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Thread: Important issues of our times

  1. #1
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Important issues of our times

    War, pestilence, plague.

    Inhumanity, suffering and nihilism.

    This thread isn't about any of those.

    No.

    This is about an extremely important subject - ambiguity.

    Let's start with biweekly.

    I was just on a conference call and five people spent a good ten minutes bickering about whether it meant twice a week or every two weeks.

    I thought it meant the former but I'm willing to acquiesce to the majority view here.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Never thought about this before, but now you mention it, it really could mean either I have always read it as once every two weeks, but not so sure now.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Used to work in publishing, I take it to mean every 2 weeks.

  4. #4
    Master
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    According to Oxford Dictionary:

    Every two weeks or twice a week.

    HTH

  5. #5
    Every 2 weeks for me

    Twice a week would be semiweekly wouldn't it?

  6. #6
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I assume it is every two weeks, so make a point of using twice-weekly/fortnightly

  7. #7
    Master
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    bi-weekly is every 2 weeks

    semi-monthly is twice per calander month

    so one would be 24 times a year and the other 26 times a year

    as for important issues, you would have a hard time to find someone who doesnt have rediculous views these days they picked up on the internet

  8. #8
    Bi-weekly at work is universally used for a meeting every 2 weeks. Big global company too.

    Twice-weekly seems nice and clear for a meeting twice in the same week. It also sounds like too many meetings.



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  9. #9
    Agree it's ambiguous and best to use 'fortnightly' for every 2 weeks.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    War, pestilence, plague.

    Let's start with biweekly.
    Great weekly magazine that, dealing with the issues of those that have a romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or exhibit sexual behaviour toward both men and women.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Two weeks

  12. #12
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Excellent first choice AO
    Interestingly (or not, YMMV) the problem is the same in French, with a nuance.
    The Littré (a rather old fashioned dictionary) defines it as fortnightly, even indicating that twice weekly is an error and should be semi-weekly (semi-hebdomadaire)
    The Larousse (most used when it only existed on paper) defines it as twice a week.
    The Dictionary of the Académie Française also says it is twice a week.
    My conclusion is that the meaning shifted over time, and nowadays the common acceptation is twice a week.

    Of course, this is opening a can of worms, because by extension bimonthly should be twice a month; and how would you call a meeting that you hold every 2 months?
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    When is next Sunday? 13 or 20 June? What if I ask the same question on Friday?
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    When is next Sunday? 13 or 20 June? What if I ask the same question on Friday?
    This Sunday is the 13th, next Sunday is the 20th, or that's how I have always understood it, whatever day it is asked on, apart from Saturday 12th when this Sunday becomes tomorrow, and the 20th is still next Sunday.

  15. #15
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    I heard a similar discussion on 5 live a few weeks ago, the interviewee said, if you had a meeting booked for Wednesday and were then told it was moved forward by two days, would the meeting be on the Monday or Friday?
    It could be either and the way you decide is how you perceive yourself moving in time, some people ( subconsciously Im sure ) think that they are static and time moves towards them, some people think they are moving forward to the next day etc.
    So the static people would think its on Monday and the moving people think its on Friday.

    Something like that anyway.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  16. #16
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    So next Sunday is the Sunday after next.
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  17. #17
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    So next Sunday is the Sunday after next.
    In a nutshell, yes.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  18. #18
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    So next Sunday is the Sunday after next.
    Yes, albeit I find more helpful to say this instead of next (the Sunday after this).

    Semi-related, twice-nightly is obviously twice a night, but I would use "every other night" not bi-nightly for every 2nd night. [A common link between these two obviously being Richard Whiteley.]

  19. #19
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Good one, M - the next Sunday and this Sunday mix up is a regular pain. We need a new word...

    To close the other ambiguity, it sounds like most of you think biweekly means every two weeks.

    SJ makes a good point about consistency though...

    Love the magazine idea Gyp, and the Richard Whitely reference juke.

    Note - I've just edited this post as I was confusing myself...
    Last edited by AlphaOmega; 8th June 2021 at 17:18.

  20. #20
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Surely you have some context?

    Bi-weekly on a Friday or Bi-weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays would make it clear.

    For me, it means once every two weeks.

    M

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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Excellent first choice AO
    Interestingly (or not, YMMV) the problem is the same in French, with a nuance.
    The Littré (a rather old fashioned dictionary) defines it as fortnightly, even indicating that twice weekly is an error and should be semi-weekly (semi-hebdomadaire)
    The Larousse (most used when it only existed on paper) defines it as twice a week.
    The Dictionary of the Académie Française also says it is twice a week.
    My conclusion is that the meaning shifted over time, and nowadays the common acceptation is twice a week.

    Of course, this is opening a can of worms, because by extension bimonthly should be twice a month; and how would you call a meeting that you hold every 2 months?

    Alternate months or every other month ?

  22. #22
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jukeboxs View Post
    [A common link between these two obviously being Richard Whiteley.]
    WoganLOL

    "Fortnightly" is very helpful to remove ambiguity from these discussions. For a really hopeless case, I present the irritating fact that "flammable" and "inflammable" are synonymous.

  23. #23
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherCain View Post
    For a really hopeless case, I present the irritating fact that "flammable" and "inflammable" are synonymous.
    Right, let's take action.

    We have put up with enough ambiguity in our lives.

    Let's decide now which one to use.

    Irregardless of which is correct.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonM View Post
    I heard a similar discussion on 5 live a few weeks ago, the interviewee said, if you had a meeting booked for Wednesday and were then told it was moved forward by two days, would the meeting be on the Monday or Friday?
    It could be either and the way you decide is how you perceive yourself moving in time, some people ( subconsciously Im sure ) think that they are static and time moves towards them, some people think they are moving forward to the next day etc.
    So the static people would think its on Monday and the moving people think its on Friday.

