various sized versus variously sized

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pulaunias

Member
Mandarin
Hello Dear members,

I am wondering if you can kindly advise me why people frequently write "various sized" instead of "variously sized".

Searches in google as well as scholar.google.com (academic search engine by google, which I regard as a source of formal writing) both indicate that the former is much more (about 10 times, if I am correct) popular than the latter.

Initially I thought it might be "various-sized" because "various-size" might be considered as a noun, but I cannot be cerain to any degree.

Appreciate it if you can help me out in this one.

Best,
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    As far as I can see, it's one of those errors that's committed so frequently as to be ingrained in some people's habits, such as the "fresh-baked bread" I purchased yesterday.

    I suggest, however, that you never assume that academic writing automatically ensures good English.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    We would say neither "various sized" nor "variously sized" but, describing a group of things including some large and some small, of various sizes.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    As far as I can see, it's one of those errors that's committed so frequently as to be ingrained in some people's habits, such as the "fresh-baked bread" I purchased yesterday.

    I suggest, however, that you never assume that academic writing automatically ensures good English.
    If that freshly baked bread has a label on it proclaiming itself so, and you bought it yesterday, would you have to take the label off today?

    I agree with Parla on the various sizes, but I also think you can get away with variously sized legitimately, although we could probably argue over that one.

    I love the way a Chinese speaking person can so easily find flaws in our own language and teach us at the same time!:thumbsup:
     

    pulaunias

    Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks Parla.

    I agree with you that probably neither reads well. Here I tried to choose one simply because it is a tad shorter than "of various sizes". Also, "various sized" is very popular, according to google, returning 1.7 million links with this phrase.

    Do they really read ugly, according to your native ears?


    To pops91710. Thanks too.
    As a non-native person, I write while being constantly alert of grammar mistakes. I am a sceintist, that also has some influence here (trying to be strict, tolerating no flaws).

    The same applies to Chinese language. I remember once an English student learning Chinese easily pointed out SEVERAL logical mistakes in an extremely short sentence by a rather famous native Chinese author.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with you that probably neither reads well. Here I tried to choose one simply because it is a tad shorter than "of various sizes". Also, "various sized" is very popular, according to google, returning 1.7 million links with this phrase.

    Do they really read ugly, according to your native ears?
    Yes. I really would say of various sizes in preference to the other two. Remember that Google picks up everything on the internet, whether it's good or bad, right or wrong--and many things are copied or quoted from other places on the internet. (This exchange will be picked up by Google.) Finding that something appears online many times doesn't tell us whether or not it's correct or desirable to use.
     
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