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  1. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #1

    at the cusp between * centuries

    I'm translating an article and have stumbled upon the same grey area once again.

    I need to express in English a period of time between the end of a century and the beginning of the following century - a kind of border between them. There are four ways to put it I've seen.

    Let's say we're talking about something that had been taking place between 1895 and 1902.

    1) At the turn of the 20th century;
    2) At the cusp between the 19th and 20th centuries (by Kay Young -> link);
    3) Between the 19th and 20th centuries;
    4) At the cusp of the 20th century (by William J. Bernstein -> link).

    I kinda like the second one. Does it sound OK and does it drive the idea home? (I want to mention both centuries). Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by Bennevis; 21-Apr-2014 at 01:13. Reason: correction: "the" to "a" before "period"

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    #2

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    Hi,
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker.

    Not sure if my post would be of any help, but as for me the first is most straight forward.
    I'm still checking how the cusp is being used.

    n-gram link - not sure how to comment that.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Jaskin; 21-Apr-2014 at 01:37.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    I prefer the first. It would be easily understood.

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    #4

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    So do I. There's also fin de siècle, which might help in some contexts, like art.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    I prefer the first but you could use "on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries". The only place I generally hear "cusp" is when people are talking about their Zodiac sign (star sign). My mum was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    Well, if such an intelligent native speaker as emsr2d2 opts for "on the cusp of", I'll just go ahead and take it on board. Cheers!

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    Bear in mind that I did say that I generally only hear the phrase used when referring to signs of the Zodiac.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. Roman55's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    I am not a teacher.

    I was going to suggest 'on the cusp' rather than 'at the cusp', but if you want to mention both centuries, it wouldn't work for me.

    "On the cusp of the 20th century", means at the very beginning, and implies a change in state from the 19th to the 20th century.

    As for its use in astrology I think the correct terminology would be Aquarius on the cusp with Pisces.
    This is because it is essentially a geometric concept and almost all of its meanings are related in some way to curves. This goes for Astrology as well.

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    #9

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    The examples in the first few pages here favour 'on the cusp' by a large majority.

    I haven't looked at them all, but they seem to back up Jaskin's n-gram link.

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    #10

    Re: at the cusp between * centuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    The examples in the first few pages here favour 'on the cusp' by a large majority.

    I haven't looked at them all, but they seem to back up Jaskin's n-gram link.
    I would opt for adding some words which pointed out that it was near the cusp, not on the cusp. The range (1895 to 1902) seems to be too large to be one point.

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