Word Nerd: I Need My Space!

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It’s nothing. No, really, it’s nothing at all. But it’s amazing how a little nothing can make so much difference. I’m talking about space. Not the Final Frontier where nobody can hear you scream; I’m talking about a word space. The presence or absence of a single space can completely alter the meaning of a sentence, possibly even reversing it. Let’s look at some common words, with and without spaces…

A lot: plenty.
Allot: to distribute or assign.
Alot: see Hyperbole and a Half.

Everyday: Ordinary, unremarkable, common.
Every day: a daily occurrence.

Apart: Separate, standing alone, isolated.
A part: A component or element of something larger.

anybodyEverybody: All of the people.
Every body: All of the bodies.

Anyway: Regardless of the circumstances or result.
Any way: By whatever means will work.

Flagship: The biggest, finest or most important of a series.
Flag ship: A ship that transports flags.

Already: Before now or right now or immediately.
All ready: Everything is prepared.

Nobody: The absence of people, or a person so unimportant that they might as well not be there.
No body: A lack of evidence in a homicide case.

If you say “I’m apart of this” you’re saying you’re not a part of it, you’re separate from it, uninvolved, the opposite of what you’re trying to say.

If you say “I’m going to do it any way,” you’re saying you’ll continue to keep trying different approaches until something works.

If you say “anyway you can,” you’re saying the person has your permission even though the outcome doesn’t matter.

If you say “everyday is a challenge,” you’re saying that you find it difficult to be unremarkable.

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