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Thread: usually never

  1. Banned
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    #1

    usually never

    I sometimes hear people, even native English speakers, say "usually never" and I wonder if that's OK or poor style, because these two words clearly contradict each other. "Never" means "never", like "not once in 1000 years", while "usually" means something like "often but not necessarily always".
    So, I'd like to know what teachers think about this.
    Would it be better to say "almost never" instead?

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    #2

    Re: usually never

    Yes.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: usually never

    No. I don't think it's sloppy or a slip of the tongue. "Usually never" means it is never but not all the time. E.g I ususally never stay up past midnight. That means I never stay up past midnight with some exceptions.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: usually never

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    "Usually never" it is never but not all the time.
    Some people may say that in informal conversation, but its patent lack of logic means that it cannot be considered good syle. As GS confirmed, 'almost never' is better.

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