Inaugural vs First Annual?
February 15, 2013 10:48 AM Subscribe
My wife has organized a 5k as a fundraiser for her school. The event website lists it as the "First Annual"
race. She got a nitpicky email chastising her her about it, complaining that it should be the "Inaugural"
race. What do you think, and how should she respond?
posted by RevRob330 to education (58 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My wife is a teacher and has organized a 5k as a fundraiser for her school. It's listed on several running sites to make sure as many prospective runners as possible see it and can enroll. The event websites list it as the "First Annual" race.
Today, she received this email through the site from a prospective runner:
This e-mail from an interested participant has reached you via racesiteredacted:
Listing: "schoolname redacted 1st Annual 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk"
Message: You can not claim something is an "Annual" event until you have more than one of them.
A first time event is its "Inaugural" event. If you have a second one, the following year, with plans for future ones in subsequent years... then and only then can you accurately describe it as the 2nd (or mores) Annual whatever.
Such a misstep is a bad example for elementary school students.
I can see the point the correspondent makes, and googled a bit to find some substantiation:
The AP Stylebook does state: "An event cannot be described as annual until it had been held in at least two successive years
Several other sites agree
. . .
On the other hand:
* When the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar
started having conferences in 1990, they called the inaugural edition "The First Annual ATEG Conference.
A few questions:
In this case "First Annual" is as much a statement of intent as it is of fact. The school wants to run this race every year. In my mind "Inaugural" doesn't carry that connotation. Is "First Annual" truly unacceptable? Do the AP rules apply here? Does "First Annual" bug you?
She's not going to change the race listing. Is there a polite way to respond to the emailer without conceding the point? Should she respond?
I'd appreciate any thoughts.
PS: Obligatory XKCD.