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On Yesterday, On Today and On Tomorrow

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

The first time I heard someone say one of the three above phrases, I was watching a Kanye West Sunday Service and the Choir Director made every nerve in my body quiver. I immediately wondered why he added the "on" in front of the word today. It boggled my mind and unfortunately for me, it wasn't the last time I heard it.

Now, I have to mention the fact that I was born, raised and well educated in the United Kingdom, but I was bicoastal for 10 years in the United States of America before Covid-19. As a result of this, I'm aware of the fact that even though Americans use the English language, they don't spell, pronounce and use the same phrases as English people. There is nothing wrong with that, it's two different countries, but I have an issue with the fact that the on is not needed in the sentence.

Today I was listening to a clip of The Breakfast Club and Tezlyn Figaro, who is a very intelligent African American woman, Author, Podcast host and great communicator, said "you mentioned that on yesterday" and all of my nerves reacted. Before a few months ago, I probably wouldn't have commented, but I vowed to interact more on the platform since I am a YouTuber (K London on YouTube) and normally it's a positive experience. On this occasion, I wrote a really simple comment and no more than 15 minutes later, I got a notification from YouTube.

I said "When people say “on yesterday or on today” every nerve in my body quivers. It’s incorrect. The on is not needed!"

The response I received "How bored are you ON today to write this comment lol btw ON yesterday is acceptable in casual speech, this is casual speech"

It was definitely not casual speech, since she was reporting the news on a platform that reaches 5million people worldwide.

What I really wanted to say, because I haven't responded yet, was... 

It is grammatically incorrect. I'm a well educated woman from England, a 5x Published Author, I work in higher education and my intention was to bring awareness to the fact that saying on yesterday, today and tomorrow is unnecessary. A lot of things get accepted in this day and age, but that doesn't make them right. The usage is migrating around the world because it is being used on big platforms such as this. Oh and I'm far from bored!"

Now, I don't want to get too technical, but my job is to educate, motivate, entertain and inspire; so here goes. The word "tomorrow" already includes the IMPLIED preposition "on" and was once written as "to morrow". Later, a hyphen was added (to-morrow) and then eventually, the words were joined without the hyphen (tomorrow). "Yesterday", "Today" and "Tomorrow" do not require the preposition "on" for the same reason. "On the morrow" is already implied with the word "tomorrow". Adding "on" is redundant. Tomorrow means on the day after today and yesterday means on the day before today. So people are technically saying "on on the day before today".

I have stumbled across many people who despise the usage, some saying it is an extremely vexing trend, it is wrong, wrong, wrong, it's being used in Hong Kong and India, but more predominantly in America. Someone heard an MSNBC reporter use it and that was definitely not "casual speech". Other people said I hate it, one said "I was horrified when I heard teachers and principals using the term. It horrifies me!" and another said "It drives me bananas!" I, Kayisha Thomas am glad I am not the only one. Someone else said "How do we get the word out that "tomorrow" and "yesterday" is simply all you need to say, especially in those church announcements." This is spot on, simply because as I said at the beginning, I initially heard it on a Sunday Service video.

Someone shared this, and it made me chuckle -

I have a principal that says on tomorrow on the loudspeaker, during announcements almost every day. It drives me NUTS! I want to run up there and give him a grammar lesson every day. Perhaps I will... on tomorrow. Eeeekkkk!!!

This is my effort to get the word out that you don't need to add the word ON, in front of yesterday when referring to what happened yesterday, tomorrow when saying what should be taking place tomorrow or today. Other than it being grammatically incorrect, like someone said "It is easily the most annoying thing ever!"

Oh how I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment for me.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for daily motivation @kayishaonline.

Be Inspired!


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