Writers need to be precise whether writing fiction or non-fiction. There are many words whose definition is so subtle that the wrong word can throw off the sentence.
So in working on my e-novel yesterday I stopped myself trying to decide whether to use ‘someone’ or ‘somebody’ and thought to see which is proper in the context of my sentence.
I checked six books on language usage, books that discussed problem words and expressions, the which word when type of books. There was no mention of either word I was looking for. I checked the dictionary and found either word is okay, they are interchangeable.
If they are interchangeable then why do we have two words? Can’t we eliminate one or the other. If they mean the same thing then one must go.
But wait I said to myself. Check the Internet.
One site confirmed they are interchangeable, but that someone is five times more popular in usage than somebody. Fewer syllables, easier to use. But one site is not conclusive and how do I know someone is five times more popular. What is their source.
Another site said the following: ‘Someone’ is used if you are in a location where there are many people around, but you don’t know whom you’re referring to. Sounds confusing? To break it down, if used in a sentence ‘“ ‘Someone has left the room and started screaming loudly’ it means you don’t know exactly who left the room with all the people around.
‘Somebody’ is used if you are in a location and you are referring to a person with a slight importance. For example, ‘Somebody has left the room and started screaming loudly.’ The use of ‘somebody’ is to refer to the person whom you possibly know but unknown in the current situation.
Again the source is not known. From where do they get that definition, especially when every other website or grammar book says they are interchangeable.
Does anybody know the answer. Or is it ‘Does anyone know . . .’
Okay let me grab a book
If somebody, or anybody, is interested in my e-books then anyone, even someone, can click and learn more