Submitted by lisabedell on July 16, 2009

“The next stop will be...”

On the DC Metro, we are told: “The next stop will be X”.

When will the next stop be x?

I’m pretty sure the next stop *is* X!


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You're correct: the next stop *is* X, because the order of stops is a predetermined list.

But they are also correct: the next stop *will be* X, because you haven't stopped there yet.

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I have a question. Should it be "next stop" or "THE next stop"?

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A case could be made for either construction, but I think context trumps syntax in this instance. That context is the subway. The phrase "the next stop will be" is more likely to be understood in a crowded train than "the next stop is." The sibilant "is" would be more easily drowned out than the sharper-sounding "be."

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