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.