"_every_ since"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Jun 11 13:54:10 UTC 2012

On Jun 10, 2012, at 11:19 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> Written by a resident - or should that be "citizen"? - of Saylorsburg,
> PA. Naturally, I'm accustomed to *hearing* this spoken and sung in BE
> and other Southern-English subdialects and in the relevant
> eye-dialects. But this is the first time that I've come across it
> seriously used in writing. And by a Northener, at that.

there are millions of raw ghits.  some are clearly from black speakers, some from white southern speakers (where "southern" covers the territory from TX/OK to appalachia as well as the deep south).  mostly it's hard to figure out where the writers are from, though they all seem to be american.  it's hard to believe that none of these writers are white northerners.  (hiphop/rap and country music are possible sources for the spread of the variant.)

on the ecdb, posted 3/9/05, and marked as "questionable", with an example from Portland OR:


commenter Dan 11/29/06:

I think this one is more likely a typo in most cases than an eggcorn. I have overshot _ever_ and typed _every_ more than once, myself, solely on reflex. _Every_ is common enough that it just pops out sometimes.

AMZ reply 7/23/08:

To Dan: while some occurrences might occur as typos, a very large number are not, but arise from some kind of reanalysis of _ever since_ (what makes it questionable as an eggcorn is that the basis for the reanalysis isn’t clear — possibly _every since_ is understood as elliptical for something like _every time since_). I’ve had informants explain to me that they recognize that some people say _ever_ in this expression, but they say _every_, and Wilson Gray remarked on ADS-L on 21 April 2005 that if there was a standard for Black English (his preferred term), then _evry since_ would be a standard BE item.

Brians’s _Common Errors_ has an entry, which treats _every since_ as a mistake in the form of the expression, not as a typo.


posters to language-advice sites frequently ask about this item, and are told that _every since_ is correct.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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