Also of use to conference organisers setting submission deadlines.
- “midnight Tuesday”. Ambiguous between the midnight at the beginning of Tuesday and the one at the end of Tuesday. In casual usage, this usually turns out to mean the midnight at the end of Tuesday, but why be ambiguous? (And if you’re wondering why anyone is organising anything for midnight precisely, time zones. Or deadlines, “midnight Tuesday” usually means you can spend Tuesday evening on the task.)
- “this Tuesday”. Almost always means the Tuesday immediately following, but that can be ambiguous in the case of time zones (if one of your attendees is already in the Tuesday in question) and in the case of someone reading their email belatedly.
- “next Tuesday”, even worse, because some people mean the Tuesday immediately following, but most people (I think) mean the Tuesday a week after that, and then add in the same problem that it may already be Tuesday somewhere, and people may read their email belatedly.
I like to avoid midnight entirely, especially if you’re intending the “you have Tuesday evening to get this done” meaning. Use “11:30pm Tuesday” or “1am Wednesday”. Problem solved. If you really need it to be terribly terribly close to midnight, you can use “11:59pm Tuesday” quite often or at worst you can just spell it out “midnight at the end of Tuesday”).
For upcoming weekdays, just state the date. “Tuesday 21st”, “Tuesday 28th”. Avoid anything that requires people to know the time you wrote at.
And while we’re here, a free reminder that dates of the form 10/06/2014 are ambiguous between the 10th June 2014 (Australia, much of the rest of the world) and the 6th October 2014 (the USA). 2014-06-10 is less ambiguous and often comes with free sorting by date, but when doing meeting negotiation just write “June” and “October” and be done. You’re welcome.