Birthdays and Semantics

Everyone’s two favorite things! :slight_smile:

Okay, so say it’s your birthday and you hear from a friend multiple times over the course of the day and it is clear to you they didn’t remember it’s your birthday. Then finally, late in the afternoon, without you or anyone else reminding them, they remember and wish you a happy birthday.

  1. Would it be accurate to say they forgot your birthday even though they remembered later?

  2. Does a person who doesn’t say Happy Birthday right away get the same amount of “credit” for remembering as someone who remembers right away?

BTW while this question was inspired by real events no feelings were actually hurt by anyone involved.

I’m perfectly happy if nobody even knows when my birthday is.

There’s a three day window. As long as you remember within three days of the actual date, you’re good, and it counts as a proper acknowledgement. After that, it’s a belated acknowledgement.

Any time on the day itself is absolutely fine.

SpoilerVirgin: Hear, hear! Like the fifteen-second rule for dropped food!

Super technically speaking, yeah, the guy in the OP’s example probably did forget, and remember later. That happens.

But we don’t know that for sure. Maybe, “By the way happy birthday” was right on the tip of his tongue, when the birthday boy said something offensive or challenging or aggressive – “Say, when are you going to pay me that damned forty dollars? You know it’s been two months!” – and the other guy realized that it wasn’t an appropriate time to say “Happy Birthday.” So he contrived to call back at a later time, so he could work it into the conversation properly.

Who can know? Know any mind-readers?

Quimby, do you know the meaning of “semantics”?

There is no need to have people try and remember your birthday if you just tell them it is your birthday. I personally don’t give a rat’s ass about people saying happy bday to me, but I DO expect them to buy me a drink or 12, so I remind them.

Semantics in the sense that I was teasing the person by saying they did indeed technically “forget” my birthday and it sparked a conversation as to what what exactly “forgot” means in this context and at one point can you definitively say they “forgot my birthday”. It was all in fun but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion topic.

ETA: unless that question was a pun and I was wooshed…


What is your astrological sign? Ursa Minor, like me? Because us Polarisians are that way.

You wake up on a day off (let’s say it’s a Thursday) and you don’t think about it being Thursday all day. You just think about it being your day off. Then sometime in the late afternoon you realize it’s Thursday and your favorite TV show is on tonight.

Is it accurate to say you forgot what day it is, or is it just that you didn’t think about it?

And when you do finally think about it being Thursday, do you get “full credit” for realizing it’s Thursday while it’s still Thursday?

Do the Jews celebrate birthdays differently? I thought that was only the Jehovah’s Witnesses.