Author Topic: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not  (Read 16566 times)

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Iris

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 10:23:51 PM »
Now that I'm on the track: What about other time related words like 'annual' or 'biannual' etc? Common? Not common?
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Sharnita

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 10:24:56 PM »
Iris, to me it would be more like shifting from dollars to euros.

ETA: annual is part of common usage and I guess biannual is too, though there is very little I can think of that I am involved in that is biannual so I don't know that I hear it myself a whole lot.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 10:31:34 PM by Sharnita »

Iris

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 10:33:53 PM »
Iris, to me it would be more like shifting from dollars to euros.

I got that (I think), it's just that I find it fascinating, and I'm trying to find a way to be fascinated politely without making people feel patronised. There's really no way to express surprise that someone doesn't know/commonly use something without sounding rude, even when it is entirely reasonable that different cultures have different common usages. For example in Australia using "et" as the past tense of "eat" would be ignorant and show a poor vocabulary, but it is common usage in the UK - at least with the (very not ignorant) people I know. I'm sure there are many reverse examples.

I'm like a dog with a bone when I find a genuinely totally new (to me) fact and I find that it's hard for that to come across without people taking it the wrong way. Usually I just don't ask all the questions I want to, so I'm just vaguely hoping that you guys know me well enough to indulge my nerdiness.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Pippen

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 10:38:40 PM »
It's common here as well. No one would consider it 'big' or snobby by any means. You might get paid fortnightly, you might do something in a fortnights time, someone might come and stay for a fortnight.

Yvaine

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 10:40:50 PM »
Now that I'm on the track: What about other time related words like 'annual' or 'biannual' etc? Common? Not common?

Annual, biannual, weekly, biweekly are all common.

ETA that the catch with biannual is that some people use it to mean 2x per year and some use it to mean biennial, every 2 years. So you have to figure out which one they mean!

Sharnita

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2012, 10:42:13 PM »
I don't know about anybody else but I am not offended.  It isn't that I don't know what it means it is just that I find it a bit dated and cumbersome and kind of pointless I guess. Like I said, I wouldn't talk about weight in tone or measure years in "score" anymore either. It's kinda like the monarchy - glad if it works for other people, know how it works but as an American it really is not something that is part of my cultural identity.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 11:03:27 PM by Sharnita »

Tilt Fairy

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2012, 11:02:33 PM »
Im British so fortnight (=two weeks) is pretty common to say. I never say two weeks - I'll always say (e.g.) "once a fortnight". It's pretty common. Most people here say fortnight instead of two weeks.

Steve

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2012, 06:41:10 AM »
I went to the US as an exchangestudent. When I used the word my hostmother kept insisting that the word did not exist, she claimed I made it up. I even got in to some trouble because of it.



Redsoil

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2012, 07:31:03 AM »
If you really want to freak people out, try using this one, instead of "a week".




sen·night
   [sen-ahyt, -it]

noun Archaic  - a week.

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Origin:
before 1000; Middle English sevenyht, seoveniht ( e ),  sennyght,  etc., Old English seofon nihta. See seven, night
 
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CakeBeret

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2012, 09:08:33 AM »
I've only ever seen fortnight in historical books and never heard it spoken aloud. I didn't even know that it meant two weeks until recently. I would be puzzled if a fellow American used it, but if a Brit or Australian used it I would get it.
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camlan

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2012, 09:17:52 AM »
I've never used it myself. My friends would understand it, but I'd be seen as pretentious if I were to say it in ordinary conversation.

I've read it in books since I was a kid. Every so often, I see it in writing here in the US, but it is not very common.

It'd be useful if we adopted it. What we have instead is the seldom used biweekly, which can mean twice a week or every other week. If we used fortnight for two weeks, biweekly could be used for twice a week, and a lot of confusion would end.
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katycoo

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2012, 10:15:37 AM »
Another Aussie backing up fortnight as way common.  "2 weeks" still gets used but thinking about it, it depends little on what I'm talking about.

Eg: My salary is paid fortnightly, never 2-weekly or bi-weekly.

I will go on holidays for 2 weeks but not for a fortnight.

I will have dinner with you both in a fortnight or in 2 weeks.

Hmm. Interesting.

Now that I'm on the track: What about other time related words like 'annual' or 'biannual' etc? Common? Not common?

I'm going to say bi-annual is uncommon.  In fact, I think a lot of people would have to think about whether or not that meant "once every 2 years" or "twice a year".

Annual is very common though.

Thipu1

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2012, 11:45:20 AM »
'Fortnight' isn't used here in ordinary conversation but everybody with a High School education knows what it means. 

WillyNilly

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2012, 02:51:38 PM »
I have never heard someone actually say "fortnight" and would think they were trying to showy or something if they did (unless they clearly were from another country, like they had an accent for mentioned they were only visiting, etc) in which case I would simply think it was a weird word to use.

I've heard of it and seen it used on this site... and honestly it never occurred to me it was a normal word and I thought posters were trying to use it as a way of making their posts seem more... I don't know like "see I can use this obscure word no one says, I'm so learned!"  I'm honestly shocked its actually a common word in other countries!  I know a handful of immigrants from Britain living here in the states and like I said earlier I have never heard the word uttered in conversation, ever.

NyaChan

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2012, 02:55:23 PM »
'Fortnight' isn't used here in ordinary conversation but everybody with a High School education knows what it means.

Seriously?  I know what it means, but that knowledge has nothing to do with my High School education.  I would be shocked if more than 1/3 of HS seniors knew what fortnight meant.