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Consider the following two phrases

  1. Microsoft reports first quarterly loss ever
  2. Microsoft reports first ever quarterly loss

Which of the them is correct?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Either is right and ok.

In both headlines, "ever" is used as an adverb with the meaning of "at any time."

The first, "Microsoft reports first quarterly loss ever," is the same as:

Microsoft reports the first quarterly loss they have ever had.

It emphasizes the meaning that something has never happened before.

In the second, "Microsoft reports first ever quarterly loss," the adverb "ever" is used as part of a longer structure. Similar to:

the + superlative + ever

Ex. The largest ever theme park

It is used to emphasize the comparison being made with the past.

In any case, the difference is minimal and they can be used interchangeably.

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You can just remove the word ever and the phrase will have exactly the same meaning. Tacking "ever" onto the end is akin to tacking "for the first time" onto it.

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Both are correct. Check First Loss Ever, First Ever Loss for reference

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