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Posted by Harikrishnan Menon on March 17, 2003

In Reply to: Quarter? posted by Word Camel on March 17, 2003

: : In May of the fourth quarter, I decided to plan something special for the children: a Mother's Day tea.

: : what is fourth quarter.

: I think it means this: In business and some other areas, a year is often divided up into quarters consisting of three months each. a company's earnings might be reported quarterly, for instance. Your sentence is unusual though because May is usually considered to be in the second quarter. More context might help to explain why.

You're thinking business. It could refer to the fourth quarter of the moon - that time of the month when the half-moon wanes to become a "new" moon. Since the moon takes roughly one month to come full circle (so to speak), every month of the year could have a fourth quarter. Of course, one can't be absolutely certain this is the intended reference unless one knows the precise context.