New to me

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Mar 3 13:50:35 UTC 2012

On Mar 2, 2012, at 6:37 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> From the ZDNet site:
>   "Show _Anyways_?"
> I've heard this in the wild since forever and I've seen it in print as
> an oddity used to provide color, like _youse_ or _y'all_, but I've
> never seen it in an "official," as it were, document, so to speak.
> You click on "Show Anyways?" and deleted posts from _Below threshold_
> are displayed.

entries in both DARE and MWDEU.  here's Gabe Doyle on the form:

The historical source of anyways is as the adverbial genitive of any way, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In this regard, anyways is analogous to always (genitive of all way(s)) or sometimes (genitive or plural of some time). The difference is that for the latter two words, the genitive version solidly beat out the bare form. Alway is basically gone from English now, and sometime lingers on as an adjective in only a limited, often literary, role (e.g., there is a blog titled Life and Times of a Sometime Poet).**

For whatever reason, in the battle between anyway and anyways, the script was flipped and the base form took the crown. Anyways was for a while just as common as anyway; Google Books shows the two staying pretty close up to around 1860, when anyway begins its rise. There are examples of famous authors using anyways even after this point, such as Joseph Conrad in 1902, but society had by and large turned its back on anyways.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage cites the Dictionary of American Regional English to note that anyways is apparently strongest in the South and South Midland (both U.S.) dialect regions. That would explain my usage of anyways from my South Midland youth.

... The point is that condemning anyways for informality is missing the point, when anyway isn’t especially formal itself. The point, to quote the MWDEU, is this:

  “None of the senses of anyways are standard contemporary English, but you should not conclude that they are substandard”

The American Dialect Society -

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