1602: Linguistics Club

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Diadem
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:43 pm UTC

SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:The big problem seems similar to the case of less/fewer or literally/figuratively, where it's such a common mistake to use annual to mean ennial, that annual has started taking over the definition of ennial, leading it to hold two contradicting definitions.
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.

I can't figure out if you're joking or not, but how on earth is that supposed to remove ambiguity? If people can use biannual incorrectly for "once every two years" they can use semiannual incorrectly for "twice a year".
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:51 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:If it's biannual, it happens every bi-annum. (period of 2 years.)

"Biannu-al" and "bi-annual" are both sensible interpretations of the ambiguous etymology. Nevertheless, if you really want to settle on a single meaning, the word police seem to disagree with your choice.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby cellocgw » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:15 pm UTC

HES wrote:The one I struggle with:

How often is Bi-monthly?


Twice as often as hetero-monthly? The same as trans-monthly?
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Scott Auld » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:29 pm UTC

...except that linguistics is not the same as etymology.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:42 pm UTC

The club actually meets monthly - Megan is just inviting Ponytail to the meeting where they discuss the meaning of sesquiannual.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby sunshipballoons » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

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.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby sunshipballoons » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:49 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The club actually meets monthly - Megan is just inviting Ponytail to the meeting where they discuss the meaning of sesquiannual.


Yes! This is the only answer here that's even close to right.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby LockeZ » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:51 pm UTC

Guys, guys. This is really simple.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, sesquiannual occurs every 12 years, on the Year of the Sasquatch.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Flumble » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:56 pm UTC

SvenV wrote:Tautology Club's stance on this issue is, interestingly, functionally and literally identical to the stance of the Tautology Club.

Is "interesting" also its antonym too nowadays?

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby orthogon » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:10 pm UTC

One event that really ought to be held sesquennially is the Ashes test series in cricket. Its venue alternates between England and Australia and is always held in the local summer. However, for some reason it's "biennial", which means that there's one every two years on average, but the actual occurrences resemble a Poisson process. Sometimes a team gets to keep the title for almost three years, whereas it was hardly worth England getting changed after winning in 2013 given they had to start the following, 2013/14 series a few weeks later.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Mokurai » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:40 pm UTC

This is Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association.

President: Quiddity Procrastination Quotidian, known to his friends as Quid Pro Quo for short.

The first rule of Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association is that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis beats out antidisestablishmentarianism any sidereal rotation period of the hebdomadary interval.

これは、明らかに言語学のクラブじゃないよ。

Obviamente no es el club de la lingüística.

這顯然不是語言學俱樂部。

Evidemment ce n'est pas la Club Linquistique.

Ni wazi kuwa hawana isimu klabu.

עס איז דאָך ניט לינגוויסטיק קלוב

그것은 분명 언어학 클럽 안인데요.

etc. u.s.w. и так далее

THAT's Linguistic Club.

The first rule of Linguistics Club is,

אַ שפּראַך איז אַ דיאלעקט מיט אַן אַרמיי און אַ פלאָט

A shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un a flot.

A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:21 pm UTC

Mokurai wrote:The first rule of Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association is that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis beats out antidisestablishmentarianism any sidereal rotation period of the hebdomadary interval.

I'm pretty sure that's not a grammatical sentence.

. . . but not totally sure, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby jc » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:47 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Mokurai wrote:The first rule of Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association is that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis beats out antidisestablishmentarianism any sidereal rotation period of the hebdomadary interval.

I'm pretty sure that's not a grammatical sentence.

. . . but not totally sure, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.

It means you're not a candidate for SVEA membership. You should perhaps feel thankful for that.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Showsni » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:00 pm UTC

Assuming they do meet one and a half times a year, then they must meet on December 31st, so that half the meeting can be in one year and half in the next. Since it's the only meaning that allows you to deduce when the meeting is actually held, it's probably the correct one!

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:53 pm UTC

I guess using "sidereal rotation period" (day) as the object of an implied "on", the sentence does make sense.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby astrus » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

If figuring out when a club meets is giving me a headache I probably don't want to join.
Which reminds me, I've been meaning to join procrastination club for a while now but always end up putting it off. They always meet tomorrow.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:I googled and the first two results were:
sesquiannual - Wiktionary
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › sesquia...
Adjective[edit]. sesquiannual (not comparable). occurring 1.5 times a year or every 8 months. Should not be confused ...
Sesquiannual dictionary definition | sesquiannual defined
http://www.yourdictionary.com › sesquiannual
Adjective. (not comparable). occurring every 1.5 years or 18 months. Origin. Latin sesqui-, one and a half + annus, year
Welp.


