As part of my public service to the universe, I have tried my best to keep everyone aware of oddities in the way we use words.
If you’ve never visited my blog before, welcome! (What took you so long?!?) You’re about to rethink an expression you probably use all the time.
How many times have you been trying to think of when something occurred in the recent past–be it an appointment, a vacation, or one of your thumbs falling off for no good reason–when you simply shrug your shoulders and realize that your mental calendar has gone kaput?
What did you say next?
In all likelihood, you referred to it as–are you ready?
The other day.
Besides being vague (because, hey, it’s vague to you as to when it happened in the first place, although if you can’t remember the exact date that you lost a thumb, your insurance company will), the expression has a few other problems. The biggest problem I have with it is that it implies that there are “other” days other than the ones we’ve already established.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We’ve set up seven days per week to work with here. The calendar issues them on a repeating basis across twelve months, further breaking the process down to a series of numbers and month names. Therefore, we have a set number of days available in which anything can happen.
In short, there are no “other” days.
Yes, it’s an expression. I get it. For some reason, though, it’s my self-appointed job to point out expressions that need some assistance. (I took on this burden out of the kindness of my heart. It’s tough, but someone has to do it. I think. Even if they don’t, I felt like it, okay?) This one is a challenge sometimes, because you could try to name the day you think the event in question happened, but if you’re wrong, then you know you’re not being truthful.
Just know that you do have choices, however, and that you don’t have to go out and create “other” days.
I just felt I needed to bring it up since I was thinking about it the other day.