Word Confusion: All Ways versus Always

Posted November 2, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This combined form word confusion probably arises from the same general confusion as reigns over the other alls: “All Ready versus Already“, “All Right versus Alright“, and “All Together versus Altogether“.

Just like “All Ready versus Already“, all ways and always mean two different things and can really screw up a reader’s interpretation. So always be sure to consider all the ways in which your phrasing and word choices can change what you mean.

And, yes, that the in the middle of all the ways is acceptable and generally implied when using all ways.

Word Confusions…

…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.

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All Ways Always
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; English Plus; Grammarist

Traffic jams going in all directions as are all the people in this cityscape

“Traffic Jams and People Walking Home Through Akasaka” by Hikosaemon is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Cars and people are going all ways.

Snow-covered landscape with the side of a mountain on the left and tall fir trees lining a plowed road.

“Lake Louise Along the Trails” by davebloggs007 is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via VisualHunt

Snow is always cold and always needs to be shoveled, somewhere.

Part of Grammar:
Adverb + Noun = Adverbial Phrase Adverb
Using every possible method

Total number of methods

In every single way

From all sides

At all times

  • On all occasions
  • Throughout a long period of the past
  • For all future time
    • Forever
  • Repeatedly and annoyingly

As a last resort

  • Failing all else

[Archaic] Alway

He tried all ways to fix the leak.

“He said he hopes to partner with the school in all ways possible, and to help make the students feel at home” (The Register-Herald).

“We do not have to succumb to easy dichotomies — either the young men are to be supported in all ways or you are racist; either the police are to be supported in all ways or you are foolish” (The Olympian).

“Oehler says small things, like keeping your cats indoors …, planting fruit-bearing species like blackberries and native grasses, and using bird-safe glass … are all ways in which anybody can help protect the birds with which they share a city” (Newsweek Magazine).

We worked my manuscript over, trying all his ways to make those characters come to life.

All the ways into town are blocked.

In all ways, she’s making it better and better.

The clock always chimes on the hour.

“I will always love you,” she sang.

The sun always rises in the east.

She had always been an obstinate sort.

She will always be missed.

He is always making derogatory remarks.

If the marriage doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced.

Adjective: always-on
History of the Word:
First known use may have been 1578 Middle English as the genitive case of all way, the inflection probably giving the sense of at every time as opposed to at one uninterrupted time. The difference between the two is no longer distinct.

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!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Afternoon Sun On The Rails & Power Lines, Washington DC, by takomabibelot is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via VisualHunt.

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