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It’s Not Something You’ve “Always” Wanted

My daughter has braces, and she told me that her orthodontist recommended that she get an electric toothbrush that moves circular. Then she said she agreed with the orthodontist because the electric toothbrush was something “I’ve always wanted.”

That got me thinking, and I flashed back to my youth when I received my first 10-speed bike, a reward for learning how to swim (it came late to me). I remember saying, “It’s what I always wanted.”

Then I flashed back to the present and thought about the word always. Can we always want something?

I checked the dictionary. Always means “at all times, invariably, forever, perpetually.” Last time I checked, neither my daughter nor I have lived forever, and there certainly were times she didn’t know electric toothbrushes existed and I didn’t know bikes existed. So we don’t always want these things.

The better word is long, as in “I have long wanted an electric toothbrush.” Consistently works, too, although I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’ve consistently wanted _____.”

Until next time! Use the right words!


December 14, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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