>I’ve been in crazy convention planning mode since the beginning of the year. Yes, the 5 hour meeting part of NaNoWriMo was autobiographical.

Anyway, I’ve been asked on more than one occasion why we call it a convention instead of a conference like most people. So, I took the liberty of doing a teeny tiny bit of homework on Merriam-Webster Online. (Yes, I actually linked to a dictionary.) I found:

Main Entry: con·ven·tion

Pronunciation: k&n-‘ven(t)-sh&n

Function: noun

2 a : the summoning or convening of an assembly b : an assembly of persons met for a common purpose; especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office c : the usually state or national organization of a religious denomination

“Conference” was a little more difficult to pin down:

Main Entry: con·fer·ence Pronunciation: ‘kän-f(&-)r&n(t)s, -f&rn(t)s, for 2 usually k&n-‘f&r-&n(t)s

Function: noun

1 a : a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern b : a usually formal interchange of views : CONSULTATION c : a meeting of members of the two branches of a legislature to adjust differences d : CAUCUS

2 also con·fer·rence /k&n-‘f&r-&n(t)s/ : BESTOWAL, CONFERMENT

3 a : a representative assembly or administrative organization of a religious denomination b : a territorial division of a religious denomination

Watch the bambino show up on my google ad above. Lovely, thought, eh?

With those definitions, I suppose I have been wrong in my explanations of why we have a convention instead of a conference. Looks like it has more to do with the national scope of things.


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