How To Ruin Everything

There are some things I need to get clear here, else we have more confusion and missed appointments and all sorts of problems in our society.
Here are some errors I’ve come across recently, and it is appalling to me that these things have not been addressed enough to clarify their actual use. I am here to teach you the way.
This/Next
I actually think I am in the minority here, but since I try to base my life in semantics, I’ll be the bigger person here by saying that I am right and everyone else is wrong. About everything.
Today is Wednesday. If I tell my friend I am going to meet her “next Friday,” what would you think I was talking about? 2 days from now or 9 days from now? For me, I would be talking about 2 days from now, because I said “next,” meaning “the next one that is going to happen.”
“But then why is there a ‘this Friday’ and a ‘next Friday’ if they don’t mean different things?” they all ask me. Then I mutter something about taking it up with the Romans and wander off. I don’t even know if it was them, but I like to blame a lot of baseless things on ancient Holy Empires.
Justin says there’s maybe a one-day buffer. Meaning that since it’s Wednesday now, if I were to make arrangements for the following day, I would just say “tomorrow” and not “next Thursday,” and I would only say “next Thursday” in that case if I meant 8 days from then. I suppose I can agree with that.
My friend Kerjack, although he does say “next Friday” meaning a week from the literal next Friday, agreed that if you’re driving and someone tells you to take the “next left,” they are not talking about “two left turns from now.”
Which is what I say to circumvent confusion between “this” and “next” — “two Fridays from now.” Not as short as one word, but to the point.
Midnight
This is a more recent pet peeve, but when I discovered the potential for confusion, I was surprised I hadn’t messed up more things in life.
When most people say “midnight Wednesday,” you assume they mean the 12:00 AM that occurs after 11:59 PM on Wednesday. Wrong. It happened 24 hours before that.
Now, believe me. I hate people who, if I say “goodnight” to them at 1:00 AM, they say, “You mean ‘good MORNING!'” and then guffaw themselves all the way into town. But this is the literal meaning of midnight. It doesn’t start at 12:01. My computer clock rolls over to the next day after 11:59:59. We don’t count down to midnight of December 31st for New Years. We count down to midnight, January 1st.
This is very confusing, and I would appreciate if everyone would stop it.
Forward slash
I think someone told all corporations that were making the leap into the Dot Com world that they would sound smarter if they said “forward slash.”
There was a happy time when all / was referred to as “slash.”
\ was used for DOS and some random other stuff. So, yeah, to normal people — NEVER. And don’t tell me Explorer unless you’re going to try and tell me you type out C:\Documents and Settings\PornMaster2007\Start Menu\Programs\RandomPornGenerator\
HotPorn\ParisHilton+PerezHilton_One_night_in_Paris_and_Perez instead of just clicking your Desktop shortcut, because I will call shenanigans on you right now.
However, since all TV ads are now informing me to visit cbs.com “forward slash” SomeLameShow, I get all confused over which one I should actually use.
So this is technically the correct usage, but let’s just keep things simple, okay? Just say “slash.” If you want to sound smart, say “Hyper text transfer protocol, colon, forward slash, forward slash, www, dot…” and by the time you get to “cbs,” all your viewers will have stabbed themselves in the eye with their remotes, but at least you’ll sound smart.
Niggardly
Niggardly is an adjective meaning “stingy.” It has NOTHING to do with race or being racist. It comes from the Norse verb “nigla” meaning “to fuss over small matters.” Yes, I just learned that from wikipedia. What I already knew about the word, however, is that a White House aide was once fired for using the word to describe an African American mayor’s plan for the budget. Because it was stingy.
He was re-hired two weeks later when everyone in government admitted they had never heard of this thing called a dictionary, but they were willing to believe that it existed.
Now, I’ll admit that it isn’t really a pretty word, and, no, I would probably never use it, but it makes me sad as a grammarian that a word has to become extinct because of a social stigma. Kind of like how they had to change the lyrics of the West Side Story song from “pretty and witty and gay/and I pity any girl who isn’t me today” to “pretty and witty and bright/and I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.” Why can’t we all be gay and niggardly, by which I mean happy and overly-financially responsible?
Yeah, that’s probably not gonna catch on.

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