Is Good Grammar Old-Fashion or Old-Fashioned?

Due to technical difficulties when I was on vacation, my friend Kerie was not able to post this article about good old-fashioned grammar, but we will include it this week. Many thanks to Kerie!

Recently, while traveling with two friends in the back seat of a taxicab in Tulsa, Oklahoma following the 2014 NALS Professional Development and Education Conference, Kathy spotted a sign advertising “old fashion” root beer floats. The sign not only spoke to our ice cream cravings, but also sparked a grammar debate about the terms “old fashion” and “old-fashioned.” After some discussion, we decided we needed to do some research on the terms to clarify the appropriate usage.

As it turns out, our friends at the ice cream shop were wrong. “Old-fashioned” is a compound adjective meaning not in accord with or not following current fashion; or fashioned in a manner of old. When used as an adjective, it describes a noun, for example;

  • old-fashioned root beer float;
  • old-fashioned candy;
  • old-fashioned Christmas;
  • old-fashioned costumes.

“Old fashioned” can also be used as a noun, meaning a cocktail made of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and fruit. Notice that “old-fashioned” when used as a compound adjective has a hyphen because we link two adjectives by a hyphen when we use them to describe a noun. When used as a noun, “old fashioned” has no hyphen. My guess, though, is that the ice cream shop was advertising root beer floats and not liquor.

“Old fashion” is used colloquially (read incorrectly) and often in advertising, but it is simply incorrect.

GRAMMAR GIGGLE – Barcelona

I wasn’t going to use pictures of English Grammar Giggles from vacation, but can’t resist. In one picture, they had “peppers” right everywhere else on the menu and in the other, a misplaced comma makes the dish more than a little scary. Happy Monday!

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We Appreciate Proofreading Tips Each and Everyday.

Use of the phrase each and every is really duplicative. Each really means the same thing as every. They both mean “a single thing.” You should use either one of those words but not both of them together:

  • Jeff brings his lunch every day.
  • They clocked in each day at 8:00 a.m.
  • Each worker worked 50 hours last week.
  • Every car in the lot was stuck in the snow.

Another issue people seem to have is every day and everyday. Everyday means commonplace or ordinary as in an everyday occurrence.

  • Cooking dinner is an everyday occurrence in my house.

Every day means something that happens every single day or each day. In fact, if you can add the word single between every and day or replace every day with each day, then every day should be two words. If not, then you use everyday.

  • She stopped at Starbucks every [single] day.
  • The chaos of getting ready for school with five siblings was an everyday occurrence. [you cannot replace everyday with each day so it is one word]
  • Her Starbucks stop was an everyday habit.
  • Someone was crying every [single] day while getting ready for school.

So here’s hoping writers will stop using “each and every” and practice adding single or replacing with each day to determine the proper usage of every day v. everyday. One can hope!

I am preparing every day for a two week vacation. In my absence, a fellow proofreading “nerd” (and I use that term lovingly) will guest blog. Kerie is amazing and brilliant and I’m sure will post great content. Please be gentle and supportive and I will pick up when I return. Ciao!

Grammar Giggles – It Is Baseball Tonight’s Celebration of It Is Anniversary!

Once again, an apostrophe refresher: it’s is a contraction and means IT IS and its is the possessive form of it so means belonging to it (or in this case belonging to Baseball Tonight) . . . which is what this advertisement is REALLY trying to say.

Bus

Grammar Giggle – Which Left?

One of my bosses shared this picture with me. They tell you the accident is in the left lane and then give you instructions to keep left, which common sense would tell you would make you go even slower. To make matters worse, the accident was actually in the RIGHT lane. Oh, ADOT, please try harder to get it right!

Crash

More Confusing Words!

In a post last year, we went over some words that seem to confuse a lot of people. Today, we will look at a few more.

Adapt – to adjust to something. He will adapt to living in a new state.

Adept – proficient. She was adept at crocheting.

Adopt – to choose. They will adopt the more frugal lifestyle.

 

Adverse – harmful; hostile. The counsel was particularly adverse on that issue.

Averse – opposed to. She was averse to the alcohol at every meeting.

 

Advice – information; recommendation. The advice of the lawyer was to pay the fine.

Advise – to recommend; to give counsel. The lawyer advised her to gather all her documentation.

 

Already – previously. She had already been to Barcelona.

All ready – all prepared. But she was all ready to go to Cannes.

 

Alternate – substitute; to take turns. He was the alternate on the firm’s bowling league.

Alternative – one of several things from which to choose. She chose the pink purse as an alternative to the black purse, which was out of stock.

 

Anyone – anybody. He said that anyone could do her job.

Any one – Any one person in a group. Any one of them could have answered the phone.

 

Beside – by the side of; separate from. The dog was well trained and walked beside him when he was on the leash.

Besides – in addition to; also. Besides the insurance benefits, the new job also offered a profit sharing plan.

 

Born – brought into life. The baby was born on February 29.

Borne – carried; endured. The weight of the box was borne equally by the two men.

 

Breach – a breaking; a violation. By accepting her business, there was a breach of his contract.

Breech – the hind end of the body. The baby was born breech first.

 

Breath – respiration. She could not catch her breath after running from the building.

Breathe – to inhale and exhale. It was difficult to breathe with the smoke in the air.

 

Broach –to open; to introduce. He was afraid to broach the subject of a raise with his boss.

Brooch – ornament. Her grandmother’s brooch was definitely an antique.

 

Cannot – usual form meaning to be unable. He cannot lift 50 pounds.

Can not – two words in the phrase “can not only” (where “can” means “to be able”). She can not only play soccer, but she also plays softball.

 

Canvas – a course cloth. The tent was made of canvas.

Canvass – to solicit. The volunteers for the mayoral candidate canvassed the neighborhood asking for donations.

 

Caret – a wedge shaped mark. Some of the Latin capital letters have a caret over them.

Carat – a unit of weight for precious stones. She had a two carat diamond in her wedding ring.

Karat – A unit of fineness for gold. His ring was 14 karat gold.

 

I hope you learned something from this list. We will go into even more confusing words in another post.

If you have words that confuse you or have another question that you come across while proofreading, please email proofthatblog@gmail.com.