English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Occasionally I'll see a comment on the internet along the lines of

I don't think I have every heard of such a thing.

Maybe not exactly that, but something equivalent where I would think that their use of every was 100% wrong, and ever should be used instead. It happens way more often than I would think, considering how much extra effort is needed to type the extra y and how dissimilar the two words are. Is it because

  1. they are simply in the habit of typing "every" every time?
  2. they actually have these words confused (how/why)?
  3. they are all kids and most English speakers pass through this phase of misunderstanding?
  4. they have all learned English as a second language, and either the words are equivalent in their native language, or there is a certain teaching style that doesn't make the distinction clear?
  5. of some other reason I've failed to consider?
share|improve this question
All of the above – By137 Sep 26 '12 at 3:23
See how you wrote "5. of some other reason"? Clearly, you meant "or". It's exactly the same, uh... process, yeah, that's it, process (makes it sound all scientific and smart and stuff) that results in people writing "every" instead of "ever". – Marthaª Sep 26 '12 at 3:29
not to mention helpful word anticipating programs that not only change words from what you typed to what you meant, but also change words from what you typed to what it thought you meant. – Jim Sep 26 '12 at 4:40
actually, in this case, the 'of' was intentional, so that if you were to take out #s 1-4, the sentence would read "Is it because of some other reason I've failed to consider" :) But yes, I have made this mistake before (although since the f and r are so close, it might be a slightly different process) – Nate Parsons Sep 26 '12 at 5:27

Option 1. This is a common muscle-memory typo.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.