Writing Tip: August 27, 2001
Anymore and Everyday
Can you spot problems with the use of anymore and everyday in the following sentences?
1. James does not have anymore vacation time left this year.
2. Melanie does not need anymore papers on her desk at this moment.
3. John does not subscribe to Time magazine anymore.
4. A national grocery chain boasts that it offers "substantial savings everyday."
5. Elaine is late for work nearly everyday.
6. Everyday language is often unacceptable in business writing.
Only sentences 3 and 6 use anymore and everyday correctly.
The word anymore is an adverb. According to Merriam-Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.), it can mean "any longer" or "at the present." Thus, sentence 3 is correct because we could write "John does not subscribe to Time magazine any longer." Here are two more examples of anymore used correctly:
-- Fred is not the president of his professional organization anymore.
-- Dorothy said to Toto, "We aren't in Kansas anymore."
The two-word phrase "any more," on the other hand, functions adjectivally; that is, it modifies (describes) a noun. Sentences 1 and 2, then, should refer to "any more vacation" and "any more papers," respectively.
Everyday is an adjective. Sentence 6 is correct because everyday modifies the noun language. According to Webster's, it means "encountered or used routinely or typically." Here are two more correct uses of everyday:
-- The quilt was no longer put to everyday use but was hung on the wall and revered as an heirloom.
-- For Eric, running ten miles was an everyday activity.
The two-word phrase "every day" functions adverbally and describes when an action occurs. Thus, the local grocery chain should write that it "offers [the verb, the action] substantial savings [how often?] every day." Sentence 5, in its attempt to tell us how often Elaine is late for work, should have been written thus: "Elaine is late for work nearly every day."
Which of the two choices in parentheses is correct in each sentence?
1. We hardly see you (any more, anymore).
2. Marsha insists that she is going to resign if she is given (any more, anymore) work to do.
3. The president of the company will not tolerate insubordination (any more, anymore).
4. Fire drills have been an (every day, everyday) occurrence in this office building for the past two weeks.
5. Virtually (every day, everyday) for the past two weeks, the tenants in this office building have been subjected to a fire drill.
6. The editors claim that their new magazine will appeal to (every day, everyday) people.
1. anymore (adverb modifying the verb see)
2. any more (adjective modifying the noun work)
3. anymore (adverb modifying the verb will [not] tolerate)
4. everyday (adjective modifying the noun occurrence)
5. every day (adverb modifying the verb are subjected)
6. everyday (adjective modifying the noun people)
Copyright 2001 Get It Write
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