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I was wondering what 'next September' mean in this context.

for example, if this article is written in 2018 3 January, Does 'next September' mean 2018 september? or 2019 september?

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    This, in my honest opinion, is an unresolved question. I've been speaking English my entire life and have concluded that there is no generally agreed upon definition. As soon as you think you know what it means someone will use it mean something different. Most use of "next" to specify a specific time interval requires context and possibly even a request by the listener for further clarification. My rule, "When in doubt about when next Thursday actually will occur, ask the speaker for further clarification, happens all the time. It's part of the language. – EllieK Mar 16 '18 at 12:59
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In general, "Next time-period" refers to the first instance of the time-period that has not yet begun - that is, "next week" is the week beginning on the first Sunday (or Monday) that is not today and after today, "next year" is the year that begins on the first January 1 that is not today and after today, and "next September" is the September that begins on the first September 1 that is not today and after today. So, if the above was written on 3 January 2018, "next September" will be September 2018.

  • On August 15, 2018, say, "next September" does not refer to September 2018. We'd say "this coming September" for that. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 16 '18 at 12:41
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo - At that point, I'd be asking for specific clarification, as the querent does; it can (and in my experience, does) mean either, contextually. Do note, also that I said "In general". – Jeff Zeitlin Mar 16 '18 at 12:54
  • I was responding to your use of what seems like a very precise rule, "the first January 1 that is not today and after today". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 16 '18 at 13:00

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