You see, having to write a column is just like having to write a book report. It all starts innocently enough. The teacher announces that a book report is due in six weeks on the topic of science fiction. You are expected to go down to the library and choose a book of which you would like to write the report on, and then write four pages describing the story. You think to yourself “six weeks, plenty of time!” But then six weeks become four, and four becomes three, and the book report starts to haunt your every move. You know that the day is approaching when you’re gonna have to hand in that report. The thought follows you, giving you no rest and everything you do lurking underneath the surface is the fact you have to do that book report! And of course you procrastinate, until finally, the night before the report is due, you wake up in middle of the night in a cold sweat realizing you haven’t even started. So, on the bus the next day you look through the book trying to find out the main characters’ names, and then become the world’s first eleven year old novelist, coming up with the best story you can think of. No thank you, those days are over for me.
But the editor was very persistent and in the end I acquiesced based on two reasons:
1) They promised they will not call my parents if I’m late in handing in my column. 2) The editor informed me the magazine is only bimonthly anyways, so I figured I can handle that.
Well, two weeks later I get a phone call from the editor asking if I’m finished with my column and the conversation went something like this.
Me: “What do you mean ready? I have another six weeks?”
Editor: “What are you talking about? I told you the magazine is bimonthly.”
Me: “Exactly, once every two months, bimonthly.”
Editor: “No, bimonthly means once every two weeks.”
Me: “No, biweekly means once every two weeks!”
Editor: “What? Biweekly means twice a week!”
Well there was only one way to solve this issue…. Webster’s dictionary. So I went rummaging through my old school books until I found my dictionary from seventh grade (boy, I was a great doodler) and hastily opened up to “bimonthly”, and I quote: “BIMONTHLY: 1) occurring every two months 2) occurring twice a month.”
Thanks a lot Webster.Way to really solve that argument. (Although I would like to point out that the first definition was every two months!)
So here I am once again pulling an all-nighter to get my late report finished and my fears have become a reality. Well, at least they didn’t call my Mom.