/ Advice from grammar pedants: to reconvene?
I had arranged to meet a friend but the meeting got postponed.
I said (well e-mailed actually) "Let's reconvene for next week". He replied that "we can't reconvene because we haven't met".
My argument is that, depending on which dictionary you use, "convene" can mean either the act of meeting or the arrangement of that act, so to "reconvene" in the sense of "rearrange" is a correct usage in this case.
Thoughts? i.e.please confirm that I am right
I think the grammatically correct and generally approved response to such a reply is
'Why don't you just f*ck off, smart a*se.'
re-convene in my understanding means to resume convention, something (e.g.) that can be said during a meeting that is ending or going into abeyance
I think you need to clarify whether your meeting was pre-planned and pre-prepared or not first.
My own tuppence worth is that I would be unlikely to suggest reconvening unless I was currently in the meeting that was being reconvened.
Etymologically, convene means 'come together', so if you haven't come together for the first time you can't do it again.
Reconvene next week, reschedule for next week?
No need for the “for” in your original email.
Since you asked for pedantry:
You need advice from semantic pedants (what words mean) not grammar pedants (how words are strung together in sentences).
etymologically two Latin words come and together plus a prefix indicating again. Convention is another derivative, a meeting together. If he is a friend, it is logical to suppose you had met before so reconvene is entirely appropriate.
> i.e.please confirm that I am right
You're asking on the wrong forum for that! ;-)
Hm. Borderline. I don't think you are, but it's all nuance innit.
I have to resist the urge to be that guy quite regularly - I get work-related emails asking if I'm available on a certain date but there's one person who always asks me to "confirm my availability" (for dates that he's never mentioned to me before).
You're wrong, he's right. That was simple wasn't it.
"try again" or "reschedule".
I'm currently doing a lot of staring out my window to the west, and also staring at my back patio to see if it is drying at all. I have a plan with another UKCer to pop out to Horseshoe and see if we can do a few routes before the next rain rolls in. We are texting to reschedule what time we should meet there. We can't reconvene as we haven't got there and got rained off, yet!
> Reconvene next week, reschedule for next week?
Yes, reschedule is surely much better because it's totally unambiguous. Old principle: if a word's giving trouble, or doesn't seem quite right, change it
Reconvene seems fine, but it is something people do (i.e., meet again), which is why you cannot do it "for" next week.
I thought the original poster said "reconvene" has two meanings, one of which is "rearrange"?
Never heard that one,
> If he is a friend, it is logical to suppose you had met before so reconvene is entirely appropriate.
That makes sense, as long as he’s an old Roman friend, I suppose!
Reconvene originates from the Latin prefix re (meaning to do something again), and convenire (to meet, gather, muster, get together). Etymologically, you are correct - you're getting together again, not necessarily referring to a specific meeting that didn't happen, but more generally in the longer scheme of things.
In terms of normal English practice, he may have a point.
As others have suggested, cutting the Gordian knot by using another word, may be the best option!
That’s the Brexit Party for you...
In this context it is strongly arguable that the "convention" is a particular coming together and therefore the re-convenience should be in that context. If the context is a continuing series of particular conventions then it might be possible to stretch a point and conveniently use this term. However, if the original meeting that was postponed was to have been an individual transaction or intercourse then it can't really be re-convened.
> if you haven't come together
Is Postmanpat that close to his friend?
When one convenes a meeting one arranges it
When the planned meeting doesn't occur then one could reconvene it.
Isn't the actual opening of the meeting by those who do attend the moment of "convention"? The Convenient Moment, one might say, unless the whole event is held within a convenience, public or otherwise.
According to the Oxford learners dictionary (and others) there are transitive and intransitive uses of the word convene:
transitive- convene something: to arrange for people to come together for a formal meeting
intransitive- to come together for a formal meeting
Thus, if using the transitive version, it must be valid to use "reconvene" in the sense of reschedule or rearrange.
What is a convener; a person who attends a meeting or a person who arranges it? I'd suggest that the intransitive usage would be wrong, or arcane, in that case.
In Scotland it means the chair of the meeting
To me, convening a meeting is the bringing together of people for a meeting.
To convene a meeting for next week is to bring people together to meet next week. If plans change and you can't meet until next month I'd say the convening of the meeting needs to be postponed or rescheduled. Reconvening a meeting suggests bringing people together again for a continuation of their talks, with the implication they've already met and started.
I daresay PMP might be able to find a dictionary definition that can be interpreted the way he's angling for, but it seems to me that the main objective in doing so would be to prove himself right on a technicality rather than to show that his use of the word was in any way effective communication through suitable language choice.
> I daresay PMP might be able to find a dictionary definition that can be interpreted the way he's angling for, but it seems to me that the main objective in doing so would be to prove himself right on a technicality rather than to show that his use of the word was in any way effective communication through suitable language choice.
Well, obviously! I have happily agreed with my friend that rearrange or reschedule would be more normal and less controversial usage and therefore better. The question is whether reconvene is actually wrong (I think the meaning of it is clear in this case and is therefore effective communication).
Actually the full Oxford English Dictionary says that reconvene can be either transitive of intransitive, so I am forced to agree with you. It's a word that has evolved through usage from its original meaning. Just never say 'attendee' please.
The Oxford English Dictionary records usage though, without judgement on whether such usage is correct or not. Finding the definition you want in there doesn't necessarily mean you're right, it may just mean you're not alone in getting it wrong.
Or it means you have the wrong definition of wrong!
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