Talk:1602: Linguistics Club

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If biannual is ambiguous, meaning either biennial (every two years) or semiannual (twice each year), then isn't sesquiannual similarly ambiguous, meaning either every 1.5 years (every 18 months), or 1.5 times a year (every 8 months)?

Pete (talk) 06:38, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Could it not mean it meets one and a half tines each year, so once during each year then every other new years it meets with half the meeting before the ball drop and the other half after? 06:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

You know, I always thought the roots of "sesqui-" equated to "six quarters" (i.e. 1½). Today I learn that it's apparently "a half and (the original unit, about to be mentioned)". I'm glad I read this place. 06:49, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

...and then I nearly made a total mess of the editing, while trying to add info and 'correct' it, but I think it's back to how it should be, with the correct amount of appropriate justifications. (Note, "sesquicentennial" could be read as "one half (0.5) plus one hundred (100) years", i.e. 100.5 years, but the intended grammatical formation is "one-half-plus-one (1.5) hundred years", i.e. 150 years. Whilst "sesquicentannual" would doubtless be... give or take, according to rigor... something that occured every two days, ten hours and twenty-four minutes, I suppose.) 07:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I thought that the root of the Russian word "poltora" (same meaning) was "half of three", but it's actually "half to two". Now if I could only understand why the English phrase "half again as much" also means 1.5 times...
Well, 'round these parts it's generally said in a different order, as "half as much again", which is more obviously 50% on top, or 150%.
If only I could stop people saying "four times less". One can only presume they mean 25%, a quarter (the reverse of the quarter being made "more by four times" to make the whole). But three times less would be a third, two times less a half and one times less... well, that breaks things. Rather than the unaltered 100%, parsing that suggests either 0%, or possibly half, if the reverse is "one time more (on top of the starting point)". In which case "four times less" is 20%, so that "four times more" adds four more 20%s to get you up to the 100%...
Which is a totally different mathematical conundrum from removing 10% then adding 10% to get to 99%. (original - (10%*original) = 90%*original = midstep. midstep + (10%*midstep) = 90%*original + (9%*original) = 99% original.) Or adding 10% (110% original) then removing 10% (-11% original), which is commutatively the same pair of operations (*1.1, *0.9) in reverse.
But that's probably not relevent. 08:33, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

On-topic, I understand "biannual" as "every 6 months", so by extension "sesquiannual" would mean "every 8 months". Not to be confused with "sesquiennial", which does mean "every 18 months" (as in Fifth Sesquiennial Best Article Elections of Russian Uncyclopedia; sadly the Sixth Elections had not proceeded on the account of only having one eligible candidate, and there are still no eligible candidates for the Seventh, due in July). -- 07:52, 11 November 2015 (UTC)