Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm pretty sure that "Every X of mine" is correct, but reading and speaking out "My every X" makes me feel uncertain about it... is it also correct?

If it's not used in formal language or common speaking, can it be allowed anyway as poetic license in writing a song lyric?

share|improve this question
1  
Anything goes (almost) in poetry/lyrics. So that's not really an allowance. Both are fine, and, yes, 'my every' is towards the poetic, but is perfectly OK. –  Mitch Feb 12 '13 at 20:48
    
Then being part of a song lyric the poetic way is good... :) –  Frhay Feb 13 '13 at 0:25
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Personally, I feel that my every X is a more stylised/poetic construction. Perhaps because of that, it feels slightly "dated" to me as a spoken usage.

Apart from that I think it's semantically equivalent to every X of mine. But all my X's seems a more "natural" phrasing to me, and arguably there's a slight shift in emphasis...

Every X of mine places more emphasis on all my X's, considered collectively.
My every X emphasises each one of my X's, considered individually.

Thus, for example, in...

1: John defeated every argument of mine.
2: John defeated my every argument.

...it could be argued that #1 is more appropriate where John has defeated all my arguments using a single line of attack/reasoning, whereas #2 is better where John forensically addressed and defeated each of my arguments using a different counter-argument.

share|improve this answer
    
If by "dated" you mean "dated when talking to someone" it's ok, being it part of a song lyric we can afford to use dated statements... :) –  Frhay Feb 13 '13 at 0:27
    
@Frhay: Song lyrics are stylised/poetic contexts, as can be movies, books, etc. Realistically, if somebody asked me how I'd got on in the debate with John, I'd never say #2 (except maybe facetiously). But I might say #1 - although more likely I'd say "He demolished all my arguments". –  FumbleFingers Feb 13 '13 at 1:41
add comment

They are both correct and standard English. The first one uses the possessive form of my and seems to be less common in some cases than the the second one. Here are some examples:

She controlled my every move.

She controlled every move of mine.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.