What's the deal with EVERYTIME?
January 12, 2007 3:12 PM   Subscribe

What's the deal with "everytime?" Is it one word or two?

If it IS two words, why doesn't it follow suit with everybody, everyone, everyday, everything, and everywhere? I've always spelled it as one word, but now I'm starting to feel self-conscious about it...
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) to Writing & Language (26 answers total)
I've never written it as one word. Actually, I've never even thought about doing so. Huh.
posted by loiseau at 3:14 PM on January 12, 2007

To add to the pile-on, "everytime" is not a word.
posted by tigerbelly at 3:23 PM on January 12, 2007

Noone that I know says "everytime."
posted by alms at 3:26 PM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by languagehat at 3:27 PM on January 12, 2007

The way I speak English, every time has two primary stresses: every time. By contrast, everyone, everyday, everything and so on just have one.

I think that may help account for the difference in spelling. Generally, two-word phrases get two stresses (think black bird or white house) and compound words only get one (blackbird, Whitehouse). So every time, with its two stress pattern, just sounds more like two distinct words than the other ones do.

('Course, if your pronunciation doesn't match mine then all bets are off :) )
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:27 PM on January 12, 2007

"Every time" is written as two words.

Also, your examples don't really serve your point--"everyday" is an adjective. You would say "I read Metafilter every day," not "I read Metafilter everyday."

Of course, people understand what you're saying, but your usage is not strictly "correct."
posted by lackutrol at 3:28 PM on January 12, 2007

And that should be "you would write," because there's really no difference when you say it.
posted by lackutrol at 3:29 PM on January 12, 2007

Or inconsistent, anyway!

As with many other languages, all of these words were originally two words (i.e., every thing) but gradually they became hyphenated (every-thing) and eventually merged into one word. "Everytime" is not a word, but many sources allow "every-time" as a legitimate usage. It's less commonly used (two words or one) than the others you cite, which is good enough reason to remain two words, in much the same way that we don't use "everybanana" or "everymolecule."

Rankings from Wordcount.org, which calculates the frequency of words on the internet, from most common to least common:

everything: 512
everyone: 732
everybody: 1688
everywhere: 3008
everyday: 4110
everytime: 60513

But there's a catch in your idea! "Everyday" is not really a word either, at least not in the way you are probably implying. It works fine as an adjective ("Those are his everyday clothes") and as a noun in a certain, limited usage (Dictionary.com gives the example "We use inexpensive plates for everyday.")

But it's NOT a word when used in its most common manner:

"I walk to the bank every day."

"Everyday" and "every day" are both okay, but they mean slightly different things. So watch those as well!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:35 PM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

What about hammer time?
posted by greycap at 3:35 PM on January 12, 2007

People mispell noone alot.
posted by qwip at 3:43 PM on January 12, 2007

another vote for two words.
posted by exit at 4:12 PM on January 12, 2007

Noöne really knows how English works. The only thing I can see is that there is no hard-and-fast rule that works everytime.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:21 PM on January 12, 2007

"Everyday" and "every day" are both okay, but they mean slightly different things. So watch those as well!

They're also pronounced differently. "Everyday" has one accent, and "every day" has two.

However, changes are afoot

No, they're not. "Everyday" can never be an adverb or a noun, only an adjective. You can be as prescriptivist as you want in writing. Otherwise, poor spellers would be laffing all the way to the bank.
posted by oaf at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2007

Otherwise, poor spellers would be laffing all the way to the bank.

Coke and my local Whole Foods ("Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., everyday!") are laffing, yeah. You might be amused by reading the full text of the piece I linked. Since I originally read (in 2003) it in Harper's, I've seen more and more major retailers do it. I've talked to people who think it's legit because they've seen it on store signs. I'm not endorsing it. Just pointing out what looks to me like a significant wave.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:11 PM on January 12, 2007

Don't trust the decisions of anyone who would use the word "impactful." Two words.
posted by dame at 5:59 PM on January 12, 2007

It is both two words and one word, just as lackutrol put it as reading mefi "every day" or or enjoying one's "everyday" reading of mefi. Depends on how you use it.

Similarly, you can have a special rate on cell phone usage just for the weekend, or a flat rate:

"Isn't this call expensive at this hour?"
"No, I'm signed up with everytime minutes."

You've just got to use it in the proper circumstance.

There is no complete list of words, because even "word", in pretty much any dictionary, makes a complete list of words practically impossible. Whether a word is English or German doesn't matter -- if it's used to communicate something, it's a word. If I define "aurgh" as being the frustration associated with whether a word is one word or two, then my further use of aurgh to describe this situation doesn't it require being in a dictionary in order for it to be a word, even according to the very dictionary's definition of word in which aurgh is not found! If I dare to include the grammaticall-taboo prefix of quasi- or semi- or the suffixes of -ish or -ophobic, the result is still a word -- because whether a word is a word does not hinge on the fact that it is not found in a given dictionary.

See Squiptipadoogleboinkaflop
posted by Quarter Pincher at 8:17 PM on January 12, 2007

Noone is correct everytime.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:28 PM on January 12, 2007

posted by alltomorrowsparties at 8:37 PM on January 12, 2007

That would be anytime minutes, wouldn't it? I've never seen "everytime" as an adjective, noun, adverb, whatever.
posted by casarkos at 9:00 PM on January 12, 2007

From one of my favorite web pages ever:

“Every time” is always two separate words.

The page, which I have bookmarked and reference often: Common Errors In English.
posted by smallerdemon at 10:15 PM on January 12, 2007

I see everytime. Alot.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:52 PM on January 12, 2007

You can not be serious.
posted by washburn at 10:54 PM on January 12, 2007

A better example of this phenomenon is nevermind for never mind. I think Kurt Cobain has altered the language. Although I recall encountering this occasionally before 1991, it's use has since become ubiquitous. (Check out MeFi examples). Or is that checkout?
posted by Neiltupper at 12:13 PM on January 13, 2007

"A better example of this phenomenon is nevermind for never mind..."

Oh you mean "nm", right? The Internet has altered language more than Kurt Cobain.
posted by sunshinesky at 2:19 PM on January 13, 2007

« Older Game design software advice needed   |   How do I make my own keyboard shortcut in Outlook... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.