A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not

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Iris:
Reading the facebook comments on the Dear Prudence column last week two separate posters commented on a letter writer who'd used the word "fortnight" with quite a bit of hostility. One said that they'd "poke" her and the other accused her of being pompous. At the time I thought it was weird, and also weird that no other commenters asked what on earth was wrong with them, but I just figured we'd all gotten clever about not feeding trolls. :) Now in the "They looked at me funny..." thread another poster has said that they had to *explain* the word fortnight to someone while travelling in the US.

So my question is - is fortnight a 'big' or unusual word where you come from? The above things really surprised me. I would have thought using the word 'fortnight' was no more unusual than using the word 'week' - or 'food' or 'shoe' or 'duck' for that matter  ;). It's just another word to me, one that I would have expected to be in pretty much everyone's vocabulary.

Betelnut:
People in the U.S. don't use that word--it would only be familiar to those of us who read British literature.  We would never use it in conversation.  Never.

Sharnita:

--- Quote from: Betelnut on September 08, 2012, 08:57:27 PM ---People in the U.S. don't use that word--it would only be familiar to those of us who read British literature.  We would never use it in conversation.  Never.

--- End quote ---

It is pretty much like talking about weight in "stone".  To be honest I think a lot of people might find it a bit pretentious coming from another American.

oz diva:
In Australia it's absolutely common, I wouldn't think a thing about someone saying I'll see you in a fortnight then. But I do know that it's not used in the States.

HorseFreak:
I'm in the US and have only heard the word used in literature. It's considered a "big" word that you may seem a tad pretentious using in regular conversation. I'm around 30 and I'm very aware of the definition, but those from a younger generation or who don't read much may not know what it means.

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