Author Topic: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not  (Read 16686 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2012, 03:38:04 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.

I agree--in the U.S., you would have to be a reader (of British literature) to know the word.  Most people aren't readers.
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CaptainObvious

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2012, 04:08:54 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.

I've known what a fortnight was since I was a kid, and I grew up in California.

A brief for instance: We all watched "Upstairs, Downstairs", Masterpiece Theater, I also watched Monty Python and any other Britcom that I could find, and there are a million books I could, but then I had a rotten education...I learned more on my own than in any classroom...

Zilla

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2012, 04:13:30 PM »
While I never hear the word in a conversation, I have read it in all kinds of literature. And not just British.

jmarvellous

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2012, 04:26:19 PM »
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.

The problem is that it is really supposed to mean once every two weeks, and semiweekly is twice a week, but  that isn't taught anymore -- to the point where dictionaries say it can mean either. I find saying "once every two weeks" or "twice a week" is just way less confusing.

Barney girl

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2012, 04:43:08 PM »
Linked into this is "twice". It always seemed odd to me when I read people saying something happened 'two times', then I realised that to them  " twice" sounds as archaic as " thrice would to me.

Betelnut

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2012, 08:08:49 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.

I've known what a fortnight was since I was a kid, and I grew up in California.

A brief for instance: We all watched "Upstairs, Downstairs", Masterpiece Theater, I also watched Monty Python and any other Britcom that I could find, and there are a million books I could, but then I had a rotten education...I learned more on my own than in any classroom...

Oh, good point!  PBS has taught many a US resident Britishy terms.
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Yvaine

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2012, 09:55:01 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.

I've known what a fortnight was since I was a kid, and I grew up in California.

A brief for instance: We all watched "Upstairs, Downstairs", Masterpiece Theater, I also watched Monty Python and any other Britcom that I could find, and there are a million books I could, but then I had a rotten education...I learned more on my own than in any classroom...

Oh, good point!  PBS has taught many a US resident Britishy terms.

And Harry Potter. The sheer amount of British slang I know because of HP...

CakeEater

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2012, 11:35:33 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.

I'm actually honestly surprised that's it's not a word used in the US. We can share our shock!  ;)

I've just spent the last little while telling people I'll be away from home for a fortnight soon. Very timely thread!

kareng57

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2012, 11:39:00 PM »
I'm in Canada and have heard/learned a lot of British phrases.  I'd wager that most other Canadians have, as well.

Still, while I know what "fortnight" means, it's really not a common term here.  I could understand a recent UK ex-patriot using the the term - but for anyone else, I'd find it to be in eyebrow-raising territory.

Iris

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2012, 03:42:43 AM »
So, so far this thread I've got UK, Australia, New Zealand yes, United States and Canada no. Can't be a colonial thing then since Canada is a no.

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2012, 06:23:00 AM »
Another US-based person here.  I've long known what a fortnight is (yay for RPGs!), but it's an obscure term at best over here.
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Milash

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2012, 06:45:41 AM »
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.

I'm actually honestly surprised that's it's not a word used in the US. We can share our shock!  ;)

I've just spent the last little while telling people I'll be away from home for a fortnight soon. Very timely thread!

It was a surprise to me too that not all countries use it as I work in customer service and have to say it to every customer. (work in customer orders)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2012, 10:01:05 AM »
So, so far this thread I've got UK, Australia, New Zealand yes, United States and Canada no. Can't be a colonial thing then since Canada is a no.

One of life's mysteries :)

Canada, although still a colony, is so heavily influenced by the US in media and television, I think it dilutes our British roots quite a bit.
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baglady

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2012, 12:30:08 AM »
There are Britishisms that I throw into my own speech for variety (I mentioned telly and loo upthread), and those I know the meaning of but don't use. "Fortnight" definitely falls into that category, along with "bloke" and "stone."

Hmm, I just realized that "fortnight" = 14 days, and "stone" = 14 pounds. What is this British obsession with that number?  :)
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Bluenomi

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2012, 12:41:54 AM »
Another Aussie on the completely normal side. It's as common as week or month over here.