Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wiling Away at Awhile

Oh the joys of writing and English grammar! It's a rat-hole, folks.

Here's one piece of advice I received from an editor: be consistent with my use of "awhile" or "a while." So I picked one, did a search and changed them all to the one word "awhile." Nice and easy, right?

Not until another editor looked at it and pointed me in the opposite direction: "awhile" should be "a while."

Color me confused.


The online dictionary says "awhile" means: for a short time or period as in stay for awhile. When I typed in "a while" there was no definition...BUT, I did find two valuable resources on this topic of Awhile vs. A While:  Grammarly Blog and Grammarist.com.

Essentially, "awhile" is an adverb replacing the phrase "for a while." If you can't replace it, then it's probably a noun and should be written as "a while." The Grammarist says, "[If you] are unsure if you’re using it correctly, making it two words is always safe because no one will consider it wrong."

Forget Me Nots

Okay...so what about "alright" and "all right," another one these two editors differ on? Or how about "altogether" and "all together," or "already" and "all ready?" Too much for me...ugh! But check out Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips on the subject and be sure to read people's comments...I always (or is it "all ways") glean a more rounded understanding or at least get a good laugh.

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