Submitted by sabrinajaffe on March 26, 2010

Proper label for an annual event that skipped a year

If you’ve had 5 annual events in 5 consecutive years, then skip the 6th year, and have the event again the 7th year, do you call it the 6th annual or the 7th annual?

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Personally, I would call it "6th". Skipping a year does not necessarily cast a doubt on the number, but on the word "annual". If you end up skipping another year, it would turn into "biennial". In other words, the number part refers to a historical fact, but the "annual" part refers to your intention. That is my own opinion.

<a href="/?p=925" rel="nofollow">Here is a related post</a>.

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Thanks!!!

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Just like an essay, I will try to give you the prudent answer first: That is a fallacy.

On first thought, if anything, it would be the sixth annual. Literally, you only had six. Calling the sixth the seventh would be a lie. However, there is an exception. If it's annual, and on the sixth year, something happened, like a tornado, or logistical problems, that prevented the event from being hosted, then it would rightfully be the seventh.

One can probably imagine this event's website. This website would have a history section. Subsections would show 'year 1', 'year 2', and so on. 'year 6' would simply say that it the event was held, but fans who arrived would all know that hosting problems occurred.

If the reason was simply that people were lazy to do a sixth year or forgot, but not some unforeseeable intervention, then this whole thing is a fallacy. It is NOT the sixth year, nor the seventh year; it is the first year.

Think about dynasties or kingdoms. There was a kingdom, and a dynasty (or a lineage). It was conquered by a neighbouring kingdom. It was renamed 'Kingdom 2'. Then, some loyal followers of the first kingdom, wanted to restore the "original" dynasty. And so, they led a coup, re-instating one of the descendants of the king of 'Kingdom 1'. Now, irregardless of the new 'Kingdom 3' having more territory (as it is now combined), it still needs to be called 'Kingdom 3'. It is a new entity, as it had a break in between.

In your case, the break was simply not having an annual event, which is the fundamentals of something annual.

You can also use the organisation or language analogy. Like, once a language disappears from the face of the earth, because of ethnic cleansing, it is gone forever. However, I don't want to be redundant; I think you have gotten the point.

Sorry for explaining it in a philosophical way, but it is the only way; and, rightfully so! You asked this question - obviously - because it was a complicated issue; if not, it is because you didn't think it was as complicated, because not a lot of thinking was involved, which explains how you couldn't answer the question.

Thanks for asking the question, because it is indeed a meaningful concept, and I hope I didn't come off as rude.

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