next whenever

It appears from a couple of confusing arrangements recently that Americans1 who say e.g. ‘next Friday’ mean ‘Friday next week’. Whereas I, being literal-minded, interpret it as ‘counting from today (which is Monday), the next Friday is Friday this week’.

In other time-related language, people here say ‘quarter of’, and I still can’t remember if that means ‘quarter past’ or ‘quarter to’. And if I say ‘half ten’ they don’t know if I mean 9:30 or 10:30 (it’s the latter).

1 or some people around here, anyway.

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