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Sunday, 18 September 2016


Even Merriam-Webster's notes that biannual means two things, and therefore is a useless word.

You very rarely disappoint, Michael, but today short of actually disappointing you surprised me in a disappointing way. I would have thought that with your love of the subtlety of meanings and uses of language that you would have relished the differences - and the apparent misleading similarities - of biennial and biannual. In these days when frequently I am told that "it doesn't matter so long as it can be understood" I would have expected you to be one of the stalwarts defending precision in language and the wonderful - and often useful - eccentricities that can contribute to the satisfactions it offers.

[I would argue that the real pleasure of language is communication, and when words so easily hinder communication, as in the case of this pair, then mere propriety isn't really sufficient recompense. That's just my opinion. --Mike]

If the rumors are true we'll see a new Olympus flagship camera tomorrow, a new Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera and a Fuji mirrorless medium format digital camera as well.

That's pretty big. I'm super psyched about both the new E-M1 and the digital medium format Fuji.

"Biennial" nearly useless? I think not! How are we to describe perennial, biennial and annual flowers in our gardens? Not sure I've ever seen "biannual".

[Wait...there are plants that come up only every two years? I know very little about plants, and that's another thing I did not know. --Mike]

If John Ashbourne's comment had been written by me, it would have an inadvertent misspelling or typo in it.


Interesting that first two comments are appropriately iirregardless.....or is it regardless ?

Maybe my attempts (not always successful) to be fastidious about the use of English stem from the sloppy current interchangeability of
'their' and 'there' among many such ... however actually it may well originate from being taken to the London Zoo at 7 or 8 years old to see the two African Lions that had been recently presented to Mr (as he was then) Churchill. When writing my account of the visit the next day I referred to having "seen Mr Churchill's LOINS at the Zoo" and can still clearly remember the ridicule from the teacher in front of my classmates - all the worse as at that time I was unaware of what loins were and certainly did not understand why they might be the cause of her hilarity.

i think the common onion is the most common biennial plant. you plant the seed it grows but it flowers the next year. if you have a garden of vegetables you can buy and plant small one year old onions but you should stop watering and harvest them before they flower.

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