Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 22:53:28 -0800
From: "J.Russell King" jrking[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IX.NETCOM.COM
Subject: Re: Thursday week - this/next Thursday
I have missed more than one social event because of a
misunderstanding about which Thursday was intended by the phrase "next
Thursday." It seems to me that some speakers always contast "this" and
"next," using the phrase "this Thursday" for the next one on the
calendar and "next Thursday" for the second one coming up on
the calendar . . .
In my own syntax, and what I assume to be that of those around me,
"this Thursday" is a very elastic term, and as an editor I always try
to write around it unless the context is clear.
It depends, to a great degree, on how close the speaker is to Thursday.
On a Wednesday or Tuesday, "this Thursday" clearly means the next one
and "next Thursday" means a little over a week from now. But on Sunday,
and perhaps Monday, "next Thursday" might well mean the very next
Thursday, instead of the one that's a week-and-a-half in the future.
But it might not. And on Friday and maybe Saturday, "this Thursday"
usually means yesterday or the day before yesterday, not the Thursday
of the following week.
More often than not, I'd bet you'll find that "this x-day" is generally
translated as "the x-day that occurs/occurred in the week that we're
currently in," that, like daylight saving time, at about midnight on
Saturday night "next Thursday" becomes "this Thursday," etc. And what
had been "this Thursday" becomes "last Thursday."
As for Thursday week, I've never used it myself but my mother, and even
moreso the older members of her family, all used the locution
regularly. Southeast Arkansas, and far from aristocratic.