Anyway vs. Anyways

I got a question from Ted in the Peanut Gallery:
“Why do a lot of American people say the word “anyways,” whereas we Brits tend to say it in the singular form?
We are going ahead with the golf tournament anyways, despite the inclement weather
Which one is correct, singular form or plural? I normally use the singular form.”

Good question, Ted, and thanks for asking.
According to Webster’s dictionary, “anyway” is an adverb that means “anywise,” which goes
back to the 12th century. “Anyways” is perhaps a hybrid of those two words, and Webster says its use is either archaic (first definition) or colloquial dialect (second definition). American speech tends toward the latter, being more casual. In formal writing, “anyway” is preferred.

Google Hits:
Anyways > 119 million
Anyway > 327 million

The opposite situation exists with “toward” and “towards.” Neither is wrong, and Webster says they are interchangeable, but the Brits are more likely to say “towards” while the
Americans prefer to use “toward.” Apparently we put that extra “S” on “anyways” instead.

Google Hits:
Towards > 395 million
Toward > 380 million

Anyway(s), if you have trouble deciding, you can always use “in any case” and sound totally proper.

Humorous Quotes of the Day:

“Marriage is give and take. You’d better give it to her, or she’ll take it anyway.”

“Rockefeller once explained the secret of success: ‘Get up early, work late — and strike oil.’”

“The difference between playing the stock market and the horses is that one of the horses must win.”

– Joey Adams, American comedian, 1911-1999


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: