October 27, 2006

Next Friday?

I'm taking a poll. What does it mean to you if I say, "See you next friday?"

If the day I say it is a Friday, clearly, I mean the next Friday. But what if it's a Thursday? What if it's a Monday?

E, on multiple occasions has asked for clarification when I say something like, "next Friday we are having dinner with so-and-so." Typically, his clarification sounds like this, "do you mean this friday, or next friday?" And I always think, if not say, "Goodness, listen to yourself, Man!"

But today, a friend called me up thinking we were hanging out tonight. My email had said, "We're free next Thursday and Friday." I meant Thursday and Friday of next week. In the future I will not be so vague.

But I can't help but wonder why anyone would think I'd use the word "next" if I could just as soon say the exact same thing without it. It's so inefficient. If someone took the time to throw in an extra word, I'd assume it had something to add to the context. But, I've decided I'm probably in the minority.

So, here's the question. If someone says "next Friday" to you and it's a Monday, how many days in advance do you think you are discussing? Please reply in the comments if you have the time. I'm curious how off I've been. Is there anyone with me? How many of you think I'm hilariously pedantic and insane?

I beseech you, help me understand, for I have no doubt I've gone wrong, I'm merely trying to measure the angle of stray.

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