Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Oftentimes", indeed

The word "sometimes" has been around for a long time and is self-explanatory. It refers to something that happens on some occasions. "Some" is more than a few, and less than a lot. A moderate, smallish, reasonable number of times, then. Now imagine you want to refer to something that happens a bit more frequently than that. Often, perhaps. So you take the word "sometimes", rip out the "some" and replace it with "often" and get "oftentimes", even though "often" already means the same thing, and the combined word doesn't even make sense. Shouldn't it at least be "manytimes"? Depressingly, it seems the word appears in around 100 blogs per day, according to Technorati: Technorati Chart

5 comments:

Thomas Kyte said...

Welcome back :)

John Carlisle said...

Thank you! "Oftentimes" should be stricken from the English language.

Charlotte said...

I can't tell you how annoying the overuse of "oftentimes" is to me. Why do people use it, instead of "often"? Do they think they sounds more sophisticated? "Oftentimes" is definitely in my top ten list of expressions to be banned.

Jeremy said...

It makes my skin crawl. Those who make use of it tend to over use it as well, all but replacing 'often' in their speech with that redundant thing. I have noticed that it's 'oftentimes' used when people are trying to sound professional. Or when making a sophomoric argument.

rrrett said...

oh god I HATE this "oftentimes" nonsense. Just... just WHY??!?!? urghh.