Today I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR, and while host Terry Gross was talking with actor James Franco (being a baseball nut and a Reds fan, I almost typed it "John Franco"), she mentioned Pineapple Express as a movie from "last summer." My immediate reaction was "no, that wasn't 2007! That was this past summer!"
Then I realized that she also meant 2008. But I have always found this specific "last" formulation misleading. To me, the summer of 2008 won't be "last summer" until at least January 1st, 2009, and maybe not even until June 21st, 2009. Until then, it's "this past summer."
I hear this most often in sports, where a number of talking heads and writers start talking about "last season" a minute after the regular season ends. For the sports calendar to turn over to "last" for me, we need to be in the next season. So for me, the 2008 baseball season won't be "last season" until pitchers and catchers show up for Spring Training in February 2009.
However, this will be my "last" blog entry until my next one goes up.