Ozzily Yours

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Irrationally Annoyed (and Defensive!)

So I just sent someone this e-mail:

You are all set with one ticket for next Sunday, 9/28.

And got this response:

that's 2 sundays from now. 9/28. thanks.

And I really really really want to write back and say, yes, that's next Sunday. THIS Sunday would be 9/21, whereas NEXT Sunday is 9/28. And why do people always get that confused? Seriously, it's not that hard! And now you think I'M the dumb-ass when, in reality, clearly it is YOU who are the dumb-ass! And yes, the correct verb there is ARE, not IS, because it corresponds with YOU. RAR!

In the interest of keeping the peace, though, I should probably just ignore it.


  • I'm SO with you!! Like when I say "this Sunday" and people respond, "wait, this Sunday like the day after tomorrow, or next Sunday?" Um, THIS Sunday, that's why I SAID "this Sunday." Dickbag.

    Though of course "Two Sundays from now" is also correct.

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/16/2008 1:48 PM  

  • Yes, "two Sundays from now" is correct, but there's something about the way it's written that makes me thinks he's correcting me. Which he needn't do!!!

    By Blogger mcm, at 9/16/2008 1:49 PM  

  • OH! I actually misread the beginning and thought you had RECEIVED the first email, and then a follow-up self-correcting it.

    No, even if you were wrong (which you're not) that would be rude and I absolutely think you should reply!! If it causes trouble just blame the baby hormones!

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/16/2008 1:57 PM  

  • Heh. I thank you for the support, but this is someone who a) neither knows nor cares about the baby hormones and b) I really should not piss off.

    By Blogger mcm, at 9/16/2008 2:06 PM  

  • Gotta tell you, I for one am on the fence. I have to score it.

    1. Facts.

    For the facts of the case, I'm with Dickbag. I vote for "next sunday" is always the very next Sunday you're going to see. Tuesday the 6th, next Sunday is Sunday the, er, 11th. Friday the 9th, "next Sunday" remains the 11th.

    On Saturday the 10th, there's ambiguity. "Next Sunday" still could refer to tomorrow, but probably refers to the 18th (because it would be so perverse to refer to tomorrow as "next Sunday").

    As of 12:01 on Sunday the 11th, "next Sunday" refers to the next Sunday. Not today. The next one. The 18th.

    Dickbag: +5 points.
    Ozzy: +0 points.

    Net: Dickbag 5, Ozzy 0.

    2. Style.

    The phrase "next Sunday, 9/28" is what we might call cordially redundant. It says the same thing twice, with increasing precision. It imitates speech in this way, and is gracious and welcoming. It is also unless the year is an open question, entirely unambiguous. There is no doubt in the mind of anyone in the world (even Europe, because there is no 28th month) about the date to which it refers. To correct the informal portion, while agreeing about the clear and obvious intent, is willfully supercilious and deeply obnoxious.

    Dickbag: -1000 points.
    Ozzy: +5 points (for not responding).

    Net: Dickbag (995), Ozzy 5.

    Loser (by a factor of 199): Dickbag.

    By Anonymous Ian, at 9/16/2008 9:03 PM  

  • I will acknowledge the redundancy in my statement "next Sunday, 9/28."

    However, your assertion that "'next sunday' is always the very next Sunday you're going to see" is, quite simply, wrong.

    Still, though, I'm glad I come out the big winner either way.

    By Blogger mcm, at 9/17/2008 9:13 AM  

  • Is that next Sunday, Central Time?

    By Blogger melz3000, at 9/17/2008 9:26 AM  

  • While I'm thrilled to see that "dickbag" might be catching on, I'm firmly with mcm on this one too. "This Sunday," is in fact shorthand for "This coming Sunday," a statement about which there can be no confusion. Therefore, "Next Sunday" would mean the one after that. Admittedly, "next" is a confusing word here, because it technically means, well, the one that comes next. But I have always understood this to mean the same thing mcm does. And I mean always. Like in the womb.

    I wonder if they have this issue in Britain, where the construction is "Sunday next." I've never heard "Sunday this," so maybe they just call that, y'know, "Sunday." Though I have also heard "Sunday week," (as in "a week from Sunday"), so maybe their "next" is not our "next." Any brits reading who can confirm or deny?

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/17/2008 9:34 AM  

  • And given that Ian and I come from the same womb, and it belongs to a woman who is as uptight about language as we all are, I'm intrigued that we clearly have such different takes on this rule....

    By Blogger mcm, at 9/17/2008 9:41 AM  

  • I concur that, according to my rule, on Tuesday at 1:30, "this Sunday" and "next Sunday" would be the same day. And as usual, I blame the world.

    It occurs to me that in a conversation where both constructions were used, my rule would be void. If you said "No, this Sunday I'm going to the dentist. We're going to Detroit next Sunday," I would be clear on the intent. So maybe my problem is with the word "this." It seems unnecessary, like going to a pizzeria and saying "This person wants a slice of pizza," meaning yourself. The extra this, while it could be construed (by a Martian) as adding precision, actually muddies things up.

    I'm going to kick up these my feet and read the latest issue of Sunday Next.

    By Anonymous Ian, at 9/19/2008 3:00 PM  

  • Okay, now I can get behind Ian. The "this" is unnecessary unless being used for comparison. Just say Sunday. Unless you're talking about two Sundays now, as mcm was, in which case you can safely say "Next Sunday." :-P

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/19/2008 7:29 PM  

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