But if you'd like to use Lynneukah to be nice to someone else, then may I suggest a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières (known in the US as Doctors Without Borders)? I'll be making a birthday donation myself, but know that I often wait for an excuse (someone running a race or selling something or taking a collection) to donate to good causes that aren't my regular charities. So, I'm offering you an excuse to donate a little or a lot to a group that does a lot of good in a lot of very difficult situations.
- Lynneukah ('The Joyous Festival of Lynne') is the name of the ritualistic marking of my birthday, over a number of days each (AmE) fall/(BrE&AmE) autumn.
- It was named/founded in the 80s by an ex of mine who noted that I liked to string my birthday celebrations out for as long as possible.
- It is the consecutive days in any year that include 3 October and involve some marking of my birthday--e.g. a card in the (BrE) post/(AmE) mail, a colleague buying me a drink, an email from a long-lost somebody who noticed it in their (AmE) datebook/(BrE) diary.
- 3 October is referred to as High Lynneukah. (Also German Reunification day, but it was High Lynneukah first!)
- Because the definition relies on consecutive days, you can't necessarily tell when it has started. On receipt of the first card, I declare it 'Lynneukah season' and then wait and see what the next few days bring. I typically know it's Lynneukah by day 3.
- It's been as short as 5 days and as long as 12.
- It is a sin to try to artificially prolong Lynneukah.
- You don't have to know me or do anything for me to celebrate Lynneukah. The theme of the day/season is 'being nice to yourself'--so if anyone uses it as an excuse to sleep late or eat chocolate, that's great.
If you're in the US, you can click here to make a donation.
If you're in the UK, you can click here to make a donation (and GiftAid it, if you qualify).
If you're anywhere else, you can see if there's a MSF fundraising branch in your country, but there's nothing (other than the risk of credit card fees for foreign payments) to stop you using the above donation sites.
That said (and thanks for reading through to here), I was trying to think of a birthday-themed topic to blog about, but we talked about the spanking rituals last year, and I can't think of anything else at the moment (requests for next year are welcome). But birthdays are about time, so here's a time-related topic, spurred on by this email from Gordon:
I just came across this phrase, written by a Brit: a week tomorrow. I've never heard it that way, but I interpreted it to mean "a week from tomorrow". It was used multiple times, so I know it wasn't a typo.A week tomorrow, on October 1st, a book is going to be published. This is not news. Lots of books will be published a week tomorrow, and indeed a week after that (and, for that matter, tomorrow). [source]
What's the story here?Indeed, that's a very natural way to say (AmE and BrE) a week from tomorrow in BrE, as in these quotations from the Guardian's website:
...a royal ceremonial funeral, which will be held a week tomorrow at Westminster Abbey.BrE can do the same kind of thing for other days than tomorrow (today, yesterday). Where using the name of a day of the week, one needs on, as in the following examples:
... with each of the three contenders wanting to chalk up a good result ahead of the key South Carolina Democratic primary a week tomorrow.
Luka Modric broke a leg in a Premier League match against Birmingham City last Saturday, ruling him out of World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley a week tomorrow.
A week on Wednesday one of JMW Turner's finest paintings, Pope's Villa at Twickenham, will be auctioned at Sotheby's.
John McCain is expected to make his VP announcement a week on Friday
Where you read a week tomorrow in AmE sources, it generally refers to the past (all examples from the Boston Globe's site):
I've been married a week tomorrow and I am on cloud 9 with my husband!In these cases, we can read this as 'tomorrow, it will be a week since X happened'. This is
It will be a week tomorrow and I am still waiting for the car dealership to get approval from CARS.gov.
You can use either of these phrases with other lengths of time, but the longer the time, the less likely you are to find the BrE future-facing version. There are at least hundreds (I haven't gone through and discounted all the irrelevant ones) of cases of a week tomorrow on the Guardian site and only one of a year tomorrow.
Now, we must note that the BrE future-facing a week tomorrow and the past-facing AmE a week tomorrow have different prosody (intonation). If you've read this blog before, you know that (BrE) I'm rubbish at phonology, so I won't try to draw any intonation curves or anything. I'm so rubbish at phonology that I might even be wrong about there being a difference, since when I try to recreate it in my head, they end up sounding like a hundred different things and like each other. But bidialectal or prosodically-gifted folks out there are welcome to weigh in on that.
On a related topic (but certainly not exhausting week differences across the dialects), I'd like to point out day-week combinations in BrE, as in the Elvis Costello song 'Wednesday Week', which starts:
Now, ([orig.] AmE) back in the day, when I was a young thing snubbing (AmE) pop in order to listen to British (BrE) pop, I enjoyed this song very much, not appreciating that I didn't understand it. I thought Wednesday week was just a nonsense date for a song, like the 12th of Never. Now I know that it's a BrE way of saying 'a week from Wednesday'.
The movies save on conversation
And the TV saves on sight
We met in a head-on collision
So I would say our chances would be slight
You can lead and I will follow
See us dancing cheek to cheek
You'll remember me tomorrow
But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week
Thus concludes this instal(l)ment of my continuing public service of explaining British song lyrics to mistaken Americans like me who (in the 1980s) thought they were cool for (orig. AmE) 'getting' British music.
Happy Lynneukah to all, and to all a good night!