Posted by: Jack Henry | February 9, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Good Night vs Goodnight

The other day, after my Editor’s Corner Everyday vs Every Day, someone asked me about the words goodnight vs good night. At Symitar, we also have a third option: GOODNIGHT. As you might guess, this is the name of a job file that runs in the evening after business hours.

Today, we’ll concentrate on the first two options.

goodnight: Goodnight (as a single word) is considered an interjection. When someone is leaving for the evening, or heading off to bed, you might say “Goodnight, Lucy. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Or you might actually use their real name. That might go over better!

good night: In this case, good is an adjective and night is a noun. Used together, they mean the same as goodnight: something said as a farewell gesture to someone who is leaving or someone who is hitting the hay. You could also be describing the night itself. For example:

  • “Good night,” said Captain Von Trapp to all of his little ones, before he tucked them into bed.
  • This is a good night to go fishing! The moon is full, the water is calm, and they just stocked the lake!

Just remember, you would not use the single word to describe the night itself; it is simply a farewell for the evening.

Incorrect: I’m wearing my lucky socks. It’s a goodnight to play poker!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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