commemorate the anniversary of someone

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sun14, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Hello, my friends,

    I made up a sentence, I was wondering whether it is idiomatic:

    Yesterday we commemorated the 100th birthday of Mao Zedong.

    Thoughts: As the founder of the People's Republic of China, he is the super idol of the Chinese people. Every year people tend to commemorate his birth to remind themselves of the hard-won life with the great help of Mao Zedong who build the country.
     
  2. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    It seems okay to me.
     
  3. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    I see. Thank you very much.
     
  4. velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    Mao Zedong didn't have a hundredth birthday though. In my opinion we need to say "Yesterday we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong".
     
  5. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    Why?

    It would not be unusual to hear birthday used in this way, would it? The first definition of birthday in our dictionary is "the anniversary of a birth"
    The actual "day of the birth" is given as the second, i.e. less common usage.
     
  6. velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    If we're talking about a historical figure who was born, say, 500 years ago then "I might agree - though I would still prefer "the 500th anniversary of the birth of Teresa of Avila" for example.

    Many people do live for 100 years or more, so I think it's misleading to talk about the 100th birthday of someone who is dead. (My opinion only :).)
     
  7. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    Ah. You are thinking of the age / whether the person is still here to celebrate their own birthday. I see.
     
  8. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Thanks for all your opinions. They are very insightful.
     

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