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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby keldor » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:38 pm UTC

THIS is a job for:

Etymology-Man!!!
Last edited by keldor on Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Platypodes » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:41 pm UTC

SvenV wrote:I understand that language constantly changes, but it saddens me when words are redefined to become potentially useless

Indeed! I don't use any of these words under discussion, sticking to phrases such as "twice a month" and "every other year," for exactly this reason.

cellocgw wrote:
HES wrote:The one I struggle with:

How often is Bi-monthly?


Twice as often as hetero-monthly? The same as trans-monthly?

As opposed to something pan-monthly, which occurs in all months.
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby da Doctah » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:13 pm UTC

keldor wrote:THIS is a job for:

Etymology-Man!!!


He'll surely identify that crawling insect!

Wait, what?

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Flumble » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:19 pm UTC

keldor wrote:THIS is a job for:

Etymology-Man!!!

Did you mean Entomology Man?

quasi-edit: really, I get ninja'd while doing the mark-up? :oops:
real edit: nah, can't be; I just had the page open for some time before hitting reply.


Platypodes wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Twice as often as hetero-monthly? The same as trans-monthly?

As opposed to something pan-monthly, which occurs in all months.

That's nearly as much as a full monthly.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Zinho » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:42 pm UTC

Rossegacebes wrote:
HES wrote:The one I struggle with:

How often is Bi-monthly?


Well, it depends on the parsing:

Bimonth-ly: every bimonth
Bi-monthly: twice every month

My inclination is for the second option, and using "bimestrial" for the first meaning.


I learned a new word today! Thanks!

I prefer to avoid "bimonthly" due to the ambiguity, and use "semimenstrual" for the second meaning, but didn't have a good substitute for the first until now. :D

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Coyoty » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:52 pm UTC

"I guess your Sexy Annual Meeting would be once a year?"
"Sex--? Uh, yes, that's close enough..."

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:44 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Mokurai wrote:The first rule of Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association is that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis beats out antidisestablishmentarianism any sidereal rotation period of the hebdomadary interval.

I'm pretty sure that's not a grammatical sentence.

. . . but not totally sure, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.

You don't need to know the vocabulary to parse the grammar. Mad Libs it:

The first rule of [name of club] is that [noun] beats out [another noun] any [period of time] of the [another period of time].

e.g., The first rule of Dessert Club is that cake beats out pie any day of the week.

Yep, checks out.
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby xtifr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:46 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:The first rule of [name of club] is that [noun] beats out [another noun] any [period of time] of the [another period of time].

That first [noun] needs to be [singular noun] to assure noun-verb agreement. But otherwise, yeah.

While I'm at it, completely off-topic, but inspired by an earlier post:

Pneumonoultra-
Microscopicsilico-
volcaniconi-

Osis is too long
To fit into a single
Standalone haiku.
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby eidako » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:51 am UTC

GOOMGR
Attachments
GoogleDefineSesquiannual.png

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:02 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
Mokurai wrote:The first rule of Sesquipedalian Vocabulary Entities Association is that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis beats out antidisestablishmentarianism any sidereal rotation period of the hebdomadary interval.
I'm pretty sure that's not a grammatical sentence.

. . . but not totally sure, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.

You don't need to know the vocabulary to parse the grammar.

You have to recognize "sidereal rotation period" and "hebdomadary interval" as distinct noun phrases. I was trying to put "rotation period" together and it made no sense that way.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby SomeGuyNamedDavid » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:23 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:The big problem seems similar to the case of less/fewer or literally/figuratively, where it's such a common mistake to use annual to mean ennial, that annual has started taking over the definition of ennial, leading it to hold two contradicting definitions.
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.

I can't figure out if you're joking or not, but how on earth is that supposed to remove ambiguity? If people can use biannual incorrectly for "once every two years" they can use semiannual incorrectly for "twice a year".

I suppose in theory they could, but I feel like "semi" more naturally has a connotation of a part of something, in this case every half a year.
You could theoretically get away with using it to mean "½ times per year" but that's more awkward.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:03 am UTC

SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:
Diadem wrote:
SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:The big problem seems similar to the case of less/fewer or literally/figuratively, where it's such a common mistake to use annual to mean ennial, that annual has started taking over the definition of ennial, leading it to hold two contradicting definitions.
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.

I can't figure out if you're joking or not, but how on earth is that supposed to remove ambiguity? If people can use biannual incorrectly for "once every two years" they can use semiannual incorrectly for "twice a year".

I suppose in theory they could, but I feel like "semi" more naturally has a connotation of a part of something, in this case every half a year.
You could theoretically get away with using it to mean "½ times per year" but that's more awkward.

That's exactly what I thought it meant, because I assumed it had to be the inverse of "biannual." It seems highly unusual that "biannual" and "semiannual" should be synonyms.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby astrus » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:28 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:
Diadem wrote:
SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:The big problem seems similar to the case of less/fewer or literally/figuratively, where it's such a common mistake to use annual to mean ennial, that annual has started taking over the definition of ennial, leading it to hold two contradicting definitions.
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.

