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I have read that always is more used in American English, while ever is more used in British English. In this context, which of the following is correct:

This always increasing interest brought. . . .

or

This ever increasing interest brought. . . .

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don’t know where you read that myth about ever and always, but it is not true.

Furthermore, neither of your two examples is correct. One should instead write that this way, with a hyphen:

This ever-increasing interest brought. . . .

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is the hyphen (-) so important ? –  dynamic Apr 15 '13 at 14:21
    
@yes123 It is not a dash — it is a hyphen. And yes, it is “so” important. –  tchrist Apr 15 '13 at 14:21
    
Thanks for the answer. Is there a general rule for choosing always vs ever ? –  dynamic Apr 15 '13 at 14:24
1  
@yes123 I don’t think there are many compounds that begin with always-; the only one I can think of is an always-on switch. For modifying -ing words, you really always want to use ever, as in everlasting, ever-changing, ever-living, etc. –  tchrist Apr 15 '13 at 14:27
1  
The original sense of ever (i.e, '*anywhen') is now strictly a Negative Polarity Item, so outside the scope of a negative trigger, ever can only appear be a prefix in modern English. Most of these compounds are frozen from earlier, non-NPI, uses of ever. –  John Lawler Apr 15 '13 at 16:33

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