Letter: Let's call it a birthaversary

There is a need to be published to be an opinion and subject to public scrutiny. Have fun with it — Happy Birthaversary — for or against?

Globe Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
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Happy Birthaversary,

Ever wonder why we call the anniversary of our births our “birthday” (first, fifth 19th …) when we are really — always were — one “birth” day older than that?

Our whole economy is geared this way. The big events — first birthday, teenager, 18, becoming “legal 21”, 65 or 66 or 67, etc. to retire — all are set at the end of the stated year that has already been lived; thus an anniversary, or birthaversary.

Our years are not set up that way; we started with the year of our Lord 1 and the end of a century was the last day of 100 with the new century actually beginning on the first day of 101.

Where, when, why did it change?


If we need to keep it this way, then can we at least call it as it is — a Birthaversary — being more true to our language?

Ah, yes, a pitiful tiny lament I know, but one that can only grow if once pointed out because — maybe because — I want it to be that way and if I want it that way, doesn’t it have weight and validity just because I say so?

Birth a new movement and proclaim Happy Birthaversary. It’s now here to stay — embrace it, get used to it and as more are added and as we grow there will be numbers too big to ignore ’til we are recognized by the psychiatric world and the ACLU (both are the really “important ones”? LOL, self-imposed — shaping today’s culture, get these on your side and soon there will be tons of books, taught in schools, sitcoms applying, the airwaves filled, the message outed, lawsuits pending, litigation looming, congress billing and — what a sad world they have made!)

But no, that won’t happen, for this term renews an actual truth and they love to twist and turn meanings til they are meaningless or they have their stamp or brand of inflection. (The Sadducees of this age of pride in its worst sense.)

This musing may be dismissed as meaningless, for of what value is truth over tradition these days with a culture bent on making its own way and yes, as so often happens, the religious culture follows suit, declaring bad good and good, bad.

Sad, sad, sad! Oh well, ‘twas a thought — ‘twas a thought and now, being on paper or computer, ‘twas becomes ‘tis a statement.

There is a need to be published to be an opinion and subject to public scrutiny. Have fun with it — Happy Birthaversary — for or against? Yes, it can be sung! Or is this a forlorn litany?

My wife and I got the snowball rolling on this, my 67th birthaversary.


Ron Sternke

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