I can't figure out if you're joking or not, but how on earth is that supposed to remove ambiguity? If people can use biannual incorrectly for "once every two years" they can use semiannual incorrectly for "twice a year".

I suppose in theory they could, but I feel like "semi" more naturally has a connotation of a part of something, in this case every half a year.
You could theoretically get away with using it to mean "½ times per year" but that's more awkward.

That's exactly what I thought it meant, because I assumed it had to be the inverse of "biannual." It seems highly unusual that "biannual" and "semiannual" should be synonyms.

The way I understood it, which is not saying much, is that they are only synonyms in so far as they both describe something happening twice a year.
I always thought semiannual specified something happening every half a year and biannual something happening twice in a year (but both occurences could be in the same half of the year).

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Sandor » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:00 pm UTC

Mokurai wrote:the hebdomadary interval.

That doesn't quite work as silly way of saying "week". As far as can tell, "hebdomadary" (as used here) is a synonym for "weekly". A "weekly interval" has to be an interval from doing (or between) something, but you don't say what. The most obvious candidate would be the "working hebdomadary interval", i.e. the weekend.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby orthogon » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:23 pm UTC

Sandor wrote:
Mokurai wrote:the hebdomadary interval.

That doesn't quite work as silly way of saying "week". As far as can tell, "hebdomadary" (as used here) is a synonym for "weekly". A "weekly interval" has to be an interval from doing (or between) something, but you don't say what. The most obvious candidate would be the "working hebdomadary interval", i.e. the weekend.

Interval can mean "The space of time intervening between two points of time" (OED sense 2a, first attested 1614). It doesn't have to be specifically a break between two events or actions, or parts of an action (that's sense 1).

Remind me again, how many humps does a hebdomadary have?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:01 pm UTC

SomeGuyNamedDavid wrote:
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.

sunshipballoons wrote: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.
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby alanbbent » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:42 pm UTC

Maaan, I thought for sure that the prefix bi- meant "two of whatever comes after the hyphen." And it apparently does not necessarily mean that. I'm usually the guy who says "meh, people understand it different ways because no way is clear enough. It's not worth rustling your jimmies over; just find another way to say it." But now, my jimmies are the ones that are being rustled over this. This one got me. I'm going to close this tab and my jimmies will remain in a slightly rustled state.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:22 pm UTC

If I were the president of this club, I would probably add to the fun by sending out meeting reminders on Thursday or Friday to say the meeting will be "next Monday".
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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If I were the president of this club, I would probably add to the fun by sending out meeting reminders on Thursday or Friday to say the meeting will be "next Monday".

At 12 a.m.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby orthogon » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:34 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If I were the president of this club, I would probably add to the fun by sending out meeting reminders on Thursday or Friday to say the meeting will be "next Monday".

At 12 a.m.

I had a long and pointless conversation with the call centre for a car rental company, trying to extend my rental period. The guy kept saying the return time was 12am, midday. He simply would not have it that midday is 12pm, and we finally agreed to differ on the basis that the office wasn't open at midnight so it had to be midday, and that actually their system used the 24 hour clock and he was adding the "am" himself.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby speising » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:50 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If I were the president of this club, I would probably add to the fun by sending out meeting reminders on Thursday or Friday to say the meeting will be "next Monday".

At 12 a.m.

I had a long and pointless conversation with the call centre for a car rental company, trying to extend my rental period. The guy kept saying the return time was 12am, midday. He simply would not have it that midday is 12pm, and we finally agreed to differ on the basis that the office wasn't open at midnight so it had to be midday, and that actually their system used the 24 hour clock and he was adding the "am" himself.

Noon is, obviously, neither ante nor post meridiem. So both can reasonably only refer to midnight, right?

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:54 pm UTC

speising wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If I were the president of this club, I would probably add to the fun by sending out meeting reminders on Thursday or Friday to say the meeting will be "next Monday".

At 12 a.m.

I had a long and pointless conversation with the call centre for a car rental company, trying to extend my rental period. The guy kept saying the return time was 12am, midday. He simply would not have it that midday is 12pm, and we finally agreed to differ on the basis that the office wasn't open at midnight so it had to be midday, and that actually their system used the 24 hour clock and he was adding the "am" himself.

Noon is, obviously, neither ante nor post meridiem. So both can reasonably only refer to midnight, right?


By convention, 12:00:00 has the same signifier as the rest of the hour (12:00:01-12:59:59), so 12pm is noon.

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Re: 1602: Linguistics Club

Postby HES » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:57 pm UTC

Since time is continuous, 12:00:00 is infinitesimally short and therefore doesn't exist.
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