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Everyday or every day?

22 Nov
Everyday or every day?

It’s Troublesome Pairs time and this one was suggested by my friend Greg, who had spotted a whole record label which might need some proofreaders.

I need to stress here that he shared it out of interest and as an example of a troublesome pair I hadn’t yet covered, and he knows I would never laugh at an error (unless I made it) because I’m here to help people express themselves. I will often have more experience of the rules and usage of English than the people who come to me for my editing and proofreading services, and more experience of the rules and usage of British English than the people who come to me for my localisation services, but that doesn’t make me in any way “better” than them. I really hate it when people talk about “grammar nazis” and think I will tut and frown if I see an error in a comment or on a sign, although I’m all for educating people and showing them how these distinctions I make in this series of articles help people to get their meaning across more clearly. But I try not to laugh or point, as it’s not my style (and isn’t the style of most of my edibuddies, either).

Anyway, rant over.

Everyday is an adjective or noun referring to the mundane, the usual, things that happen, well, every day. So “We expect you to carry out everyday tasks with cheerfulness and efficiency”. “I got sick of the everyday and wanted to try something different and more varied”.

Every day is a phrase which means “on all days”, “each day”. So, “I expect you to check the visitor numbers every day”, “Every day, my everyday jobs became more dull”.

It’s often used incorrectly on signs, etc, “New offers everyday”, but I’ve not seen the reverse used incorrectly.

You can find more troublesome pairs here, and here’s the index to them all!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2017 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs

 

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8 responses to “Everyday or every day?

  1. Jessica Triepel

    November 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Oh, this is interesting! Thanks! I hope to see more. Reblogging!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Liz Dexter

      November 22, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Thank you. If you have a look at the index which is linked in the article, you will find loads more like this!

      Like

       
  2. Nadia Abdullah

    November 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Love this, Liz. You explain it in simple terms! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. Don Massenzio

    November 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio.

    Like

     
  4. Emma Bailey

    December 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

    You say: “I will often have more experience of the rules and usage of English than the people who come to me for my editing and proofreading services, and more experience of the rules and usage of British English than the people who come to me for my localisation services, but that doesn’t make me in any way “better” than them.”
    But I suspect it actually does make you considerably ‘better than them’ – at the intricacies of written language anyway. That, after all, is your speciality, your particular area of skill and expertise. You should be better than them in that area and it shouldn’t be your responsibility to worry about or soothe their feelings of inadequacy about that.

    “I really hate it when people talk about “grammar nazis” and think I will tut and frown if I see an error in a comment or on a sign…”
    Similarly I think there’s a decent analytical argument to say that the use of the phrase “grammar nazi” boils down to an expression of feelings of inadequacy on the part of the user, whereby they experience your expertise as persecutory, (by making them painfully aware of their own ignorance), resulting in an attack designed to shame your knowledge and enable them to regain some kind of emotional higher ground. If every expert ends up having to waste their time feeling ashamed of their expertise at the hands of the ‘equality police’ then we are going to be in a very sorry state in due course.

    “But I try not to laugh or point, as it’s not my style (and isn’t the style of most of my edibuddies, either).”
    Of course, no-one likes a gloater, or, as the Norwegian word for ‘know-it-all’ literally translates, a ‘better-wiser’, but in the field of English language there is, I believe, a clarity about right and wrong, notwithstanding inevitable changes over the course of time. I only clicked on your website this morning in search of clarity around the differences between ‘surplus’ and ‘surfeit’ (excellent description there, by the way), but I was dismayed to see in this and your other posts this insidious, quasi-moralistic denigration suffered increasingly by you and experts in many other fields. Language is surely one of the most precious commodities available to us in this information-based time so please hold on to your expertise and help us to use it properly.

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Thank you for your long and considered comment, Emma. I can assure you very strongly that I will continue to help people to write clearly and to help distinguish between words that are often confused or misused and to keep the intricacies of our language alive and strong.

      There is a propensity for people to feel that people like me are going to correct them in everyday life, and I am at pains to point out that I only correct people who ask me to do so! I’d never want someone not to express themselves to me for fear of me picking on them and mocking them. I do find people having this attitude; however I do (occasionally, and not amongst my buddies) find wordsmiths and editors poking fun publicly at people’s mistakes. So there is a need for restraint on both sides.

      I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, though, and you will find in quite a few of my posts I argue strongly for keeping very small distinctions in our language that it would be a great shame to lose!

      Like

       

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