Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grammar Woes...

I have a confession...sometimes I hate to be an English teacher because of the questions that I am often asked and the amount of pressure that is put on me. Let me explain.

Today in class I had a powerpoint that had notes on it for my students to write down. At some point in the powerpoint I used the phrase "Every time..." Boy in the front row (the one who didn't really care about the answer but either wanted to stump me or not write notes) raised his hand and said "Mrs. Fresh, I thought that 'every time' was one word." Everytime. Crap. I hate being wrong. I told him that I wasn't wrong and that "every time" is, in fact, two words. Moving on.

Today after I got home and did my blog-rounds (where I check to see who has updated since last night), it occurred to me that I did not know the correct answer...and so I Googled it. I love Google. I ask it a question, it gives me an answer. And so, for your reading pleasure, the reason that I was right in class today:

"We don't use 'everytime' because it means 'each and every time.' To say 'everytime' we'd also have to write 'eachtime.'" Great explanation, huh? The bottom line is that it's a common error in the English language that will most likely become accepted at some point in the future.

But here's my bottom line: I hate having to know each and every grammar rule off the top of my head. I don't know it all. I promise, I'm far from perfect. Unfortunately, not knowing it all and teaching teenagers do not go together. I just look like a moron who needs a grammar lesson.

No comments: