Is "common place" a not valid saying in English? As an example: can't we say like "We will meet in a common place"?

Spell checkers always suggest to replace it with commonplace instead.

By using "common place" my intention was to mean "a single or general place". Is this commonplace give that meaning or what meaning does it give?

What is the problem here and can you suggest a word/phrase for it?

2 Answers 2

  • 'commonplace' means 'not unusual; ordinary' Not referring to an actual 'location' so you should say "meet in a commonplace location" (meet in an ordinary place)

  • 'common place' literally means 'a place that is shared by the public', or in this case, shared by the two parties. Similar to 'common area' (e.g. The living room in this rental house is a common area for all residents)

Since we have the existing word "commonplace" already, saying "common place" would certainly cause confusion, better use "common location" or more precisely, "a place we can both agree upon"


common = not unusual.

common place = a location that's common. A popular park is a common place.

commonplace = common + the added denotation that not only is something common, but that it's also ordinary, less-than-ideal, drab, uninspiring, etc.. ** The word commonplace must carry that negative, so when you use the word commonplace, you're essentially saying that something is not only common, but it's also very ordinary, etc.. **

Thus.. as it generally pertains to getting a good monetary return on your college degree; An undergraduate degree in engineering is excellent, an undergraduate degree in nursing (RN) is good, and an undergraduate degree in business is commonplace.

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