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Which reminds me

Posted by Bob on July 12, 2003

In Reply to: "From X" (day, time) posted by R. Berg on July 10, 2003

: : : Thanks for your help!
: : : But because I've never seem "from" can be used this way, could you please give antoher example in which "from" shares the meaning with "next"?

: : : And I wonder: if today is Sunday, and someone says "Let's make it a week from Saturday", is he/she referring to next Saturday, or the Saturday after next Saturday?

: : : Thanks!

: : : : 2. "a week from Saturday", refers to the Saturday after next, i.e. not the coming Saturday but the one after that. In the UK at least this is often called "a week on Saturday", which is even less intuitive.

: : I can't think of other examples of from being used to mean next.

: : "Let's make it a week from Saturday" would refer to the Saturday after the next Saturday.

: : In this part of the world (Yorkshire) there's an even more confusing use of words to do with dates. They use while to mean until. So "wait while Saturday" is understood to mean "wait until Saturday".

: : "I'll hold my breath while you count to ten" would be understood by most people as "I'll hold my breath for as long as it takes you to count to ten". Around here they would mean "I'll hold my breath until you start counting".

: "From" is used in other expressions to mark the starting point of an interval in time. It doesn't exactly mean "next." The traditional English marriage service includes "from this day forward," which means starting now. People say "My vacation lasts from July 15th to July 22nd" or "They played cards from morning till night" or "I listened to music from 8:00 to 10:00" or "Access to that account will require a password from now on" (i.e., from the present moment into the future).

: "A week from Saturday" breaks down like this: Saturday is the beginning of an interval, and the interval is one week.

One can say "the movie will start in ten minutes."
Or "the movie will start ten minutes from now."
But it is irritating when people say, as they often do, "the movie will start in ten minutes from now."
Very much like those airport announcements that declare "this is the last and final call...."