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Perhaps people will think that I'll physically visit them?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Any time I've ever said see you this weekend, I've meant that I would physically see that person. However, it is usually used when there are already plans in place. I would never write see you this weekend unless the recipient and I had made plans.

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No. It means you will actually see them with your eyes. It doesn't have to be a physical visit - it could be via a video chat.

It probably could also mean within an MMORPG, since you are seeing a representation of the person (their avatar).

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I don't agree. I've never said 'I'll see you this weekend' for anything other than physical contact. I would say, 'I'll speak with you this weekend', or 'I'll call you this weekend' for a video chat. Maybe that's just me, though. It's very difficult to provide a precise definition for idioms such as this. – J D OConal Oct 13 '10 at 23:01
@JDOConal I'm not sure if this is an idiom, even though it may mean slightly different things to different people. – Chris Dwyer Oct 13 '10 at 23:56
@Chris You may be right. What would you say an idiom is? – J D OConal Oct 14 '10 at 4:05
@JDOConal I think an idiom is a phrase that has a peculiar meaning in a specific language & culture. If you do a word-for-word translation of "see you this weekend" into a number of languages, the meaning is the same. There is no special meaning tied to this phrase that isn't plainly stated in its words. – Chris Dwyer Oct 14 '10 at 4:38
Ah, okay. That's a fair enough assessment, but I think there is something which isn't plainly stated in the words -- e.g., looking at a photograph doesn't count. I think it actually means, 'I will be in your presence this weekend'. Of course, I could be wrong. – J D OConal Oct 14 '10 at 4:41

I must admit that when text-chatting with people, I have on occasion said "See you later", which admittedly sounded (!) a bit weird, but "type to you later" sounded even more awkward. On the telephone, I would clearly say "speak to you later".

I guess a more accurate alternative would be "chat with you later", or more generically "communicate with you later", but the "... to you later" formulation is very ingrained.

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I once read an article where a blind person was ok with the idiom, and was bemused when her able-bodied colleagues tried to avoid the phrase.

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I have a blind friend who will often use the phrase "Hear you later" - but I think it is probably partly for comedic value as he also uses such interesting phrases as "Have a happy." – neil Feb 10 '11 at 14:28

I think "See you later" has become an idiom which is often exactly equivalent to "goodbye". But "See you [at some specific time/place]" implies to me that we are going to meet. If we have an appointment to meet online (chat room, video call, online-game, etc), I would understand your intent (and I would say this to someone else). However if I was going to write someone a message on the weekend I wouldn't say this. An email is not a meeting.

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