12.11.2010

Anyways, it's anyway.


If you are a true logophile, every day, on average, you
-> cringe 16.23 times
-> do a double-take 2.1 times, and
-> bite your tongue/lip/inside of your cheek or dig your fingernails into your own palm 5.5 times
...all in an effort to keep from correcting a co-worker, friend, family member or complete stranger on the grievous misuse of the English language.

One of the frequent causes of my linguistics-tics is the increasing use of the word “anyways.” It's become so common that one may believe that it is acceptable--and maybe even interchangeable--with “anyway” based on personal preference or regional dialect, a la to-MAY-to versus to-MAH-to.

And this is tough to say (because some of my very best friends are anywaysers), but I really think it's time we put a stop to this. Any is an adjective that is meant to modify a singular noun. Just because we decided to take out the space between the two words and make it an adverb (which, incidentally, still means basically “in any way or manner”) does not mean we need to continue to take unnecessary liberties with the language. From an economical point of view, we conserve type space by pushing the words together, and then screw it up by adding an extra letter. Why? I say stop it now, in any way or manner possible.

I am right about this; really, I am. But anyway, any person who has any thought that there is any problem with any piece of logic just presented should feel free to express any disapproval using any method, including leaving any comment desired below.

4 comments:

ChickenFreak said...

"Anyways" does indeed annoy me. I can see how some might find it charming, but I'm not one of them.

As an example of "find it charming", I sometimes like "I could care less", for the way that the speaker simultaneously communicates their lack of interest _and_ communicates their lack of interest in communicating their lack of interest correctly.

Anonymous said...

OK--point taken--but even Chomsky points out that there is a difference between descriptive and prescriptive grammar. This force is slowly evolving (devolving?) our language so that, in 500 years, everything will be completely difference. Personally this type of mistake is NOTHING compared to the slow disappearance of the tenses, such as present perfect...
ANYWAYS, when you Google "anyway", it is indeed listed as being interchangeable with "anyways".

Anonymous said...

OOOpppp...typo above: change "difference" to "different"please.

Hope that doesn't diminish my credibility...

Happy Dog said...

Hey, Anon...yeah, your credibility is SHOT, of course. :)

Chickie, I am planning a whole post on that very misexpression, but I don't know if I can say it as well as you did!