delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Days of birth and posts of fence
delirium happy
rho
I just had a startling (yet entirely useless) realisation: birthdays suffer from a fencepost error.

A person's first birthday is, clearly, on the day that they are actually born. Thus, one year later, when they reach the milestone of 1 year of age, this is therefore their second birthday. As such, despite the fact that I am currently 24 years old, my next birthday will be my 26th.

I just felt that I had to share this useless fact.

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I think the Chinese figured this out a long time ago.

It's still true, though.

The Japanese do this the other way.

Short for 'anniversary of my birth' surely?

I think age has a rounding error on it personally. I'm 25 now and 26 in three weeks?

No, not really. The word birthday doesn't mean "day you're born", that's birthdate. The word birthday literally means "anniversary of your birth". Anniversary has to do with a year since, so your first birthday, by definition, has to be the one year marker of the day you were born.

I was just about to say that, but you'd already said it.

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Indeed. It's a pet peeve of mine when people write, for example, "Enjoy your 24th year," when you turn 24.

Well. Looking at the dictionary.com definition, of the two main sources listed, both define it as either the day of one's birth or the anniversary of this day, and they differ on which is the primary definition. The literal meaning, coming from an etymological point of view is clearly the day of birth, and nothing to do with aniversaries (which literally means returning yearly).

Admitedly, the more common usage seems to be that of an anniversary, but I don't really think that that usage makes a whole lot of sense.

The literal meaning, coming from an etymological point of view is clearly the day of birth, and nothing to do with aniversaries (which literally means returning yearly).

Fair enough. But under that definition, you only have one of them, and what comes up on the 16th of November would be neither my 31st birthday nor my 32nd but merely the anniversary of my birth.

Admitedly, the more common usage seems to be that of an anniversary

*nods*

but I don't really think that that usage makes a whole lot of sense.

Not if you take it literally, no. It's established usage, though.

According to my mother, the Chinese start counting from conception. Of course, my mother says a lot of really random things, so I don't know if this is true or not.

Well, you're a year when you're born - but I also read that you turn two at your first new years, even if that's only a few weeks after your birth.

This makes more sense when people say things like "I'm 7 and a half". Your birthday celebrates the completion of that year of life. I managed to totally freak out my sister by casually mentioning this once, and she realized she was older than she thought of herself as - she found it very disturbing, and I, being the bad sister that I am, found that rather amusing.

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