This Tuesday

Maybe this is a very German problem but then again maybe it is more broad than that.  In any event the whole this Tuesday/December/Easter Day has vs next Tuesday/December/Easter Day has me eternally confused.

This Sunday - wait what date is that?, pic: http://www.zimbio.com

So this is how it works in Germany: let’s say it is Thursday and you say “this Tuesday” you actually mean the Tuesday that hs just passed because on Thursday you are still closer to the bygone Tuesday than to the coming one.  The coming one will be “next Tuesday”.  By Sunday “this Tuesday”, however, will refer to the coming Tuesday, because now it is closer to you then the past one.  “Next Tuesday” would now be the Tuesday after the one coming up.

I admit, it is not very logical but it is still very intuitive to me and – worse – deeply ingrained.  This somewhat non-logical approach has gotten me into trouble here in the US a few times like the one time I discussed with a friend to meet next Saturday, it was a Sunday and so certainly I assumed next would be the upcoming one.  For her next Saturday was – without a doubt – not the next one coming up (that would be this Saturday) but the one after.  Neither one of us checked with the other because there was no doubt in our mind that the other would share the same understanding.

We missed each other on that day – it taught me about ‘this” and “next” and about always agreeing on the actual date.

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