Author Topic: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not  (Read 17705 times)

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katycoo

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #75 on: October 16, 2012, 09:00:13 PM »
Bi means 2.  So its not apparent whether you mean "2 times in every" or "once in every 2".  Even a lot of the dictionaries give both options for biannual.

While semi means half, i've never heard it used in any context with respect to distance or time.  So I wouldn't process your intent quickly.  In fact it would even occur to me as a suitable word to use.  I'd probably say half-weekly.

Not even when stores say "We're having a semi - annual sale"?

Stores don't say that here.  They have half-yearly sales.

Sara Crewe (previously Tia2)

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #76 on: October 21, 2012, 05:33:37 AM »
In regard to fortnight, it is so common that if I am writing down that someone receives money every two weeks, I can write p/f and everyone knows what I mean (these are offical documents submitted to a government department).

It is used by everyone and there is no 'class' implication at all.  As a PP says, it's just used like the word 'duck'.

I mention this because someone else mentioned British slang from the Harry Potter books and a lot of that is class/age orientated.  Non-British fanfiction writers who assume that because Ron Weasley calls everyone 'mate', they can have Albus Dumbledore (for example) do it make me wince.

jeni

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2012, 08:02:19 AM »
I'm an Aussie and never would have thought that fortnight was an unusual word in some parts of the world.  Such a common word here, we get paid fortnightly, pay our rent or mortgage fortnightly. My calculations at work revolve around 26 fortnights (or pays) per year etc. 

Loving Ehell, I've learnt a lot from this site and this folder is particularly great for finding out all sorts of interesting things!

When it comes to biannual or biennial I always have to look them up to ensure I'm using the right one - now which is it, twice a year, or every two years?!


Gwywnnydd

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #78 on: November 06, 2012, 04:40:48 PM »
The only time I use the word is when I'm referring to speed in terms of "furlongs per fortnight."

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #79 on: November 10, 2012, 11:44:40 PM »
I've read a couple of historical fiction books lately and they talk about a sennight.  Is that a week?
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RingTailedLemur

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #80 on: November 11, 2012, 05:06:00 AM »
I've read a couple of historical fiction books lately and they talk about a sennight.  Is that a week?

Yup - it's a contraction of "seven nights".  I've not heard it used outside of Shakespeare, though.

Also, as a Brit, I use "fortnight" all the time without ever thinking about it.  It's as common to use as "a week", but I remember my grandparents telling me when I was a little girl that they had confused some Americans when they were visiting the States by using it.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 10:25:30 AM by RingTailedLemur »

Gwywnnydd

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #81 on: November 11, 2012, 10:40:29 AM »
I've read a couple of historical fiction books lately and they talk about a sennight.  Is that a week?

Yup - it's a contraction of "seven nights".  I've not heard it used outside of Shakespeare, though.


It was used in Pride and Prejudice (when Mr. Collins was inviting himself to stay with the Bennets). I would assume that means that it was in reasonably common usage then (mid-1790s).

RingTailedLemur

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #82 on: November 11, 2012, 10:44:56 AM »
I've read a couple of historical fiction books lately and they talk about a sennight.  Is that a week?

Yup - it's a contraction of "seven nights".  I've not heard it used outside of Shakespeare, though.


It was used in Pride and Prejudice (when Mr. Collins was inviting himself to stay with the Bennets). I would assume that means that it was in reasonably common usage then (mid-1790s).

Ah I had forgotten that one.

Slartibartfast

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #83 on: November 11, 2012, 01:07:43 PM »
Writing historical fiction is tricky - you want to use enough "historical" words (i.e. words that were common in that time period but not today) to make the setting feel real, but not so many that modern readers can't understand.  You also have to avoid words we use today but not for the same things, and words a modern reader wouldn't understand because we don't have those items/concepts anymore.  Then you also have to avoid words that WERE authentic to the time period but don't "sound right" to modern readers.  Another pitfall is idioms and phrasal verbs based on modern technology.

some examples:

a modern person would think of a spark as being something electrical; someone from pre-electricity days would think of it as from a fire.

"Old hat" - nowadays it means something that's worn-out or mundane or hackneyed, but in bygone days it was a crude term for a loose woman's private parts (as in, both were "often felt").

"stomach" isn't a dirty word now, but in Regency times a well-born woman would NEVER use such crude language.


So in relation to literature, "sennight" may be something most modern readers would recognize as being from a bygone era, and that in turn may compel authors to use it instead of "week" even if "week" was equally acceptable in the time period they're writing about.

oz diva

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #84 on: November 12, 2012, 12:06:59 AM »
And what is a weekend? /Downton geek

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Ceallach

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #85 on: November 14, 2012, 03:07:29 AM »
And what is a weekend? /Downton geek

Lol yes that cracked me up too on Downton - we sometimes forget that "weekend" is a modern concept.    In the olden times from what I understand the days were somewhat irrelevant to the wealthy, and to the poor most days were working days (or perhaps they'd have one day off - Sunday maybe), the "working week" and "weekend" as we know it are relatively modern concepts.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #86 on: November 14, 2012, 04:09:28 AM »
And what is a weekend? /Downton geek

Lol yes that cracked me up too on Downton - we sometimes forget that "weekend" is a modern concept.    In the olden times from what I understand the days were somewhat irrelevant to the wealthy, and to the poor most days were working days (or perhaps they'd have one day off - Sunday maybe), the "working week" and "weekend" as we know it are relatively modern concepts.

AFAIK Sundays still would have been church days - which would often have been a much longer affair than modern services usually are  :) 

cabbageweevil

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Re: S/o of a couple of things - Fortnight: Unusual or not
« Reply #87 on: November 14, 2012, 05:58:41 AM »
And what is a weekend? /Downton geek

Lol yes that cracked me up too on Downton - we sometimes forget that "weekend" is a modern concept.    In the olden times from what I understand the days were somewhat irrelevant to the wealthy, and to the poor most days were working days (or perhaps they'd have one day off - Sunday maybe), the "working week" and "weekend" as we know it are relatively modern concepts.

AFAIK Sundays still would have been church days - which would often have been a much longer affair than modern services usually are  :)

One gathers that "the lower orders" made the best of the situation as described, however bleak. As in the eighteenth-century ballad "Sally In Our Alley", by Henry Carey -- the "speaker", a downtrodden apprentice in whose life the only bright spot is his girlfriend and, he hopes, future wife:

"Of all the days that's in the week,
 I dearly love but one day --
 And that's the day that comes betwixt
 A Saturday and Monday:
 For then I'm drest in all my best
 To walk abroad with Sally;
 She is the darling of my heart
 And she lives in our alley.

 My master carries me to church
 And often I am blam-ed
 Because I leave him in the lurch
 As soon as text is nam-ed;
 I leave the church in sermon-time
 And slink away to Sally..."