Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
biweekly or semiweekly, Business writing, CIO, commonly confused words, grammar, Quiz
|Which is correct?
The licensing committee resolved to meet ________ to ensure that all members could attend at least once a week.
Explanation: Biweekly means every two weeks; semiweekly means twice each week.
Grammar Girl has more on info on semiweekly vs. biweekly.
Breaking news! As David points out in the comment below, according to Merriam-Webster’s site, biweekly means both twice a week and every two weeks. So it looks like the smart thing to do is to avoid using the word at all.
From Grammar Girl:
I don’t know exactly when the change happened, but I know that it did happen. Every style guide I checked recommended avoiding words such as biweekly and bimonthly and instead just saying twice a week or every other week (1, 2, 3, 4). It’s more clear.
You can feel smart if you know the difference between biweekly and semiweekly, but if you write your invitations using those words half the people will probably show up on the wrong day, and that’s no way to run a meeting–unless you’re running a grammar society or a word-lovers club; then your members would probably appreciate the challenge.