I am glad I am not the only one that has a problem sorting this one out.
Does that mean they will get back to me in four days, the closest Friday, or does it mean that they will get back to me a week from Friday?
According to an email blast by Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl, it's not clear. "Some people think next Friday means the next Friday that will occur, and other people think next Friday means the Friday in the next week, regardless of what day it is in the current week," writes Mignon.
This has always been a problem for me, and evidently other folks, too. Shy away from using the word next to indicate a day of the week. That is, unless, you want to use confusion over the word next as part of your plot.
"Why weren't you at the fountain on Friday? We set off a bomb to blow you up."
"You said next Friday. I thought you meant next week."
This ambiguity about next can pertain to things other than the days of the week. You could be referring to "the next vacation," or "the next time," or "the next novel you right." Always be careful.
By the way, Mignon Fogarty is great. Check out her website. She has a good podcast, too.
See ya' later—and not next Friday.