Ozzily Yours

Friday, September 26, 2008

The This-Next Controversy Continues

Conversation at work this morning:

Director of Development: Hey, Grants Writer, does Rosh Hashanah start this Monday or next Monday?
Grants Writer (who happens to be Jewish, clearly): ...do you mean... next Monday or the Monday after that?
DD: No - I mean this Monday or next Monday.
GW: But this Monday already happened.
DD: What? No, I mean...
Me (explosively, I will admit): No, GW, this Monday is the Monday that's three days from now, and next Monday is the Monday following that!
GW: No, this Monday is the Monday of this week, and next Monday is the Monday of next week.
Me: No, that is completely untrue.
Intern (not only doing awesome work for me, but also having my back, woo!): She's totally right about this, this Monday is the upcoming Monday.
DD: THANK YOU! I fight with my husband about this all the time!
Me: Yeah, well, tell him he's wrong. And GW is wrong, too.
GW: OK, clearly you've recently gotten into a fight about this very subject [funny, because he's occasionally read this blog...]. But I think I'm right and, DD, I'm going to call your husband and tell him he's right, too.
Me: No, you're wrong, and do I have to remind you that DD is your supervisor? I don't know if you want to be stirring up shit in her home life, given that she could make things difficult for you.
GW: ...Rosh Hashanah begins on Monday the 29th. Does that answer your question?
DD: Yes. Thank you.... MCM, do you have any documentation on this, so I can prove to my husband he's wrong?

And so I seem to have stumbled into a project....


  • The Monday that just happened is LAST Monday. What's wrong with your office?

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/26/2008 4:16 PM  

  • Oh, trust me, the conversation included that detail - I was editing for the sake of brevity.

    For the record, though, the person with whom I had the earlier e-mail exchange was not actually a co-worker, but someone from a prominent Chicago cultural organization....

    By Blogger mcm, at 9/26/2008 4:27 PM  

  • Okay, but. If, on Monday at 3:30, you heard this sentence:

    "This Sunday's sermon was about the Biblical implications of lending money, but next Sunday she's starting a three-week series about the intersection of ethics and the law."

    the question is not would you choose to phrase it that way, but would the usage be unclear / bothersome?

    By Anonymous Ian, at 9/27/2008 4:58 PM  

  • The use of the words "was" and "is" make all of that very clear, and easy to parse from the overall context. And so it doesn't particularly bother me. But there's a lot more information in that sentence than in any of the others discussed so far. (And it's not how I'd write it, if given the choice.)

    By Blogger Adam875, at 9/28/2008 7:36 PM  

  • A large part of it is up to the speaker/writer to provide the context/specifics so that the listener/reader can understand what the intended day is.


    Since the context makes sense to the speaker/writer in their mind, arguing about it is about as useful as it is for most people to argue about whether the toilet paper should go on the roll with the end hanging in front so that you pull from behind, or over the top so that you pull from the the front.

    (By the way, I have scientific proof of why toilet paper should be hung over the top in front. In one of our bathrooms my three year old can barely reach it that way from the toilet, and if it hangs in the back she can't reach it at all.)

    By Anonymous Moth, at 9/29/2008 8:09 AM  

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