Every Day, Everyday People Choose The Wrong Spelling For This Word

Every Day, Everyday People Choose The Wrong Spelling For This Word

They’re the same words in the same order — but one has a space and one doesn’t, and they mean different things. Here’s what you need to know to use everyday and every day correctly.

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Everyday is the adjective, so you’d use it to describe an object or activity that is common: everyday people, everyday hero. Every day is a phrase which describes something which happens each day: every day I write the book, every day I love you more.

In spoken English, no-one is going to notice the difference, but in written English, you absolutely can — yet people getting it wrong remains an everyday occurrence. You should strive every day to avoid that mistake. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


  • Clever Lifehacker understands that its audience loves to bicker over grammar and spelling. Delivers. Bring on Muphry’s Law.

  • You gotta love that Muphry’s Law.

    At least get your OWN grammar and spelling correct before you click submit, otherwise you look like a uneducated dolt.

    • … or, you can click submit, hope that some savvy readers recognize your obviously sarcastic intentional misspelling, and blissfully ignore those that don’t.

      I’m not sure which of us is right, MichaelGW , but I hope it’s me.

      • What he said (points at cffndcr).

        Sarcasm on the Net is hard. In my experience you need to lay it on with a trowel, thusly:

        It iz a troof, universaly aknolledged, that eny speling flaym must itsef contane a speling of grammer flaym.

        It’s hard to always right perfectly even if you have perfect knowledge of spelling and grammar. They creep in from typos and later edits. Thus, the ancient (usenet-era) rule to ignore spelling errors on the ‘Net unless it’s clear that the author has made no effort at all to approximate correctness. (I’m talking here about the sort of people who think that SMS abbreviations, with the possible exceptions of the REALLY well known ones, comprise acceptable English in other contexts.)

        Unfortunately, 99% of people on the Internet wouldn’t know netiquette if it bit them, and probably an even smaller number have ever read Brad Templeton’s original Emily Postnews article. (Spotting spelling errors is easy, but pointing them out wastes more peoples’ time than the original error – probably by quite a large factor.)

        • I disagree to an extent… in a forum like this, where you have a chance to proof-read your posts, it’s very easy to correct any typos. It’s not like you’re in a time-sensitive environment, and I hardly think anyone has ever thought ‘I have to post this to lifehacker right now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance!’

          That being said, I am far more forgiving of typos in the comments than in the articles themselves. I understand that writers have deadlines, but you do this for a living, damnit, have at least a semblance of attention to detail!

          • Sort of agree, but I’ve edited a lot of text over the years, and you wind up self-proofing over and over again… then you add one sentence just before you post, and find that you’ve edited your sensible text into complete nonsense.

            Recently I submitted a paper I was co-authoring for publication with my thesis supervisor, who’s been writing papers for over twenty five years (and I’ve been writing in other contexts for almost as long). Before the final submission, I found about half a dozen spelling and grammatical errors that I needed to fix.

            There are certain types of errors people tend to miss – most famously, the doubled “the” – because most fluent speakers/writers of a language don’t read individual words but take in several words, at minimum, at a glance.

            So I’m fairly forgiving of that sort of error. If possible, I send a private email/post suggesting a correction, which hopefully results in a fix without wasting everybody’s time in reading my snarky comments.

  • ooooh my pet peeve is all the people on the net who say defiantly instead of definitely.

    • Or “could care less” instead of “couldn’t care less”. Or one that seems to be creeping in more and more is the misspelling of the word “ridiculous” to “rediculous”.

      • ‘Could care less’ is actually a shortened version of the full expression ‘I could care less, but I don’t’. When one is using the expression, they can’t be bothered using it fully so they use the shortened version to further highlight the fact that they could care less (but don’t)

        • Yeah, but by leaving off the end bit, they’re saying the exact opposite of what they mean. Major pet peeve of mine too.

        • No, what they mean is “I couldn’t care less”, they are just unaware of the correct phrase.

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