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If we can use today and tonight for the day and night of the same day of speech, why is there no "toweek" or "tomonth"? Are there any other words which can be used?

Is this is something that can be proposed to the language authority? EDIT: Marv's comment below clears this up.

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    What language authority? – Marv Mills May 28 '15 at 7:35
  • someone like Oxford or Websters, I dont know.. somebody who approves or includes new words – aksappy May 28 '15 at 7:36
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    There is no such thing- only dictionary compilers that include words that are used. There is no "official English" into which new words can be placed for the delight and delectation of the populace! If you use a new word, and it catches on, and it becomes sufficiently popular and widely used, it will appear in dictionaries... – Marv Mills May 28 '15 at 7:38
  • Oh.. good that I asked atleast, did not know that.. Thanks Marv.. Edit in question! – aksappy May 28 '15 at 7:39
  • and..what's bad about having two words instead of one? – user66974 May 28 '15 at 7:40
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I'm curious. Does your native tongue have distinct words for these? Mine is Hindi, which doesn't. Neither does any other language I know. (Except for Sanskrit, arguably. Just about anything can be sandhi-fied (joined) into one word in Sanskrit.)

I'd say this week and this month are used considerably less frequently than today or tonight, as this ngram shows, which might (I said might) explain why the need was not felt for dedicated words to express them.

And I'd be willing to bet that most, if not all, languages don't have these words either. I'm trying to say that English isn't behaving strangely here.

Oh, and I might as well repeat what Marv said. There is no 'language authority'.

  • My native language malayalam has these words. Due to the influence of Sanskritic sandhi I guess. – aksappy May 28 '15 at 17:27
  • @aksappy: See edit. I was just about to mention Sanskrit. – Tushar Raj May 28 '15 at 17:31
  • Exactly. It is hard for us to look the thousands of dialects and derivatives of Sanskrit. I know German and German has these words, because of again this sandhi character. But, I wasn't sure about other languages, especially English. – aksappy May 28 '15 at 17:38
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    @aksappy: Like I said, Sanskrit has a lot of sandhi-fied words which we would be hard-pressed to find in languages like English which lack the awesomeness of Sandhi. – Tushar Raj May 28 '15 at 17:45
  • Japanese has these words, too. – Catija May 29 '15 at 1:27
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There actually is an English word for "current month", although it's use is less frequent now than, say, 100 years ago. The word is

instant

2 : the present or current month

An example of use (from "Report of the Midnapore and Burdwan Cyclone of the 15th and 16th of October 1874")

The morning of the 15th instant broke calm, with low grey clouds.

Another example from 1924

Acting on instructions received from the Officer Commanding West Kootenay Sub-District, I left Penticton, B.C. by Police Auto, at 2 pm. of the 29th instant, proceeding to Oroville, Wash., U.S.A., and on the morning of the 30th instant I proceeded by G.N.Ry. to Grand Forks, B.C., arriving there at 11 p.m., and commenced investigating the above case.

  • That's actually really cool... unfortunately, I don't know that anyone would use it any more. – Catija May 29 '15 at 1:29
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There is also "tomorrow", in the same vein. It's an interesting question! I'm afraid I don't have a definitive answer, but a brief look at etymology of the words in question suggests that it might be slang or a contraction. For example today: Old English tō dæg ‘on (this) day’; you might also say 'on the morrow' or 'on this night' but you wouldn't say 'on the week' or 'on this month'.

If so, it could simply be that the words toweek and tomonth don't follow the same convention in the original language. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't make sense in the context you suggest now.

  • Thanks. I'm trying to find the origin of these words now – aksappy May 28 '15 at 13:27

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