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Author Topic: What the hell, English?  (Read 1499 times)

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Kuildeous

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What the hell, English?
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:14:02 am »
+4

Well, I'm livid now. I just learned that not everybody uses the same definition as me for terms like biweekly, bimonthly, and biannually.

For years, I've labored under the understanding that bi- means two of while semi- means half of, so that bimonthly is every two months while semimonthly means twice a month.

Not so for everyone. Some people use bimonthly to mean twice a month. In fact, online dictionaries have shown the definition to mean either twice a month or every two months. That basically means bi-[time period] is useless in conversation now. Except for biennial, which has a clear definition.

I wonder how these are handled in legal papers. I imagine that bi- is avoided entirely.

My world view has been shattered.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 10:21:41 pm by Kuildeous »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 11:38:09 am »
+16

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.
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DG

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 11:57:44 am »
0

Biannual - twice a year.
Biennial - one every two years.

That's how bi is handled. The definition comes from the Latin so if modern interpretations are different then that's a drift away from the original, much like "I could care less".
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Kuildeous

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 12:03:49 pm »
0

Then this guy infuriates me:
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/biweekly-vs-bimonthly-paychecks-24145.html

I can understand ambiguity in how to use bi-, but this guy uses it both ways (pun unintended). He describes biweekly payments as every two weeks but bimonthly payments as twice a month. Much nerd rage.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 12:21:18 pm »
0

Then this guy infuriates me:
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/biweekly-vs-bimonthly-paychecks-24145.html

I can understand ambiguity in how to use bi-, but this guy uses it both ways (pun unintended). He describes biweekly payments as every two weeks but bimonthly payments as twice a month. Much nerd rage.

Yeah that's pretty terrible. Also, the very idea of giving those pros and cons leads to a terrible mindset for financial advice. If you care about receiving paychecks on time to pay your bills; you should be handling your money better.
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Kirian

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 01:54:12 pm »
0

Yep.  Bimonthly should be every two months, semimonthly should be twice a month, but English is stupid, and even smart English speakers therefore do stupid things (like making biennial and biannual mean two different things, or bimonthly mean two different things).
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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 02:16:09 pm »
0

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

I agree.

Now I have to question everyone who says something is bimonthly or biweekly?

Avoid ambiguity- say twice a month, every other week etc.
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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 04:06:17 pm »
0

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 01:44:36 am »
+11

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 07:57:24 am »
+7

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".
I had better go and upvote GendoIkari's post now, because it has been explained, and is therefore funnier.
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silverspawn

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 08:03:13 am »
+1

people literally use literally in the literally opposite way it's supposed to.

Kuildeous

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 08:56:14 am »
+3

Apparently, "literally" is not as misused as I had thought: https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/literally-centuries-of-non-literal-literally/

How can I bust someone's chops for using "literally" as "figuratively" when Bronte, Dickens, and Joyce have all used it that way?

This week may have literally blown my mind now.
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infangthief

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 08:56:53 am »
+1

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".
I had better go and upvote GendoIkari's post now, because it has been explained, and is therefore funnier.

Of course, now that it is Friday, 'next Friday' only has one (literal) interpretation. So that means his post has become, err, less funny, or maybe more funny, I'm not sure.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 10:34:45 am »
+2

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".

I'm just glad both reference were caught!
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Witherweaver

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 10:52:46 am »
+4

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".

I'm just glad both reference were caught!

It was bireferential.
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infangthief

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 11:27:27 am »
+2

Yeah, this problem is literally the worst thing that has happened to me. I hope I don't have to deal with it before next Friday.

This post got more upvotes than I would have expected. Am I missing anything?
GendoIkari is making fun of Kuildeous' outrage about inaccurate use of words by jokingly referring to two other popular cases of inaccurate word use: One is the use of "literally" in its opposite meaning of figuratively - originally an ironic use that has become so commonplace that people think it's how it is meant to be used -, and the unclarity of "next [weekday]", which is used by some to mean "the next time that particular day comes around" and by others as "this day in the week after the current one".

I'm just glad both reference were caught!
And yet only one grammatical error in that post?
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Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2017, 04:09:32 pm »
+7

Apparently, "literally" is not as misused as I had thought: https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/literally-centuries-of-non-literal-literally/

How can I bust someone's chops for using "literally" as "figuratively" when Bronte, Dickens, and Joyce have all used it that way?

This week may have literally blown my mind now.

This message never sinks through, but in fact no-one ever uses "literally" to mean "figuratively." No-one ever does that, not ever. People use "literally" to exaggerate. If I say, "I ate a million pickles," I am exaggerating. If I say, "I literally ate a million pickles," I am still exaggerating; I have not shifted to meaning "I figuratively ate a million pickles." That word "literally" isn't me pointing out that I'm being figurative; it's me exaggerating even more.

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2017, 04:20:38 pm »
+2

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
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Witherweaver

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 04:41:57 pm »
+2

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it stillactually means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
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Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 05:37:45 pm »
+2

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 05:40:22 pm »
+3

that ship sailed even earlier.
Literally.
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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 05:41:30 pm »
0

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

But if I literally ate a million pickles, that doesn't mean I actually ate a million pickles.
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Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 05:50:07 pm »
+4

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

But if I literally ate a million pickles, that doesn't mean I actually ate a million pickles.
If you literally ate a million pickles, you would be some kind of machine for trolling forums and eating pickles.
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Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 05:54:42 pm »
+2

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

But if I literally ate a million pickles, that doesn't mean I actually ate a million pickles.
If you literally ate a million pickles, you would be some kind of machine for trolling forums and eating pickles.

Oh man I should have gone on to say, "and you're all out of pickles."
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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 06:46:16 pm »
+1

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

No, I mean what I said. Maybe people use "actually" instead of "literally" because it hasn't lost its meaning like "literally" has, not because people complain about one and not the other.
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