"after" - Mostly, it is...
Mar. 25th, 2009
06:39 pm - "after"
I'm curious about a word usage pattern. I've seen the phrase "the week after" used as:
A) the week after the week that had been under consideration i.e: the next week
as well as
B) being short for "the week after the next week".
To restate for clarity, say Week One runs from the 4th to the 11th, Week Two from the 12th to the 18th and Week Three from the 19th to the 25. If one is offered an appointment on the 8th, but would rather have it in Week Two, in case A, one could inquire as to the availability of a time either by asking about "the next week" or "the week after". If in case B, only "next" would be correct because "the week after" would refer to Week Three.
From two non-authoritative sources, Case B is the generally taught and understood form in England and some of its current and former colonial territories. In my experience in Toronto, A applies more often than not, but B is sufficiently common that the usage is ambiguous unless you are familiar with the person using it. Based on this, I suspect that somewhere, A is what is generally taught and understood, but I don't know where. If it is similar to the bigendian vs. mixed endian state that we see in the case of dates, (i.e.: British - d/m/y, U.S.A. - m/d/y, Canadian - depends, trending American), then that would be the U.S.A.
Something else I'm curious about is whether that usage of after is also used with other units denoting a period.
So poll for those who use and are familiar with Case B.
I would (or have seen) use(d) 'after' as short for "the [x] after the next [x]" where [x]= check all that apply.