I have previously vented about “later”, but there’s also “earlier”.
Madrid had earlier been eliminated in a first-round ballot. So said the BBC in its online article about Tokyo being chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/24002795) – at least, before I pointed out their grammatical redundancy. (Congratulations to Japan, by the way.)
Of course it was “earlier” – it wouldn’t be in the past tense if it hadn’t already happened, would it? Like a traffic holdup due to an “earlier” accident.
There seems to be a fad of using the redundant “earlier” to describe things that have already happened, and “later” for things that will or might occur.
If you agree that this is wrong, please “like” or “share” this post. From little acorns …