I am a Brit who has recently moved to the US. (I'm married to an American so we can usually work out most British versus American linguistic puzzles between us.)
I'm wondering whether any one has any insight on the use of the word "Fourths" as opposed to "Quarters" as in 3/4 is "Three Fourths" rather than "Three Quarters".
I understand the argument of consistency with other fractions (halves excepted). However, it seems bizarre that "Fourths" is used in a country where the word quarter is so much part of everyday life: there are quarters as in 25 cent coins, american football games are played over four quarters and liquids are measured in gallons, pints and quarts, for example.
Any thoughts? Is this a recent development? Have the two words always been used interchangeably?
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I am a Brit who has recently moved to the US. (I'm married to an American so we can usually ... pints and quarts, for example. Any thoughts? Is this a recent development? Have the two words always been used interchangeably?

Sometimes interchangeably, sometimes not. In music, for example, 3/4 is always "three-quarter" time, never "three-fourths". In measurements of other kinds, they are more generally interchangeable, eg, "three-quarters of an inch" or "three- fourths of a cup".

dg (domain=ccwebster)
don groves typed thus:
Sometimes interchangeably, sometimes not. In music, for example, 3/4 is always "three-quarter" time, never "three-fourths".

Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

David
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with the definite article.
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don groves typed thus:

Sometimes interchangeably, sometimes not. In music, for example, 3/4 is always "three-quarter" time, never "three-fourths".

Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

No they're not!
Not where I come from anyway.
Martyn
Martyn typed thus:
don groves typed thus: Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

No they're not! Not where I come from anyway.

How do you say Three Four, or Two Two, or Seven Eight?

David
==
replace the first component of address
with the definite article.
don groves typed thus: Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

No they're not! Not where I come from anyway.

So where is that? I've been singing and playing for more than sixty years in the UK, and conducting for more than fifty, and I've never heard any other way of referring to time-signatures than "three-four" and so on.

Alan Jones
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No they're not! Not where I come from anyway.

So where is that? I've been singing and playing for more than sixty years in the UK, and conducting for more than fifty, and I've never heard any other way of referring to time-signatures than "three-four" and so on. Alan Jones

Sorry,
In music-speak yes you're right, - I misread that bit. duh
In general fractions, which is where I think he started, one would say three quarters, not three four.
don groves typed thus:

Sometimes interchangeably, sometimes not. In music, for example, 3/4 is always "three-quarter" time, never "three-fourths".

Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

Yes, "three-four" is used here also, just not "three fourths".
dg (domain=ccwebster)
don groves typed thus:

Sometimes interchangeably, sometimes not. In music, for example, 3/4 is always "three-quarter" time, never "three-fourths".

Whereas in the UK, such times are read as Number Number - 3/4 is Three Four; 12/8 is Twelve Eight.

You could say that in the US too. Normally I think unless the topic was music and everyone present was a musician, one would start by referring to "three four time" or "twelve eight time". As with almost any word that gets repeated a lot during a conversation, "time" might be omitted the second or third time and thereafter.

I wouldn't capitalize the numbers though. I think there is too much capitalization lately.
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