This week is the 12th anniversary of the Grammar Girl podcast. Yes, 12 years ago, I sat in a coffeeshop on the beach in Santa Cruz, California, jotted three episode ideas on a napkin, and went home and recorded the first shows.
A lot has happened since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed in 12 years is confusion and irritation about the word itself: “anniversary.”
‘12th Anniversary’ or ’12-Year Anniversary’?
“Anniversary” has the meaning “year” embedded in it. The word comes from the Latin “annus” which means “year” and “versus,” which means “to turn.” So an anniversary marks the turning of a year.
That’s why it’s better to say we’re celebrating our 12th anniversary instead of our 12-year anniversary. It’s our twelfth turn of the year, not our twelve year turn of the year.