01(11): How this song’s title (‘Everyday’) left me bemused for a long time

Nicholas Loh Avatar

People in their early twenties will remember Disney’s High School Musical series. The first of the existing HSM trilogy was released on 20 January 2006 as a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM). It has been the most successful DCOM yet. Songs from its soundtrack such as ‘Breaking Free’ and ‘We’re All In This Together’ became highly popular. When Youtube first became popular, ‘Breaking Free’ was one of the first few videos I looked up then! HSM 2 had songs such as ‘Gotta Go My Own Way’ and ‘Everyday’.

Why did ‘Everyday’ leave me somewhat puzzled? When HSM 2 had been recently released, I was still in elementary school and naturally, I was relatively impressionable then. It was this song’s title and lyrics that gave the erroneous lasting impression that ‘everyday’ and ‘every day’ were interchangeable. The reality is that they are not!

In fact, before this blog post, some of you might not realise that there is a difference between the two terms. Allow me to elaborate. According to my trusty Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7e), which I was gifted to me whilst studying in elementary school, the single word ‘everyday’ is an adjective; as such, the word is used only before a noun. In addition to the self-explanatory meaning, it can also mean ‘ordinary’. Here are some example sentences.

1. ‘The Internet has become part of everyday life’.
2. ‘This is a small dictionary for everyday use’.

The adjective runs in contrast with the adverbial phrase ‘every day’. Since it is being used as an adverb, every day (two words) will be modifying adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs, but not nouns. Only adjectives modify nouns.

Here are two stanzas from ‘Everyday’ (the lyrics are quoted directly from azlyrics.com):

Everyday of our lives
Wanna find you there, wanna hold on tight
Gonna run while we’re young
And keep the faith

Everyday from right now
Gonna use our voices and scream out loud
Take my hand
Together we will celebrate

Interestingly, the most popular video of this song on Youtube actually has the grammatically correct forms in the lyrics etched onto the video. Kudos to the person who was responsible for editing the video. Perhaps the people in charge of the HSM 2 soundtrack felt that a single word song title (‘Everyday’) would be more appealing than a two-word song title (‘Every Day’).

Yours faithfully,
Nicholas Loh
4 February 2019

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_School_Musical_(franchise)#High_School_Musical_4
2. https://writingexplained.org/everyday-vs-every-day-difference
3. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/highschoolmusicalcast/everyday.html
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b56WRysDlqw
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_School_Musical_2

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