Until recently I thought that the pleonasm “even still” was to be found only in the uncertain writings of college freshmen. Then I read this in the current issue of my favorite writer’s magazine:
Traditionally published books get the nice displays, posters and extra attention from store managers. Even still, many of the titles end up in the bargain bin.
I did a Google search and found millions of examples of the wretched expression. It seems to be especially popular in the titles of songs, poems, and blogs. Here are some examples:
. …even still, I’d happily do it all over again.
…even still, Safari sucks.
Even still we lose our way
Is Anyone Even Still Blogging Anymore?
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’ll try to explain why “even still” does not belong in careful writing.
As adverbs modifying comparatives, the words are virtually interchangeable:
She is even happier today than she was yesterday. She is still happier today than she was yesterday.
Fans want still more details of their favorite celebrities. Fans want even more details…
If the expression is intended to mean “still,” then “still” is enough:
Is anyone still blogging?
If it is intended to mean “yet,” then “yet” or one of its synonyms should serve: nevertheless, however, notwithstanding:
Nevertheless, I’d happily do it all over again.
Notwithstanding, Safari sucks.
Nevertheless, we lose our way.
That being said, sometimes the words even and still can come together correctly when the “even” is being used as an intensifier and the “still” is an adverb of time:
Do they even still make Zima?
Why Hilary is even still in the race….
Finally, here’s a dilly of a headline that I’ll leave to our readers to sort out:
Yet Even Still More U.S. Presidential Election Maps Already