1. lameri
    Offline

    lameri Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area

    For ever vs. forever

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, May 9, 2011.

    Is there any difference between the two in American English?

    My sentence is: "That remained our joke for ever."

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jessica_312
    Offline

    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Florida
    I believe it's "forever", always one word.
     
  3. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    In British English, both 'forever' and 'for ever' is accepted, but I don't think 'for ever' is used in the US. Logic being applied, you can't measure eternity as a length of time, so 'for ever' doesn't seem right to Americans I suppose.

    But there is a small nuance of meaning, in British English anyway, in that:
    'I will love you for ever' = 'I will love you for all time' and is fine poetically, or you can say:
    'I've been waiting for ever' = 'I've been waiting for a really long time'
    but
    'I will love you forever' is more like 'I will love you eternally' and
    'I've been waiting forever' ...just doesn't work in idiomatic British English.

    Oh, and Demis Roussos definitely sang 'for ever and ever and ever and ever you'll beeeeeeeeee my love.'
     
  4. MidnightPhoenix
    Offline

    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    England
    Forever, is the way i spell it :)
     
  5. Sundae
    Offline

    Sundae Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Astral Weeks
    In that sense, there is a distinction and one would be more correct over another depending on the context of what the author is trying to say.

    Lol, now I'm trying to figure out if I do make the distinction in for ever vs. forever in my writing. I really don't know...

    I do know I make that distinction when I speak. If I mean 'for ever', there is a definite pause in my speech.

    I'm not sure if Americans really distinguish or not. I would assume as we do just as we distinguish other words like:

    a while vs. awhile

    or

    on to vs. onto

    Heh, I don't know.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    they're used separately in american english in this way:

    'for ever and ever'
    or
    'for ever and a day'

    otherwise, it's usually a single word...
     

Share This Page