View Full Version : Inaugural and Annual: Settle an Argument

05-13-2003, 05:55 PM
My neighbor says that the terms inaugural and annual should be used thusly:

Inaugural BBQ <--- 1st Year
First Annual BBQ <--- 2nd Year
Second Annual BBQ <--- 3rd Year
And so on.

I say they should be used in this way:

Inaugural BBQ <--- 1st Year
Second Annual BBQ <--- 2nd Year
Third Annual BBQ <--- 3rd Year

I've Googled. No dice. Can ya help a Doper out, with cite, if possible? Many thanks, dear friends.

05-13-2003, 06:02 PM
I never heard "inaugural" used in this fashion. I am accustomed to either of these two:

Where you've committed yourself to having a BBQ every year indefinitely:

First Annual BBQ <--- 1st Year
Second Annual BBQ <--- 2nd Year
Third Annual BBQ <--- 3rd Year

Where you're not so sure about the viability of the yearly BBQ, the first one is simple "The BBQ". Then, when the second one being planned, it is called "Second Annual BBQ", and last year's is retroactively renamed "First Annual BBQ". (Kind of like how "The Great War" got renamed to be "World War One".)

05-13-2003, 06:27 PM
Gazelle, perhaps your friend is confusing annual with anniversary. If the first event is The BBQ, and a similar event is held the next year and the year after, then the third event is certainly the Third Annual BBQ--it is a barbecue, is "annual" because it has been held annually, and is the third such event. But the third event may also be called the Second Anniversary BBQ, if each subsequent event is commemorating the original event.

05-13-2003, 06:28 PM
in·au·gu·ral adj.

1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of an inauguration.
2. Initial; first: the inaugural issue of a magazine. Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=inaugural an·nu·al adj.

1. Recurring, done, or performed every year; yearly: an annual medical examination.
2. Of, relating to, or determined by a year: an annual income. Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=annual

You cannot have a "first annual." Use of the word annual implies an already ongoing event. An event only becomes an annual event after there is a first one, and it really is an annual event.

Inaugural or First BBQ <----- The very first one.
Second Annual BBQ <----- The second one.
Third Annual BBQ <----- The third one.

And so on.

You are correct.

Your friend is not.

05-13-2003, 07:05 PM
Much grass, my friends.

I love it when I'm right!



Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.