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Many happy returns of the day.

What does the above sentence mean?
Contributing Member1,620
It's said to someone on their birthday and is just an expression of goodwill, nothing more. It's a bit old fashioned.
Full Member101
I think of the Winnie the Pooh books when I see this. If you said it to the average American, he or she wouldn't know what you meant, unless memories of the Winnie the Pooh books were firmly in mind.
Veteran Member27,441
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GG, is it okay to write 'vividly in mind' or 'vivid in their mind' instead of 'firmly in mind'?
Full Member393
You can, but they don't mean the same thing. I know I read all the Pooh books. I know I read them many times. Bits and pieces of those books are firmly fixed in my memories. But that doesn't make them vivid memories. Some are vivid, yes. Poor Piglet tripping and popping Eyeore's birthday balloon is a rather vivid memory. (Although it was handled with great kindness.)
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Hi,

Many happy returns of the day.

If you want to say this, the standard expression is simply Many happy returns!

Best wishes, Clive
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Anonymous:
Hello,

What is the difference between a bit and piece? Is "Bits and pieces" just a fixed expression?

Thanks
Hi,

What is the difference between a bit and piece? These words can often be interchanged, but there are also differences. Rather than discuss all the meanuings in the dictionary, let me just look briefly at a couple of examples.

A piece of cake This sounds like it was cut from the cake with a knife, with at least some care and tidiness.

A bit of cake This sounds like something that accidentally fell in my lap while I was eating cake.

Is "Bits and pieces" just a fixed expression? Generally speaking, yes.

Best wishes, Clive
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Grammar GeekIf you said it to the average American, he or she wouldn't know what you meant
Sounds quite normal and everyday to me (Brit).
Regular Member532
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