Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Everyday gripe

I see it every day. Every. Day. Two words. What I see, as in the photo below, is the one-word spelling where it should be the two-word spelling.

Everyday is an adjective. Every day is an adverb. If parts of speech don't mean anything to you, then think of it this way: everyday means ordinary, common, usual. So the sign in the picture is saying "Available ordinary," which is, of course, nonsense. Everyday should come before a noun that it modifies, e.g., I'm not getting out my good china for the in-laws; the everyday dishes are good enough for them.* 

Every day, on the other hand, is what you should use when you're referring to when something happens, like when flu vaccinations are available at the neighborhood pharmacy. They are available every day. (Even in May, it would seem ...)

Practice the proper use of these two terms every day, and you will elevate yourself above the everyday writers out there.

* Just a test to see if any of my in-laws are actually reading this.  :)

1 comment:

  1. A distinction too seldom made. Nice catch.

    --Original curmudgeon