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Monday, July 30, 2012

Does Everyone Know Every One? | Mark Nichol, Daily Writing Tips

Here's a useful article if you've ever wondered about the differences in using everybody and every body, any one and anyone, and so on.

Nichols writes:
Writers are sometimes confused about when to attach any, every, and no to one or body as a closed compound and when to treat one of these word pairs as just that: a two-word phrase.
He covers:
  • any body/anybody
  • any one/anyone
  • every body/everybody
  • every one/everyone
  • no one/noone (or no-one)
  • no body/nobody.
Here's some related advice from Garbl's Editorial Style Manual (I think Nichol and I are consistent in our advice):

anybody, any body, anyone, any one Anybody and anyone are interchangeable as indefinite references "to any person,"; anyone is used more often, and anybody is considered informal. They take singular verbs and pronouns: Anybody can ride the bus. Anyone can do that. I don't think anyone was prepared for the lesson. Any one means "any single person" or "any single thing." Use two words to single out one element of a group: Any one of them may speak at the meeting. Any body means "any human form" or "any group."

everyone, every one, everybody Everyone and everybody are interchangeable, though everyone is used more often. Use every one to refer to each individual item: Every one of the stocks was worthless. Use everyone (or everybody) as a pronoun meaning "all people": Everyone supported the proposal. Everyone and everybody take singular verbs and pronouns: Everyone is expected to do his or her part. Some writers use plural pronouns to avoid awkward or sexist use of singular pronouns, but it's still considered ungrammatical: Everyone is expected to do their part. 

nobody, no one Nobody is one word; no one is two words. Interchangeable, but no one is considered more formal. They take singular verbs and adjectives.

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This article is featured in today's (July 30) Garbl's Style: Write Choices -- available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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