    Something like that anyway.
    I'd think that one would have been straight forward. To move something on by one day I'd assume the following day was meant. 'I had to move Wednesday's meeting on one day'= Thursday. To move it on two days would suggest Friday, and can't see how anyone would arrive at Monday.

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Used to work in publishing, I take it to mean every 2 weeks.
    This.


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  26. #26
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherCain View Post
    For a really hopeless case, I present the irritating fact that "flammable" and "inflammable" are synonymous.
    Hedge one's bets.

    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  27. #27
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Jesus swept.

  28. #28
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    Something I think about bi-annually...
    On the changed meeting, I take it as bringing forward (earlier) or pushing back (later)


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  29. #29
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    For me.

    Biweekly means twice a week.
    Fortnightly means every two weeks.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  30. #30

    Important issues of our times

    Wait until you have English as your 2nd language… the confusion my Mrs has with this weekend/next weekend, amongst other things, is endless.
    We discuss it perhaps bi-monthly

    And trying to explain that “- pick you up” - always means “I will arrive in a vehicle”,
    and never “means - walk to the end of the street and meet me”.


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    Last edited by notenoughwrists; 8th June 2021 at 18:58.

  31. #31
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, in the U.S. bi-weekly means every two weeks, and semi-weekly means twice a week.

  32. #32
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    So does Bisexual mean you get lucky twice a week or every other?

    M

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  33. #33
    Master Rinaldo1711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    So does Bisexual mean you get lucky twice a week or every other?

    M



    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
    Good question:)

  34. #34
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    For what it's worth, in the U.S. bi-weekly means every two weeks, and semi-weekly means twice a week.
    Have you got a source for that? It seems to be that when it comes to language usage, there are no 100% rules. I'm sure we could find some people in the U.S. for whom bi-weekly means twice a week, and some who would guess that is what it means.

  35. #35
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    And that's before you get on to what time is the bi-weekly meeting.

    The meeting is at 7...what 7 in the morning or 7 in the evening.

    I am glad my company moved on to the 24 hour clock many many moons ago.

  36. #36
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjc1216 View Post
    And that's before you get on to what time is the bi-weekly meeting.

    The meeting is at 7...what 7 in the morning or 7 in the evening.

    I am glad my company moved on to the 24 hour clock many many moons ago.
    Ah, but should 0 be at 12 O'clock or 6 O'clock?

    Years (decades) ago, I worked for a computer company who, confusingly, named all their meeting rooms after office locations.

    It took me a couple of days to work out that when someone (in Basingstoke) said "I've a meeting in Geneva at 2", that they weren't planning to fly anywhere!

    It took me a lot longer, though, to work out where each room was in relation to each other, there was no geographic or alphabetic relationship!

    M
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  37. #37
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    I'd think that one would have been straight forward. To move something on by one day I'd assume the following day was meant. 'I had to move Wednesday's meeting on one day'= Thursday. To move it on two days would suggest Friday, and can't see how anyone would arrive at Monday.
    I agree that to move something on by one day would be one day later but to move it forward would bring it one day earlier.
    If the meeting is Wednesday then you’d move it on to Thursday or move it forward to Tuesday.

  38. #38


    If that is the case, how will they know if the cord has been pulled?

  39. #39
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by j0hnbarker View Post


    If that is the case, how will they know if the cord has been pulled?

  40. #40
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Bi - weekly to me means twice a week

  41. #41
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Bi - weekly to me means twice a week
    I always thought that "twice a week" is twice weekly?
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  42. #42
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Thank goodness i am retired:
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Ah, but should 0 be at 12 O'clock or 6 O'clock?

    Years (decades) ago, I worked for a computer company who, confusingly, named all their meeting rooms after office locations.

    It took me a couple of days to work out that when someone (in Basingstoke) said "I've a meeting in Geneva at 2", that they weren't planning to fly anywhere!

    It took me a lot longer, though, to work out where each room was in relation to each other, there was no geographic or alphabetic relationship!

    M
    At Haribo offices all the meeting rooms are named after bags e.g. Starmix room, Tangfastic room.

  44. #44
    Journeyman
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    had a heated debate about this at work, for me its twice a week for sure.

  45. #45
    Bi-weekly is once every two weeks

    It is used because fortnightly seems to be a distinct UK practice and term.

    Here endth the debate!

  46. #46
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Good stuff.

    Could we go with bilunarly as a proxy for once every two months?

    If we can agree on this, I'll let the OED know.

  47. #47
    Master vagabond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Ah, but should 0 be at 12 O'clock or 6 O'clock?

    Years (decades) ago, I worked for a computer company who, confusingly, named all their meeting rooms after office locations.
    .....
    M
    I worked for a large company that named its (London) HQ's meeting rooms after tube stations - so on my first day, when someone said we have a meeting at St James Park - I was ready to go out the door.

    They did have a decent naming system though and meeting rooms on the same floor floors would be stations all on the same "line" and in that order. So easy to orientate yourself once you knew the system.

  48. #48
    The London offices of a certain French financial institution named its meeting rooms Rouen, Agincourt, Limoges, Poitiers, Caen and so on, until rumbled.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    The London offices of a certain French financial institution named its meeting rooms Rouen, Agincourt, Limoges, Poitiers, Caen and so on, until rumbled.
    I suppose that to make up for having to arrive at Waterloo when Eurostar was based there!

  50. #50
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    The London offices of a certain French financial institution named its meeting rooms Rouen, Agincourt, Limoges, Poitiers, Caen and so on, until rumbled.
    Ooh can we guess?

    Or perhaps I should say second guess.

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