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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Usage issue: Anniversary

I was reading a grocery flyer this morning (my life is so exciting...) and came across a very common, but redundant, expression: the store was celebrating its "One-year anniversary". Since an anniversary is by definition "the yearly return of a date on which an event took place in a previous year" (Canadian Oxford Dictionary), using the word "year" in connection with "anniversary" is superfluous. "First anniversary" (or "second", "third", etc.) is all that is needed.

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.