[ic] Interchange-users guidelines [bi-monthly posting]

Paul R Stearns pauls@compuace.com
Fri, 15 Dec 2000 16:42:51 -0500


Confusion over the prefixes "bi" and "semi" seems odd. If you buy a bicycle, you
would expect 2 wheels not a vehicle with 1/2 of one wheel. If you are bisexual
you like both sexes, not half of one sex (whatever that might mean). A biathlon
is two events, not a half.

To get semimonthly one must bifurcate a month.


Warren Odom wrote:

> Law's-a-mercy!!  Wow, I never heard of that ambiguity before, which
> Webster's cites.  I've programmed on more than one payroll system, and they
> always without exception use biweekly for every two weeks and semimonthly
> for twice a month (two different time periods).
> I checked another online dictionary (American Heritige) for a second
> opinion.  Sorry I don't know the URL, since it was accessed within another
> application, not a browser, so I'll have to just relay the info.  It also
> lists *both* definitions for biweekly and bimonthly (no hyphen, by the way).
> However, it refers the reader to a usage note which mentions only one of
> those definitions:
> Bimonthly and biweekly mean "once every two months" and "once every two
> weeks." For "twice a month" and "twice a week," the words semimonthly and
> semiweekly should be used. Since there is a great deal of confusion over the
> distinction, a writer is well advised to substitute expressions like every
> two months or twice a month where possible. However, used as nouns to denote
> "a publication that appears every two months," the words with bi- are
> unavoidable.
>            -- Warren
> -----Original Message-----
> From:   interchange-users-admin@lists.akopia.com
> [mailto:interchange-users-admin@lists.akopia.com] On Behalf Of Doug Alcorn
> Sent:   Friday, December 15, 2000 11:14 AM
> To:     interchange-users@minivend.com
> Subject:        Re: [ic] Interchange-users guidelines [bi-monthly posting]
> "Warren Odom" <warren-odom@stenocall.com> writes:
> > I notice it's been only two weeks since the last "bi-monthly" posting.  If
> > that schedule is correct, maybe you should change the subject to read
> > "semi-monthly."    :-)
> >
> The problem is with English itself, not Mike.
> http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=bi-
> Both definitions are correct.  Although semi-montly is probably more
> clear.
> --
>  (__)  Doug Alcorn (mailto:doug@lathi.net http://www.lathi.net)
>  oo /  PGP Finger Print = 02B3 1E26 BCF2 9AAF 93F1  61D7 450C B264 3E63 D543
>  |_/   "It's too late for paradise" (at least in this life)
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