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Recently, I was auto-corrected by a word processor when I typed in "now days" to "nowadays." Why did it do this to me? "Nowadays" looks and sounds silly, incorrect, and made-up to me.

Which version is appropriate? Which is most appropriate? Where did the word "nowadays" even come from?

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closed as general reference by MετάEd, Matt E. Эллен, Robusto, StoneyB, Hellion Dec 21 '12 at 19:11

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You can look it up. As for why word processors do what they do: they're cursed. Don't use them. End of the world predicted: film at eleven. – MετάEd Dec 21 '12 at 16:25
What does now days mean? Nowadays‌​. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 21 '12 at 16:25
I suppose someone did make this up... sometime in the 14th century. – J.R. Dec 21 '12 at 16:34
@MετάEd: didn't you hear? Film cancelled, due to unforeseen apocalypse. – TimLymington Dec 21 '12 at 17:47
@MattЭллен I'm assuming now days means what it does in context like: I waited, but now days have passed and I'm not seeing any progress. books.google.com/ngrams/… – dlamblin Jul 14 '14 at 19:10
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Nowadays, the word is nowadays. You can find it in any dictionary (unlike now days). The better ones will also have the etymology:

late 14c., contracted from Middle English nou adayes (mid-14c.), from now + adayes "during the day," with adverbial genitive (see day).

As you can see, it used to be two words — seven centuries ago.

The Corpus of Contemporary American English does have a few cites for now days, but frankly, just look at the figures yourself:

 nowadays    3167
 now days       7

And here are the figures from the British National Corpus:

 nowadays    1556
 now days       0

That's how tiny a minority you're in. For once, the spellchecker is actually right.

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This is a good analysis. It looks like hardly anyone uses two words now days. – J.R. Dec 21 '12 at 16:39
excellent! with analysis included +1 – lontivero Dec 21 '12 at 17:11

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