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"first annual" vs. "inaugural" Options
Drew
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:46:07 PM
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I corrected a co-worker this morning for referring to an award as "first annual." For a long time, I've been under the impression the phrase "first annual" is inappropriate, and that you should instead use the term "inaugural." My co-worker said he was not aware of that rule. Regardless, I think I will continue to use "inaugural" anyway because, to me, it simply sounds better.

Has anyone else heard the rule that forbids "first annual"? Or is the usage of the phrase sound English?
JPK
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:56:15 PM
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I personally have never heard of such a rule. I like "inaugural", but if you want to emphasize that a particular event is going to happen every year from now on, I would still use "first annual".
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:23:56 PM

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Drew, perhaps it is just that "first annual" implies a little hubris; what is to guarantee the second annual will occur, or that it will necessarily be done the next year.

After the fact, once there have been at least to events, the first could then be referred to as the "first annual" but until there has been more than one, I much prefer "inaugural" as well.
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:37:47 PM

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Inaugural does not imply annual. It could be the first of many planned biennial celebrations of something, or weekly, or whatever. So, if the event is to be annual, first annual is more precise.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
early_apex
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:16:51 PM

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If this is the first event of its kind, and you hope to have another one in twelve months, you could just as well say "first centennial" or "first millenial", 'cause, you know, the future is so far out there and life is uncertain.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
capo403
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:36:06 PM

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I agree with Ruth and Drew.


"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you"? -William A. Ward
Tman
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 6:37:24 PM

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I'm sure that within the last year or two, considering the state of economies world wide, that there have been a few inaugural events take place that were planned to be first annual events and the 2nd one will never come to fruition. In order for it to be annual I would think that at least two would have had to have taken place.

" I am easily satisfied with the very best" Winston Churchill
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 6:43:42 PM

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capo403 wrote:
I agree with Ruth and Drew.

Thanks, but I think I need to never use the "Quick reply." I cannot seem to read well unless I'm looking at a preview; hope my reply was intelligible despite typos! d'oh!
early_apex
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 6:49:20 PM

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I think some inaugurals only occur once every four years.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
Spanish Teacher
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:35:43 PM

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Personally, I fail to see the logic in stating that if subsequent annual events are not known to take place. That would obviate the expression "first annual", wouldn't it? Think In other words, it would be moot for the expression to even exist if it based on the foreknowledge of there being future events.

I don't mean to get philosophical here, but life is filled with unknowns and, in my humble opinion, thinking this way would negate any sort of optimism. But I digress...

The expression "first annual" is precise in its usage here if there are future events planned (whether or not these are realized is neither here nor there). The term "inaugural" simply means 'that which occurs for the first time', whether it is a daily, weekly, or annual affair, etc. has no effect on its correctness here.
bugdoctor
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:46:51 PM

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Luftmarque wrote:
Inaugural does not imply annual. It could be the first of many planned biennial celebrations of something, or weekly, or whatever. So, if the event is to be annual, first annual is more precise.


I agree with this assessment. Inaugural means first, and has no connection with a specific time span.

"Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
yorkiebar
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 10:05:50 AM
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For me inaugural has the idea of 'opening' as well as/rather than 'first'. At a congress, for example, you wouldn't refer to an opening speech as the first speech, but rather the inaugural one. A new shop would have an inauguration.
I'm with those voting in favour of inaugural...
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