Sometimes I’m bothered by little things. For years I’ve taken issue with the common use of the word “next“.
According to Dictionary.com, it has the following meanings:
1. immediately following in time, order, importance, etc.: the next day; the next person in line.
2. nearest or adjacent in place or position: the next room.
3. nearest in relationship or kinship.
4. in the place, time, importance, etc., nearest or immediately following: We’re going to London next. This is my next oldest daughter.
5. on the first occasion to follow: when next we meet.
What frustrates me is when people misuse “next” in reference to a day of the week. For instance, I was a Friday, and I called to scheduled an appointment. I was told there was an availability next Monday. Perfect. What she meant was the Monday after the upcoming Monday, or two Mondays from now. What I understood was the logical idea that it would be the next Monday that we would encounter.
Strangely, this isn’t how most people understand the word “Next“. Yet, this misuse seems only to be happening when talking about days of the week. When else does it ever mean the one following the next one?
- When driving, someone tells you to take the next exit. Would you get off two exits away?
- At the store, when you ask where a specific item is, someone directs you to the next aisle. Would you walk two aisles over?
- When is the next iPhone coming out? You mean the iPhone 6? No. Of course not.
- Your spouse suggests that the two of you should take a trip for your next anniversary. You better get THAT one right.
So I ask, why is it that, when discussing days of the week, we have invented some other meaning of the word “next“?
When is next Monday not the next Monday?