This/Next

There is a grammar problem with how we Americans use “this” and “next”. If you tell me that you are going to do something next Friday, I had better ask the date. Otherwise, there is a good chance I going to have the wrong date for the event.

When I was in college, one of my professors, Dr Beferooz,  was an Iranian. He knew English better than most of us who had grown up with the language.

He was well aware of our collective dislike of getting up early in the morning. He taught a first period class that met on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. One Monday he announced that the next Thursday we would meet on Thursdays so that we could finish our class early, and be able to concentrate on our other end-of-semester obligations.

Come three days later be were all in class except Dr Beferooz. Two of the more senior members of the class went to see whether Dr Beferooz had forgotten us.

He said, “I didn’t say this Thursday, I said next Thursday”. He also had a wicked, twisted sense of humor.

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