The Red Pen: “Everyday” vs. “Every Day”

We Need to Talk About Grammar is a weekly feature in which I complain about grammatical mistakes I encounter all too often. Feel free to commiserate below, and check out the archives here!

Friends, we have a grammatical genocide on our hands. Innocent spaces are being deleted left and right. What are we going to do about it?

Well, first, we can get one thing straight. The word “everyday” is an adjective, meaning normal or commonplace. The phrase “every day” means, well, every day. To use “everyday” in place of “every day,” as in, “I go to the gym everyday,” is unacceptable, and not only because that’s obviously a lie.

Vol. 3 gym gif

This isn’t the only phrase undergoing the space-massacre. “Anymore” has become the word of choice, even in the incorrect usage: “I don’t want anymore cheese” (it should be “I don’t want any more cheese”). The correct usage of “anymore” implies a sort of “nowadays” meaning, as in, “I used to like onions, but I don’t anymore.” The word “anymore” and the phrase “any more” have two separate meanings, people.

I also see this problem with the word “anyone,” though not quite as commonly: when used as a synonym to “anybody,” “anyone” should be spelled as one word; but when referring to “any single one,” there should be a space, i.e., “any one of those apples would probably be delicious.”

This may seem like an inconsequential mistake; some people might gloss over it and not even notice. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I constantly get tripped up over phrases like this, even when the usage is correct—I’ve seen so many incorrect usages that I almost always have to do a double-take now. Sigh.

In conclusion, make sure to think before you unwittingly deny a space its rightful place! If it’s an adjective or an adverb, it’s one word; if you’re describing a noun or adjective like “day,” “more,” or “one,” it’s a two-word phrase.

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