Once it’s later, it will never be now.
I’d never truly thought of the word later, but it falls into the same category as ‘interesting’ -It’s a filler word, used when we don’t have anything better to say. ‘Interesting’ is used when we can’t define our opinion on something because life is interesting! If you have to define anything as interesting, then your normal state is uninterested until proven otherwise; which is a sad way to live, but going back to ‘later’.
I cannot see any moment where the word later would be appropriate to use, except maybe addressing death with a “See you later” because meeting death is definite, and I don’t mind leaving that to later. Or if we’re describing a past event; i.e: later that evening Mr. Kumar fell off the carousel.
Rather than the word ‘later’, we should use ‘sooner’ -since it creates a sense of existence, of immediateness, of inevitability, that ‘later’ simply doesn’t accomplish.
- See you sooner; I will do this, sooner; Can I see you, sooner? I’ll fix the car, sooner.
Although it doesn’t sound too natural, or even correct; it lends itself to be the immediate reaction to an unfinished experience. I will do this sooner… Sooner? Yes, as soon as I’m done with XYZ.
Where as with ‘later’… Things just get piled up in an infinite to-do list, because nothing we really want to do, is pushed to later. If I want to see someone, I won’t tell them “See you later” I will give them a precise timeline, something I can look forward to. Nobody looks forward to later, because later is too late to do or be anything. Later is a finite moment with infinite space for all things you don’t want to do or experience, now. Later is the safe haven of the eternal procrastinator. Later means you failed to grasp the moment, and you’re failing to allow yourself to grasp the next. Later doesn’t create, it kills.
So, see you sooner rather than later.