Everyday pet peeve

We all have pet peeves about language. Well, most of us do, I suspect. Lately I have noticed complaints on social media sites about the misuse of the noun impact, incorrectly making it into a verb. Its ugly cousin impactful is unworthy of comment. Today I write about one of my own language pet peeves, one that shows up in advertising and has come into wide misuse everywhere. Fasten your seat belt. Here we go.

The word day is a noun. A noun is a person, place, or thing. A day is a thing, a period of time.

The word every is identified by dictionaries as a determiner. In English use, the word every precedes a singular noun, and in such use the word every is used to refer to all the members of a set without exception.

Here are examples of the words day and every used correctly in English:

This is such a beautiful day. I am busy today, but I can meet with you on another day. I visit my grandmother every day. Note that every day in this use is two separate words, and that’s correct.

Every player of the team showed up on time. This doesn’t happen every time. I sent a card to every member of my family.

Sometimes we combine the words every and day to make one longer word: everyday. Everyday, however, is not a noun. It is an adjective, a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

Here are examples of the adjective everyday being used correctly:

Visits to my grandmother are an everyday occurrence. The store advertises that is has everyday low prices.

It is correct to glue the words every and day together only when you wish to use the word everyday as an adjective preceding the noun it modifies, as in everyday occurrence or everyday low prices. It is never correct to combine the words when using day as a noun and every as its determiner that modifies it.

INCORRECT: I visit my grandmother everyday. The team practices everyday.

In these examples, separate every and day. Do it that way every time.

Of course, you should do this only if you wish to use correct English and show that you are an educated person.




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