Are you reelin’ in the years?

We begin with this image that’s made the rounds on Facebook.

Did the creator of this sign lose a job? I can’t say with certainty. I’ve seen worse.

I remember seeing “F BREAKFAST” on a similar display at a certain restaurant in town. There was noticeable space between “F” and “BREAKFAST” — with the sixth letter of the alphabet on one row and the nine-letter word on another row. The sign maker didn’t finish the job or letters were just lost.

The job stayed unfinished for about three days until it finally changed to something else. That’s not a great look for the restaurant. I’ll give the chain a break and not name the restaurant. They’ve had enough PR nightmares — most of their own making.

But back to ana– er, uh, annual. You laugh — but we ALL need to be careful how we use that word. provides the following two definitions of “annual.”

  1. “of, for, or pertaining to a year; yearly: annual salary.”
  2. “occurring or returning once a year.”

Think about it. We lost several events, normally held once a year, to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those annual festivals, shows, and other events we can set our watch by suddenly didn’t become annual, by definition.

Doug’s Place Flashback: For many of us, the Friday before Spring Break of 2020 started a long time of discontent. A number of us at FOX23 and Waypoint Media would go on to work from home — temporarily. Certain shows, festivals, and other normally annual events in and near Hattiesburg and Laurel were postponed or ultimately canceled. It would stay that way for several months.

Up I-59, my colleagues in Meridian were actively promoting “The Price is Right Live!”, a traveling stage show of the long-running CBS game show scheduled for a presentation in the downtown area in April 2020. I planned to see this. But the traveling game show’s appearance in Meridian was canceled as well.

So, back to the homeowners association. If it canceled this Easter egg hunt due to coronavirus concerns, suddenly, it’s not an annual event. You could call it a traditional Easter egg hunt or just simply call it an Easter egg hunt.

The Indianapolis 500 and Kentucky Derby are two famous races normally held in May. Casual sports fans know one’s an auto race; the other’s a horse race. But one of them has been held annually.

Two Indy 500 events were canceled due to World War I. Four Indy 500 races were lost to World War II.

The Kentucky Derby has endured both World Wars and the aforementioned pandemic. There have been postponements — one due to World War II and the other because of the beginning months of the pandemic. But no total losses.

As of this writing, approximately two months before the command to start engines at IMS, you’re going to see the carefully-worded statement 2024 marks the “108th Running of the Indianapolis 500” — as opposed to “108th (or higher ordinal number) Annual Indianapolis 500”.

Closer to home, a local broadcaster (I politely won’t say who exactly; it’s not a current co-worker) reported on the “one-month anniversary” of a certain event. By definition, a “one-month anniversary” doesn’t exist. Let’s go back to for two definitions of “anniversary.”

  1. “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event: the tenth anniversary of their marriage.”
  2. “the celebration or commemoration of such a date.”

So, the broadcaster should’ve said, “It’s been one month since (the event).” Wait eleven months and then you have an anniversary. Yes, as Monty Hall would say, the broadcaster missed it by a mile.

When you hear or read about an anniversary or an “annual” event, remember the sign from the homeowners association. Did it really survive the pandemic and was it held in some form during said pandemic? Did other circumstances make it a traditional event instead of an annual event?

Take it from someone who’s about to celebrate the 28th anniversary of a long-running radio show.

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