Numbers: Year-related terms

December 27, 2007: Issue 219

As we wrap up 2007, let’s look at some words related to years:

anniversary—the yearly (not weekly or monthly) recurrence of a date marking a specific event
annual—occurring once a year; completing a life cycle in a single year
biennial*—occurring every two years; a plant with a two-year life cycle
perennial—occurring year-round; occurring year after year; constant
semiannual*—occurring twice a year

*Biannual can take either of these definitions, so avoid this term unless your intent is to be vague.

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