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Banned Words and Phrases: More Things That Are Not One Word

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“Eachother,” “sortof,” “nevermind” (I know that’s how Kurt spelled it, but I’m afraid he was wrong), “highschool,” and especially “moreso.” All are in fact two words, not one. The last of these non-words appears frequently in my statistics tracker — people google “moreso one word?” — and I’m glad they’re double-checking, because, as you know, it is not. That’sall fornow. See how typing that way makes you sound drunk? (More banned words and phrases, including “moreso,” which I include again to underscore its two-worded state. It’s overused anyway, don’t you think?)


Aw, shucks, Emily. I have always favored “eachother.” After all, putting the two words together is quite instinctive, firstly. And secondly, it reflects the pronunciation. And a modern dictionary that correctly represents the spoken language (and that’s what a dictionary is meant to do, be descriptive rather than prescriptive), should include “eachother,” and I bet it will someday!

“Sortof,” on the other hand, is ridiculous. It should be “sorduv,” or “sorta.” “Sortof” doesn’t look like anything. “Highschool,” bah! “Moreso” looks like a spanish surname (like Moreno).

I have no problem with “nevermind,” feeling that a more laid-back raven might have also quoth, “nevermind.” And I think Gilda Radner would’ve agreed!

I rather like “nevermind,” used sparingly. I’ve never seen any of the others used, and I detest them all equally.

One that really bugs me is spelling “whoa” by taking out the H and putting it at the end. It’s frighteningly common.

I keep track of these too. The most common offender is “everyday” (an adjective meaning commonplace) used to mean “every day.” Toyota (unintentionally, I presume) built an entire ad campaign on calling their cars run-of-the-mill.

Yes! And I should have included “anymore,” as in “If I write anymore words as one word when they should be two, I’ll be a good recruit for an Esperanto meeting.”

It’s a shame Esperanto didn’t catch on more, actually. Along with lockjaw (which was probably once two words itself, I know), the metric system, solar panels everywhere, and ESP, it’s something I spent my seventies early childhood believing would kick in any moment.

Further, some words which contain two words ought to be separated. “Nobody”, for instance. I would be far more attentive if I was told “No body is here” than the alternative. And “someone”. What’s that about anyway?
“Would some one help me?” Hmm, yes, ANY one. Person. Or something.

The one I’ve seen crop up lately is correct (or incorrect) with one or two words:

“This gadget is good for every day use.”


“You’ll use this gadget everyday.”

I’m a serial abuser of compound words, and I’m not at all penitent. They lend so much flavour, I feel, to casual writing.

If they were good enough for Shakespeare (watchdog overgrowth, undervalue schoolboy, barefaced bloodstained downstairs farmhouse bedroom birthplace moonbeam outbreak), then they’re good enough for me.

If those are OK, and so are nobody, someone, moreover, heretofore and anymore, then so I feel are kindof, sortof, nevermind, moreso, highschool, and eachother.

To me, though, the compound words have different and clearer meanings than the separated meanings.

A highschool does not cause altitude sickness.

Moreso, a kindof engine is not a specific type of engine: it’s something sortof similar to an engine, and shares most traits of the thing you would call an engine, but only loosely.

And so on.

There’s an interesting Southern-US dialectical use of “anymore” without negation, to mean “nowadays”. I find it quite charming: “Anymore I use it daily”… Isn’t that just as quaint as singular y’all?

Betcha youse hate that :D

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree