end of the Empire a century typically had 70
legionaries.

Jon Miller


Richard Maurer

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Oct 12, 2003, 6:43:08 PM10/12/03
to
<< [John W Hall]

Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
"the six-month anniversary of...".

Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
future general acceptance of meaning change?

However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
alternative.
[end quote] >>

"Sixth monthiversary" has been in use for many years,
but has not taken over yet.

-- ---------------------------------------------
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Maurer

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Oct 12, 2003, 8:06:22 PM10/12/03
to
<< [John W Hall]
Our mostly-wonderful CBC just dropped a clanger:
"the six-month anniversary of...".

Surely "anniversary" means some whole number of years since the event
being commemorated/celebrated/remembered? Or is this a harbinger of
future general acceptance of meaning change?

However, I'm temporarily at a loss to suggest a mellifluous
alternative.
[end quote] >>

[Richard Maurer]


"Sixth monthiversary" has been in use for many years,
but has not taken over yet.

[end quote] >>

Also seen in the forms
six-monthiversary
or
6-monthiversary
or
6 monthiversary.

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