“Oftentimes” is not a real word

By Jeffrey the Barak

I watch TV and listen to the radio. In recent years I have noticed a word being heavily used by many people, from the uneducated to intellectuals. The first time I heard it my reaction was, “hey, that’s not a real word”, but after hearing it hundreds of times I have to concede it has to exist, simply because everyone is saying it.

The word is “oftentimes”, and I strongly dislike this word.

As far as the rules of grammar are concerned, “oftentimes” should not be a word, because often is an adverb and times is a noun, and you are not supposed to modify a noun with an adverb.

An example of a more correct word would be sometimes. Some is an adjective, and it is okay to modify a noun with an adjective.

So I continue to declare “hey, that’s not a real word”  at my TV each time someone says “oftentimes” but part of me knows it is a losing battle. The English language is not a fixed unchanging language, and whenever a word becomes commonly used, then it simply slips into existence.

I still strongly dislike it though. I wish people would instead say “quite often”.

Jeffrey the Barak has forgotten much of what he learned, but not everything, hence his dislike of this so-called word.

2 thoughts on ““Oftentimes” is not a real word”

  1. Exactly!
    I swear, I have been irked by this one before. I wouldn’t say that it bothers me as much as some other incorrectly used grammar, but it’s in the top ten.
    A bigger peeve, for me, is when people claim that they, “could care less” about some matter.
    And, have you ever experienced this one?
    “Oh, wow, every since I started jogging every morning, my knees have been feeling sore.”
    See anything wrong there?

  2. I saw this in one of my books in university about a minute ago and thought; “that can’t be a real word right?” turns out I’m right. Thank you for the clarification ;)

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