One of the reasons I prefer to communicate in writing is I often dwell on what I wish to say, refining the words to make the message clear and concise. In spoken words, I definitely lack that precision.

Something that really annoys me is the use of the prefix “bi-“. This illustrates why:

Since bi– can be taken to mean either “twice each” or “every two,” a word like biweekly can be understood as “twice each week” or “every two weeks.” To avoid confusion, it is better to use the prefix semi– to mean “twice each” (semiannual; semimonthly; semiweekly) or the phrase twice a or twice each (twice a month; twice a week; twice each year), and for the other sense to use the phrase every two (every two months; every two weeks; every two years).

Every time someone uses biweekly or bimonthly, we end up in a discussion over whether its “twice a” or “twice each” as people don’t understand it can be either.


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