General Question

flo's avatar

When it comes to days of the week, do the words "next" and "this" cause a lot of confusion?

Asked by flo (12974points) July 10th, 2015

This Wednesday, is Jul 15, next Wednesday is 22nd. But unless someone adds the date, just to be safe, there can be confusion. There’s the thinking that there is only past and next and next must mean the upcoming one, not the one following the upcoming one.

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17 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I know what you’re saying. To me it depends on which side of Sunday you’re on. If it’s Monday, saying “This Wednesday” tells me in 2 days. “Next Wednesday” tells me a week from this Wednesday.
Often have to ask for clarification if we’re on the wrong side of Sunday. ;)

janbb's avatar

I agree; it can be confusing and one often has to clarify it by giving the date.

I think @Dutchess_III is on the right track, if the week has started than “next Wednesday” is the one following the one coming up.

thorninmud's avatar

This is a constant source of confusion between my wife and me. To me, it seems obvious that the “next” of anything is the one that’s about to come.

If you ask me “Which bus will take me downtown?” and I answer, “The next bus will”, you’re not going to assume I mean that you should let one go by, then get on the one after that, right? So if I say ” Call me next Wednesday”, why would you let one Wednesday go by and then call me the Wednesday after that?

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think this is a Canadian/American thing. I constantly run into trouble talking to Americans when I refer to “the Wednesday that will occur next week” as “next Wednesday”, and they think I mean the next Wednesday that will occur, which happens to be this week”. Generally, when Canadians say “next (day of the week)”, they mean a day next week.

thorninmud's avatar

Google returns this definition of “next”:

(Of a time or season) coming immediately after the time of writing or speaking.

Here2_4's avatar

Indeed. It is sometimes confusing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I will tell you what is confusing: “I’ll see you next week!” said on a Sunday.

flo's avatar

Thanks all. The sure thing to me is that there is no confusion with “this”

Pandora's avatar

I think people get confused because they think in terms of days.
For example. Why don’t you call me the next day? So I think when it comes to an actual day people automatically say next without thinking about it, when what they mean to say is this. But I’ve done that. Ask people, do you mean this weekend or next weekend. Its also hard when you are about to approach the weekend. Then sometimes people will say next weekend when when they mean this or say this coming weekend when they are about to approach a weekend and mean the following weekend.

jca's avatar

I usually specify by saying “this coming Tuesday, four days from now.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I counted the days until Tuesday and it is 4.

JLeslie's avatar

It depends where you live. I use this coming and a week from. Next is simply not clear and interpreted differently by different people.

Today is Friday July 10. If I want to meet you Tuesday the 14th, the best is to use the date, but during a verbal conversation we rarely know the date off the top of our heads so I would say, “let’s meet this coming Tuesday.” I think that’s clear. If I wanted to meet up the 21st I’d say, “let’s meet a week from Tuesday.”

I can’t tell you how many times I am annoyed when someone says, “next Sunday,” and I try to clarify, “Do you mean a week from Sunday?” And they say, “yes, I said next Sunday.” Well, to me, if today is Friday, next Sunday is this coming Sunday in two days!

I don’t care if people define next differently, I care that they are so obtuse they get annoyed when someone tries to clarify, and actually seem impatient about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. People who expect others to actually follow their convoluted thought processes, then treat them like they’re dumb when they can’t, piss me off!

cazzie's avatar

I have to confirm this all the time with Norwegian friends because they don’t get it. My son’s father still won’t be more exact with his choice of words.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s a perfect tool for the passive-agressive types.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s true. You just made me realize that arguments with my husband about clarifying communication issues are probably a remnant of his incredibly passive aggressive family. He tends to be ok with communication, but sometimes I see glimmers of his family of origin.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m going to ask a question….

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