Thursday, February 14, 2013

The adjective “everyday” vs. the adverb “every day”

A common mistake in English is to confuse the adjective everyday with the adverbial phrase every day. Even mighty media outlets such as Reuters make this mistake occasionally. For example:

Everyday, content creators are producing more journalism, more think-pieces, more interactive graphics, more photo galleries, more tweets, more slideshows, more videos, more GIFs... (Source) (Boldface added)


When the reader encounters “Everyday” at the beginning of the sentence, he may assume that “Everyday” modifies “content creators.” But then he considers the comma after “Everyday” and assumes that “Everyday” modifies the verb “are producing.”* This second assumption is probably correct.

However, the word everyday is an adjective; as such, it should not be used to modify a verb. The writer should have used the adverbial phrase every day. For more on everyday vs. every day, see Grammarist.)

The Takeaway: Strive to use proper grammar and diction. Although your mistakes may not always make your writing unclear, they will hurt your credibility if they are frequent.

See disclaimer.

*Or is a sentence adverb.

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