Revised as of 17 February 2018
I know. It’s not an obvious distinction, and probably more glaring to editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders. The only other possibility for which I can see using down and stairs separately is if the author really wanted to make a point, as in “You will go. Down. Stairs. NOW.”
Besides, think how odd Upstairs, Downstairs would look…
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Down the Stairs||Downstairs|
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Your Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adverb Phrase||Adverb; Adjective; Noun|
Use only with the between the words, i.e., down the stairs
|Always use it with a singular verb
Down a flight of stairs
Down the stairs
|Take a right, then go down the stairs.
Head on down the stairs.
Head on downstairs.
|History of the Word:|
|First noted in the mid-1500s|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!