This and next …..

Rat Catcher, Going Postal
Rat family
“New rats” by ressaure is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It was a fine Thursday evening as Mr. and Mrs. RC were out for their daily perambulation as permitted by Reichmarschall des Grossdeutchen Reiches Johnson. They were discussing arrangements of when relatives were to visit. It was then that a disagreement arose – not who was visiting but when:

The case on behalf of Mr RC:

Mrs. RC suggested that the visit be next weekend to which I agreed. I then remembered something else going on and spoke of the clash. I was firmly told that this was occurring this weekend not next weekend.
This does not compute. The next weekend is this weekend. It was a Thursday so the next weekend would be 2 days away. This weekend would be the next weekend which is the same weekend and remains 2 days away.
If I had asked somebody to dinner next Christmas, I would fully expect them to turn up at the next Christmas – the Christmas that is impending and immediately next. If I invited somebody else to dinner this Christmas, I would expect them to turn up at the same dinner as the previous invitee as ‘this’ refers to the impending and immediately next Christmas.
I genuinely don’t understand the alleged difference between ‘this’ and ‘next’ and for good reason – there isn’t one. Some confusion appears to have festered in the minds of the incorrect as to what this and next means but they are wrong.
I am told often and regularly that language evolves. Whilst true, this is not necessarily a good thing and it is not to be encouraged. Why you ask? Because I remember a time when sick meant vomit, bad meant naughty and woke meant red pilled.
Up with this I will not put so I will continue being right whilst some around me are being wrong and I will use dates instead so as not to embarrass these individuals.

The case on behalf of Mrs RC:

I have logical and robust evidence to persuade Mr RC that perhaps the finer points of his lexicon are a little worn and rusty and that the words this and next are clearly not interchangeable. Referring to the esteemed Oxford Dictionary, it quite clearly states that “this” is used to describe periods of time related to the present. Conversely “next” is used to describe an event “occurring directly after the present one in time.”
Which makes it quite easy, even for the most pedantic rodent. Quite clearly I wasn‘t talking about arranging the visit for the previous weekend! The visit was to be arranged for the weekend coming up. The weekend which is part of this current week – the Saturday and Sunday approaching. THIS weekend! I wasn’t planning for the one directly after that. If I’d intended that I would have said NEXT weekend as that is the one that comes AFTER the present weekend.
It’s perfectly logical so stop passing off my accuracy as an example of evolving language. You are the one who is trying to make a perfectly decent word redundant!
So THIS time I am sure you’ll agree I’m right. Maybe NEXT time you’ll be right?
The case rests.

© rattuscatchus 2021

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