This Week or Next?

When, exactly, does next week start?

A couple of weeks ago, while standing in line at Subway, I overheard the customer in line in front of me ordering a large, seven-foot sandwich to be picked “this Thursday.”   The “sandwich artist” (their term, not mine) asked
“day after tomorrow, or Thursday next week.”

Reminds me of the time I rented a house in Ruston.  The owners had negotiated a deal with the gas company to supply free gas service to the house in exchange for running a distribution pipeline through the yard.  All I had to do was call the gas company and have them come out and read the meter before I moved in (they still gauged gas usage, but didn’t charge for it).  So, on Tuesday I set up an appointment for “next Thursday at 9:00.”  A couple of days later, I got a call from the meter reader, asking where I was.  I said “I thought we were meeting next week.”  The scheduler thought I meant the next Thursday on the calendar, when I thought we were talking about Thursday of next week.  The next Thursday on the calendar is “this Thursday” – right?

I’ve had this conversation a few times since then.  When, exactly, does
“this week” end and “next week” start?  When is “next Thursday”?  Is it
the next Thursday that appears on the calendar, or is it the Thursday of
the next week that appears on the calendar?  In my mind, “next Thursday”
is next week, and the one that appears on the calendar this week is
“this Thursday”.  If “next Thursday” is the next one that appears on the
calendar, and that so happens to be the day after tomorrow, then when do
we get to have “this Thursday.”  Can “this Thursday” and “next Thursday”
be the same day?  How confusing is that?

Similarly, if you have an appointment on Monday, and you are discussing
that with someone on Saturday, would you tell them you have an
appointment “this Monday” or “next Monday.”

Here’s the plan.  From now on, just quit talking about “this Thursday”
and “next Thursday.”  Just tell the lady you want to pick up your
sandwich on the 14th, and there won’t be any confusion.  As to “this
week” and “next week,” I don’t have an answer for you.

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About Joe

Writing on the things I'm passionate about: my family, my faith, and my work. View all posts by Joe

4 responses to “This Week or Next?

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