CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Almost 20 percent of the female cadets at The Citadel last spring reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at the state military college, according to results of a survey released by the school Wednesday.
Last spring. It's easy to read past that, but what on earth does it mean? It's now summer. Immediately before summer began, it was spring. The last spring to have occurred was the spring of 2006, but why, why, why would somebody write it that way? If it's Wednesday, do you refer to the previous day as "last Tuesday"?
So maybe the writer meant "spring of last year," as in the spring of 2005? That somehow seems less likely, and indeed the Reuters story on the survey says it was conducted "in the spring."
I would also accept "this spring" in a reference to the spring of the current year. And maybe even "last fall" if it's January or February of 2006 and you want to make it absolutely clear that you're referring to autumn of 2005 and not autumn of 2006. But a midweek yesterday is not last Tuesday, and a spring isn't "last" until the year is over.