An Explanation on the "Every"

Wow. It has been INSANE.

After picking up the paper (six copies!) on Sunday morning, I went up to one of my very favorite places in the world: White Lake State Park in Tamworth, New Hampshire. It’s a very significant place in my family: my dad has been camping there every year since he was 17 years old, and I made my first visit at the ripe old age of 12 days.

But I digress. I returned from a wonderful overnight camping trip, and in spite of the HORRID sunburn on my thighs, which was further aggravated by my sister rubbing sand into them (don’t ask), I’m ecstatic. I could not be happier. There’s nothing like coming home dozens of emails and comments on the blog.

I would like to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to visit the blog, and especially to those who took the time to comment or email me! I will be emailing each of you personally as soon as I have the time.

And now we return to the grammar blogging. I was walking down Tremont Street from Government Center, heading to the Park Street, when I saw the following sign on the front of a building:

“the joy of everyday.”

See anything wrong with that?

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. “Everyday,” when used as a single word, means typical, usual or ordinary. In all other instances, it must be two words: every day.

I’m guessing that Papyrus didn’t want us, as consumers, to find joy in ordinary, run-of-the-mill stationery.

I think that the company’s intention falls more along the lines of wanting consumers to find joy in all things, every single day, and that using beautiful, colorful stationery is a way to add joy to one’s life.

I was there with my friend Andy, and he was the one who added the sticker. You can’t quite tell from the picture, but it’s one of the “The Panda Says NO!” stickers from Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Check out his commentary on the incident on his blog.

For the record:

Everyday: synonym for typical, usual or ordinary
Every day: interchangeable with “each day”

Everyone: interchangeable with “each person”
Every one: used when followed by “of [article + noun]” — an example: Every one of the scouts learned how to tie the knot correctly.

Everytime: THIS IS NOT A WORD. DO NOT USE IT EVER.
Every time: interchangeable with “each time”

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8 responses to “An Explanation on the "Every"

  1. I’m pretty sure I hate this blog. I appreciate good grammar as much as the next cat, but when you take it to these lengths, you’re nothing but a glorified copyeditor. Stop the hate.

  2. Interestingly, I consider “The joy of everyday” to be a charming tagline, asking customers to find joy in commonplace aspects of life. “The joy of every day” sounds more like a disingenuous call to love each day of one’s life.

    I agree that the intended usage was the latter, but the former sounds so much more alluring.

  3. I’m actually going to disagree with you on this one, and agree with my brother (Jeff).

    I still love your blog. Everytime we hung out at our apartment, I knew you were smarter then me, and I’m so happy you’re gaining some fame for it now!

    (Every time, than… ;) )

  4. Yes, “every day” versus “everyday” plagues us as editors, but in this case, I’d be willing to bet that Papyrus *meant* that we are to find the joy of everyday things (like the stuff they sell: cards, pens, etc.), not that we are to find joy every day (which has nothing to do with them). More precisely, they could have written “the joy of the everyday.”

  5. I think that Papyrus DID want us to find joy in the ordinary, run-of-the-mill tasks often associated with stationery… and that “everyday” is correct.

  6. Yeah, people have been making that mistake forever! Did you know that that bum Chaucer used “everyday” to mean “every day” in the Canterbury Tales? And, even worse, those morons at the OED don’t even put the correct definition until #3, choosing to put the incorrect definition first! All those cretins!

  7. A little research can go a long way. I found this on the Papyrus website:

    Our Beliefs
    Papyrus believes in embracing all that life has to offer. We elevate everyday living and moments in that journey to become joyful events, visual statements and objects of beauty that convey a sense of self and punctuate the way we experience life.

  8. I know this is an old post, but I’ve been catching up after having just discovered this blog.

    This post reminded me of several cases of words being used together that I’ve been told shouldn’t be, but while I know they are grammatically incorrect, they just feel right.

    Eachother, anymore, and yes … everytime

    While I am a Computer Science major, English and Literature were my favorite subjects, so I’m not completely ignorant. I simply prefer the combined use of these words, even when my spell checker tells me otherwise.

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