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Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Wording Mishap: Which Day Do You Mean?

So on Thursday Oct 23, I arranged to meet with someone I've never met. She wanted to ask me about editing. We agreed to meet "next Wednesday," which to me was yesterday, Oct 29. To her, it meant Nov 5. So I stood around for 20 minutes. What does "next Wednesday" mean to you? The answer is: it's an ambiguous phrase, so if you don't want to stand around smiling awkwardly at strangers, state the date you mean.

This is how I see it, and as you can see, it's a bit confusing:

Today's Date Day You Mean What You Call It
10/30 11/6 next Thursday
10/30 11/13 Thursday after next
11/3 11/6 this Thursday
11/3 11/13 next Thursday
11/7 11/6 this Thursday

Do you agree with me or did the fact that I grew up in England mess me up?

4 comments:

Jeanie W said...

I would have interpreted it the same way you did.

Doug and Amanda said...

If you had spoken to her on Thursday, I could see her point of view. Then the 29th would have been "this Wednesday". However, that is not the case, so I agree with you.

Chocoholic said...

I would agree with you, too.

Westley Turner said...

I apparently state dates in the near future or past incorrectly (at least my wife says so). I will often refer to something happening 'this next Thursday' and she will ask, "This Thursday or next Thursday?" [shrug] Speaking ENGLISH instead of American may have something to do with it.