Would you take necessary step to change wishing expression of "Happy Birth Day" and it convert?

Dear Authority,

I have an observation. The observation is that: Birth of a man happen at one time; so when we celebrate a man's birthday after his/her 1 or more years from his/her birthday, we should wish him/her as "happy birth anniversary", not as "happy birth day". According to me, "happy birth anniversary" is correct but "happy birth day" is wrong. Because, birth day of a man comes at regular interval at every year; but birth of a man does not come again after birth of a man. So, Wishing to anybody at his /her birth day as Happy birth Anniversary" is correct.
Please, take neccessary step about it and know me.

So, Would you take necessary step to change wishing expression of "Happy Birth Day" and convert as "Happy Birth Anniversary"?




  • SimoneSimone admin

    Hi @wahidmiaarun
    Welcome to the forum, and an interesting point you raised there.

    However, Oxford Dictionaries are not prescriptive - they don't create or impose senses for words or expressions.
    The dictionaries record the use of the language, i.e. the way people use words and phrases.
    Of course languages change and evolve all the time, and a new sense will be added to the dictionary when there is enough evidence that people have been using it.
    Therefore, although your comment is interesting, we can't change the expression 'happy birthday' - it probably wouldn't make much of a difference in the way people use it!

    You are very welcome to make suggestions of words/expressions to be included in the dictionary by using this link for submitting suggestions to the OED.
    But as I mentioned above there would have to be sufficient evidence for a particular word use for it to be considered for inclusion.

    (By the way, I hope you don't mind but I've removed your personal details from your post - because of security reasons, our Member Guidelines don't allow personal information to be displayed on the posts).

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited May 30

    I am not 'Authority'. But if I were, I would most certainly not take any steps to abolish the accepted word birthday. Far from being 'necessary', such a change would serve no purpose and would be at odds with the rest of English vocabulary.

    The word anniversary is much more restricted in use than its cognates in languages like French or Italian. There are two main uses

    • a wedding anniversary
    • the celebration after a number of years which is felt to be significant — depending on the particular event a number of decades or centuries

    Of course it's possible to speak of (for example) the forty-third anniversary of such-and such, but this is by no means typical. When we say the anniversary of such and such, we normally mean one year after. I don't think I've ever heard second anniversary. Normal English usage would be the day when two years ago ...

    On the other hand, it's perfectly normal to use day for a date which celebrates the same event year after year. We recognise May Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Michaelmas Day, Lady Day, Ascension Day, Remembrance Day (also Poppy Day), D Day, VE Day, VJ Day, Independence Day, Labor Day (US), Anzac Day (Australia & New Zealand), Commonwealth Day (and before it Empire Day), Victoria Day (Scotland), Trafalgar Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Bloomsday (fans of James Joyce's Ulysses), Oak Apple Day etc

    The one major exception to this pattern is wedding anniversary. The reason for this is that Wedding Day is reserved for the unique one-off date of the wedding.

    (Conversely, we never use birthday to refer to the one-off event. We say date of birth or simply birth.)

    Because a wedding anniversary is the only commonly recognised use of the word, it's very common to say It's their anniversary or He forgot our anniversary or_Happy Anniversary_

Sign In or Register to comment.