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School term

Posted by ESC on March 17, 2003

In Reply to: Quarter? posted by Harikrishnan Menon 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.

Since it refers to children, I would think quarter means "a school term of about 12 weeks" (Merriam-Webster online).