Dueling dialects

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 29 04:22:34 UTC 2009

"Seinfeld" rerun: Seinfeld(S) is conversating with a black neighbor(B):

B. I'm going back home to Virginia next Wednesday.

S. This week?

B. Naw. A week from Wednesday.

S. You said "next Wednesday." This is Monday. "Next Wednesday" is the
day after tomorrow.

B. If I'd-a meant Wednesday of *this* week, I'd-a said "*this* Wednesday"!

What B says works for me. In BE, we can also say, "this coming
Wednesday" to mean "the nearest Wednesday in time," if it's far enough
in the future, e.g. on Thursday of week 1, I'm referring to Wednesday
of week 2. In Texas, people also say "Wednesday week." Unfortunately,
I'm so accustomed to hearing this last from my Texas relatives,
though, for no particular reason, I don't use it myself, hearing it
someplace else wouldn't catch my attention, because it's too "normal."
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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