At the urging of Mona the dog (head cheerleader), DC the cat (chief scheduler – mealtimes must not be ignored!), and several human friends, we have decided the weekend should start early. As a result, I am moving Weekend Wrinkle to Thursdays.
“I dunno,” Dis Connect scratched his head. “Should it be one word or two?”
“It depends on how you’re using it,” Grammar Smith noted.
The culprit was backyard.
“If you’re talking about the yard in the back of a house, it’s two words: back yard,” Grammar explained. “If you’re using it to describe something else, then it’s one word: backyard grill.”
This is a problem many writers seem to have; when should a word actually be two words? This comes into play when we’re using a compound adjective to describe a noun. In that case, the two words should be one.
“Everyday is being misused again,” the dispatcher notified Grammar.
She sighed. She was tired of tracking down such blatant mistakes. She couldn’t understand what motivated writers to get this wrong so often.
Writers strive to write something every day. In this instance, “every” is an adjective describing the noun “day.”
Intense tapping on the computer’s keyboard for hours is an everyday occurrence. In this instance, “everyday” is a compound adjective describing the noun “occurrence.”
Grabbing her trench coat and hat, Grammar walked out into the misty back yard to track down an everyday error.
3 thoughts on “Weekend Wrinkle: One Word or Two?”
I am unable to get various spell checkers to recognize that there are times when it is not correct to have CAN separated from NOT. Try it.
Some times words want to live together, sometimes a little space helps them convey their meaning more clearly.
And I love starting the weekend end on Thursday (a word that has its own challenges). When does the week end for you?
Sigh. There are times when I WISHED the weekend started on Tuesday. (“When with this week end?!?!” where “end” is a verb. Ah, English!)
Dear Annette — I thought this was very clever and the examples certainly stick