Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Next Please

If someone tells you to turn right at the next stop, do they mean the first or second stop you encounter? What if you are near or at a stop already?

The reason why this is not clear is because of the word "next". The word "next" should always be used in relation to something else. For example, a few clearer ways to use the word "next" would be "turn right at the next exit after this upcoming exit" or "turn right at the next exit from the previous exit". This may sound a bit wordy, but at least it is perfectly clear. Therefore, always use relationships when using the word "next".

Alternatively, it is possible to be clear and concise with fewer words without using the word "next". Such as, "turn right at the first stop" or "turn right at the second stop".

As you can see, the English language can be very confusing at times; yet with a little bit of forethought and consideration, it is easy to be clear and concise the next time when speaking and writing.

by Phil for Humanity
on 10/14/2007

Related Articles
 » Speaking Carefully and Correctly
 » Sentences Ending in Prepositions
 » Words with Silent Letters