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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (April 8, 2007)

An Everyday Day Every Day

Last week, I looked at the first of Warren Clements' "Hall of Shame" from his column, Word Play, published Saturdays in The Globe and Mail newspaper. Here's a second member.

The misuse of the adverb," every day," and its adjective form, "everyday," "heads our department list as the most abused word," says English teacher Sheryl Danilowitz in Clements' column, More Inductees into the Hall of Shame.

What is the difference?

It's an everyday requirement that teachers take attendance in their classes.

In fact, teachers must take attendance every day.

I hope you can spot the difference between the two. Note that in the first sentence, "requirement" is a noun. What does "everyday" do to that noun?

And "must take" clearly acts as verb in the second sentence, and "every day" tells the manner in which teachers take their attendance.

Practice will help you avoid making a contribution to the "hall of shame"!


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