Sorry biweekly, you've just been ejected from my vocabulary. I
hate to be esoteric in my language and use a word like fortnightly,
but when your definition from Merriam
Webster has two directly conflicting definitions I simply
cannot use that word. Fortnightly it is!
From Grammar Girl:
Semi- always means "half." You can remember the meaning by
remembering that semisweet chocolate is only half sweet, and
semiannual sales happen twice a year.
Bi- can mean both "two" and "twice." Bifocals have two lenses
and the bicentennial happens after two hundred years, but a
biannual event happens twice a year.
A listener named Eric pointed out that these terms are
relatively set in the mortgage industry. A bimonthly payment is
paid two times a month, but a biweekly payment is made every two
weeks-not two times a week as you might presume if you were trying
to adhere to just one meaning for the prefix bi-. The
Merriam-Webster website explains that the "ambiguity has been in
existence for nearly a century and a half." How frustrating!
Reading that makes me feel like I'm crazy. As a coworker
"biannual is twice per year, but can also be a synonym for
biennial which is every other year" This is terrible.
Are we insane??