Monday, June 24, 2013

2014 Bi-confused

     Recently I was confronted by that dread conundrum we all face from time to time, setting a schedule that was to occur every other week. And what to call it. Was it biweekly or semiweekly? Does biweekly mean every two weeks or twice a week?
     That's easy, you say, it's semimonthly. Are you sure? Semimonthly is twice a month, isn't it? Twice a month, if it's equal, is approximately once every 15 days---slightly more than every other week.
     Maybe we should revive the word "fortnight." It would be more forthright. A fortnight is every two weeks, plain and simple. Of course, it gets difficult to visualize in the future. "I'll see you four fortnights from now." Or way way into the future. "Look for me fourscore fortnights from now. Or three-fourths of a leap year cycle."
     I'm guessing just saying every two weeks is the way to cover it. Or if you want to do it twice a month say, "See you on the 1st and the 15th."
     But that doesn't help me figure out the bi thing generally. So I'm bi-curious---is it biennial or biannual? Is biannual twice a year and biennial every two years? Or is biennial just the anniversary of the first two years of an organization, like centennial is its first 100 years?
     Let's check the dictionary and solve it once and for all.
     It says biennial means occurring every two years or an event lasting two years.
     Biannual means an event occurring twice a year.
     Bimonthly means an event occurring every two months or one that occurs twice a month. Semimonthly is twice a month only.
     And according to the dictionary, biweekly can mean every two weeks or twice a week. Dang. Looks like we solved it twice and for all.
     Bye-bye till next time
     America, ya gotta love it.

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