Commonly Confused Word Pairs: Everyday/every day I

November 2, 2006: Issue 163

“Everyday” is one word when it’s used as an adjective:
• an everyday occurrence
• my everyday clothes

Make it two words when it functions as an adverb:
• something that happens every day
• the clothes I wear every day

Universal problems

Never, ever use a universal search and replace, even for a task as simple and repetitive as fixing page numbers. If you replace every instance of “00,” for example, think about what happens to “100 square feet” or “May 2006.” If you replace every instance of “xx,” a proper name such as Exxon can get you into trouble. Confirm every change. Yes, it takes a little extra time—but so does looking both ways before you cross the street.

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