Primary Meanings of bimonthly
Bi-monthly has only one correct definition and that is every two months. The interpretation of bi-monthly as twice per month might be officially accepted but it is still wrong. Since 2 never equals 1/2, then bi-monthly can never (correctly) have the same meaning as semi-monthly. Although they are close in timeframe they don’t technically equal each other. If I get paid biweekly, I will receive 26 paychecks in a year.
One isn’t better than the other, but I’m VERY aware of the difference. Personally I prefer semi-monthly paychecks; bills, rent, etc are all monthly expenses, and the bi-weekly schedule for paychecks ensure they often don’t match up with incoming expenses. If you get paid every two weeks, you will also see months where you will receive three paychecks instead of two. However, this will only occur if your payday falls on the first Friday of a month that has five Fridays in it. Unfortunately, if your payday falls on the second Friday of those months, you will only receive the usual two paychecks.
n a periodical that is published twice a month or every two months (either 24 or 6 issues per year)
Bimonthly is one of a group of confusing words (including biweekly and biannually) that have two meanings. You can use bimonthly to mean both “twice a month” and “every two months.” The roots of the word are the Latin bi-, “twice” or “double,” and monthly.
I’m searching for a new employer that pays weekly. These companies don’t care about their employees if they are paying anything other than weekly. Most companies run payroll either semi-monthly (twice per month, for example, every 15th and 30th) or biweekly (every two weeks, for example, every other Friday). When you pay your team depends on your preferences. A weekly newspaper is a general-news or current affairs publication that is issued once or twice a week in a wide variety broadsheet, magazine, and digital formats.
Your comments around accepting the fact that language has devolved concerns me as well some others. Does this imply that we must also accept the use of the phrase “mute point” over “moot point”?
If I get paid semimonthly, I will get receive 24 weeks a year. Although it is a small difference, it is a difference. My DD brought home her 4th grade spelling with the word biannual meaning twice a year but biweekly and bimonthly as meaning every 2 weeks or months, respectively. Paying semimonthly means you are making 24 payments each year (two payments each month). A person who gets paid biweekly (every two weeks) gets 26 paychecks a year.
If a worker is earning a known annual salary, then it all comes out the same whether it is divided by 24 and paid semimonthly or whether it is divided by 26 and paid biweekly. For example, most people get paid bi-weekly (that is, 26 paychecks a year) but my company pays me semi-monthly (24 paychecks a year).
However, the example for bi-weekly given (“This magazine is published bi-weekly, on the 1st and 15th of the month.”) is I think incorrect. Because weeks are of fixed length and months are not, bi-weekly (ie. every two week) publications can’t possibly fall on the 1st and 15th of every month. Semi-monthly should have been applied in this instance. This highlights the subtle difference between the bi- and semi- prefix when applied to a temporal word.
If your employer tells you that you get paid semi-monthly (ie. 1st and 15th) and you take that to mean bi-weekly and set your auto billpay for every other Friday, you’ll be bouncing checks on most months! Bi- simply means “two fixed periods added together”; semi means “happening twice in a fixed period”. Semi- can always mean bi- but bi- may not necessarily imply semi-. I don’t think words have devolved, I think people, specifically our literacy and attention to detail have devolved.
- However, the example for bi-weekly given (“This magazine is published bi-weekly, on the 1st and 15th of the month.”) is I think incorrect.
- Because weeks are of fixed length and months are not, bi-weekly (ie. every two week) publications can’t possibly fall on the 1st and 15th of every month.
- Semi-monthly should have been applied in this instance.
Get out your calendar and check the five-Friday months to see when your paydays will fall. I’ve been working as a mechanic for a trucking company almost two years now that pays biweekly and it has been nothing but trouble. If they make a mistake it could take two or more pay periods to be corrected. On the weeks you don’t get paid you don’t really have anything to look forward to so you may not be as productive. The only one who benefits from this trick is the employer…period!
Nick, I think you’re pointing to the source of the confusion. Many people think that since bifurcating (or bisecting) something divides it, then biweekly must mean to divide the week; but they misunderstand the derivation of the word. The reason that bifurcating something divides it is because it causes it to have two (bi-) forks (furcates) or branches. I agree that dictionaries should seek to guard against this, but word misuse isn’t illegal, much as we might lament it. Finding this discussion quite interesting after a meeting at work was scheduled bi-weekly causing confusion.
I hear many many people using “mute point” and it disturbs me greatly, though I have yet to correct anyone. Ironically, in your attempt to assert the correct usage of bi-weekly, you have made a mistake. A publication that is published on the 1st and 15th is semi-monthly, not bi-weekly. The difference is that a semi-monthly publication is published 24 times in a year. A bi-weekly publication is published 26 times in a year, or 27 times if the first one is published on January 1st, or on January 2nd in a leap year.
Bi vs. Semi (weekly, monthly, annually)
How is bi monthly pay calculated?
The term “bimonthly” means that something occurs once every two months. Therefore, a bimonthly payroll means paying employees once every two months. Under this system, there are 26 payrolls per year. Semi-monthly payroll. This payroll is paid twice a month, usually on the 15th and last days of the month.
The double definition means you might need to clarify how often your book club will actually meet. I detect a fair bit of frustration in the posts being tossed about here and it certainly will not end with this thread. For the frustrated, your angst is understandable as you seek closure, but I offer some perspective on the cost of closure. The issue surrounding the fate of “bi” and whether it has “devolved” to the current state is one of prescriptive and descriptive linguistics. Now, before you claim your camp in the war for linguistic superiority, note that the discussions here have been quite lively… linguistically speaking, that is of supreme importance.
We, fortunately, IMHO, are dealing with a living language and this is but one evidence of how truly alive it is. Languages suffocate and die under conquerors, dictators, and other extreme duress. Yes, adults will complain of leet just as vehemently as teenagers will complain of Shakespeare, but rest assured that if your language is living and breathing, the people who use it are as well! I think this contradiction between uses will lead to discontinued use of bi-weekly and bi-monthly unless an authority on word usage takes a stand. The prefix bi- has a fixed meaning and the prefix semi- has a fixed meaning and authorities are sometimes wrong.
Factor in an increase in cultural diversity and we have a society where a growing majority misuse words and, over time, redefine the English language. If I tried to sell bi-weekly as twice a week (semi-weekly) when I was in elementary/middle school years ago, I’d currently be the oldest 5th grader on the planet. At the current rate, in another years, bi-weekly may mean a few times a week, every several weeks or anything in between.
The HR and Payroll Blog
If you get paid weekly, there are several times each year that you’ll take home five paychecks in a month instead of the usual four. That’s because the 52 weeks in a year aren’t distributed evenly between the 12 different months.