Hello and welcome to this article, where you will discover the incorrect phrases to use when wishing someone a “happy birthday in arrears” and why it is not appropriate to do so.
The English language is one of the most extensively used and fascinating languages in the world for communication. Nevertheless, despite its widespread use, some people still speak it as a second language, which makes it susceptible to incorrect usage.
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It’s also important to be aware that there are regional variations in the English language. For instance, despite the fact that both British and American English are varieties of the language, there are slight differences between them.
However, since they were our colonial rulers and their variety of English is officially our lingua franca, I would stick to it for the purpose of clarity.
The phrase “Happy birthday in arrears” is frequently used when someone completely misses sending birthday wishes to the celebrant or completely forgets about another person’s birthday. This is incorrect.
The term “arrears” has gained popularity on the internet for some time, but some individuals enjoy misconstruing its actual meaning, particularly on social networking platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, leading to incorrect phrase usage.
WHY IS IT WRONG TO SAY “HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN ARREARS”?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term “arrears” simply refers to money that is due and ought to have been paid sooner.
Below is an illustration of how to use the term in a sentence:
“He was suing the lessee for the arrears of rent”
Synonyms include: liabilities, indebtedness, dues, balance e.t.c
As a result, if you wish someone a happy birthday after the fact, you are saying something quite different from what you probably intended. Therefore, if you hear someone wish someone a “Happy birthday in arrears” because they forgot their birthday, be aware that this is false.
HOW TO USE THE WORD “ARREARS” IN A SENTENCE
Below are some instances of how to use the word “Arrears,” which refers to money that is due and should have been paid earlier.
- Police officers have been receiving salaries months in arrears
- People were unhappy about the struggling economy, the cost of medicine and utilities, and wage arrears.
However, avoid using the word “arrears” while attempting to convey birthday greetings to someone whose birthday you had already missed.
WHAT DO YOU SAY INSTEAD OF HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN ARREARS?
Due to the variety of English, different people, cultures, and even nations may disagree on the precise terms to use when letting someone know you missed their birthday. If you forget someone’s birthday, it is customary in some cultures to wish them a “happy belated birthday,” yet in others, this is wholly inappropriate.
For instance, in Britain, it is acceptable to say “Belated Happy Birthday,” although some Americans prefer to “Happy Belated Birthday”.
According to some cultures, wishing someone a “happy belated birthday” is improper because it can imply that the birthday itself was delayed rather than just your wishes. You don’t mean this at all. Whenever you wish someone a happy birthday after a delay, you are actually wishing them a late birthday.
This is the appropriate phrase because the latter is what you actually intend.
Therefore, it greatly varies depending on each culture, even if “Belated Happy Birthday” is frequently used as the appropriate greeting. Therefore, no matter what greeting you select, always keep in mind that wishing someone a “happy birthday in arrears” is completely inappropriate.
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