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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pet Peeve: All Ready vs. Already


Okay, grammar fans (usage fans, whatever): This is a misusage I see all the time. The down and dirty of it:

all ready: Completely ready. You couldn't be readier. Or: Everybody in the room is ready. No one's left out.
"Are you all ready to go?" asked Mrs. March.
"Hardly," Amy said. "Beth, as usual, is too shy to stick her nose out the door, so we'll probably miss the fair."
already: Previously. Before. Been there, done that.

"It doesn't matter," said her mother. "After all, Beth has already been out this week. Let's leave her to her piano."
Already is also used to express frustration:
"Just go already!" Beth fumed.
Think of all ready as meaning all set. You'd never write alset, right?

I didn't think so.

image: By Trailer screenshot (Little Women trailer), via Wikimedia Commons

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