Eebster the Great wrote:So then biennial = semiannual?
Actually, biannual = semiannual. Semiannual, I suppose, is just a more explicit way to say biannual so that the "twice a year or every two years" debate doesn't come up.
That's the point, though: if you insist that "annual" means "per year" and "ennial" means "years", then biennial would have to mean the same as semiannual, and biannual would mean the same as semiennial.
If "biannual" necessarily and objectively means the same as "semiannual", then by your own logic "bi" must mean the same as "semi".
The joke in this comic is precisely that people can't agree on which meaning is correct (and presumably even moreso for an obscure non-integer prefix like "sesqui").
Note that it doesn't matter whether there's any "official" answer--if large numbers of people "mis"understand something, then whether it's "correct" or not you should avoid saying it if your goal in speaking is to communicate information to another person.
I'm sure you all are right about the definition of sesquiannual, but this cartoon does not warrant the conclusion that the club meets sequiannually. We know only that the club has a sesquiannual meeting, but not to the exclusion of any other meeting. The linguistics club might also have another, annual meeting, a bi-annual meeting, a monthly meeting, and an every-decade meeting.
Therefore, either (1) the only way to become a member of the linguistics club is to guess how often it meets, assuming the club would consider guessing to constitute "figuring out"; or (2) it is impossible to become a member of the linguistics club.
The meaning of the word sequiannaul does not figure into the question.
I imagine they have at least two groups of regular meetings: the sesquiannual meetings that happen 1.5 times per year on average, and the sesquiannual meetings that happen every 1.5 years.
They may also have bimonthly or semiweekly meetings, but that's only for the steering committee.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care
whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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