Dueling dialects

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Wed Jul 29 16:22:03 UTC 2009

On Jul 29, 2009, at 12:22 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Dueling dialects
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "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."
> --
> -Wilson
I have a similar problem with "last" to refer to something quite
recently past; as in "[Sthg] happened last March" meaning March 2009.
This means last year to me.  I'd say "this past March."
I don't have a hard & fast rule for this, but am frequently puzzled by
other's usage.

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