Does the Word ‘Anyways’ Actually Exist?

The word “anyways” often sparks debate among English language speakers, mainly over its existence and correctness. In reality, “anyways” is a valid word, originating from Middle English and used informally in various English dialects.

Defining ‘Anyways’, ‘Anyway’, and ‘Any Way’

The word “anyways” is an adverb primarily used in informal conversation and carries similar meanings to “anyway”. Often, it is used to indicate a change in conversation or to support an idea or argument. It can imply irony or dismissiveness, contributing to its colloquial character.

Its existence dates to the 13th century, signifying “in any manner or respect.”.

Contrarily, “anyway” is a more formal adverb meaning “in any case” or “regardless of other considerations.” It is often utilized to return to or alter a conversation’s subject.

“Any way” is a distinct phrase from the previous two, combining a determiner (“any”) and a noun (“way”). This phrase can imply “regardless of the path chosen” or “however possible.”

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Usage of the Words

Even though all three versions coexist, each has an appropriate time and place for use. The usage essentially boils down to the register (level of formality) and context of the conversation.

“Anyways” commonly appears in casual speech and less formal contexts. It can add a stylistic flair in informal conversations or creative writing. However, it could be considered inappropriate or unprofessional in formal writing.

“Anyway” is suited to both casual and formal settings. It’s seen as the standard form in academic or professional writing, fitting seamlessly into any context due to its neutral tone.

“Any way” has a specific application, more suitable when referring to possible manners or methods of doing something.

Points of Consideration

Despite their differences, the usage of these words often intertwines, causing confusion. Some considerations to remember while using them:

– Although “anyways” is technically a proper word, using it could be regarded as slang or colloquial language, possibly diminishing the credibility of your writing in professional contexts.

“Any way” and “anyways” are not inter-changeable as they reflect different meanings and uses. Using “any way” instead of “anyways” can drastically change a sentence’s meaning.

– If you’re unsure about whether to use “anyway” or “any way,” replace “any” with “in the.” If the sentence makes sense, the two-word phrase is the correct choice.

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In conclusion, “anyways” is indeed a valid and usable word in the English language, particularly in informal or conversational contexts. However, its use in formal writing should be considered carefully due to its informal tone and tendency to diminish the formal register. On the other hand, “anyway” and “any way” can be safely used in both formal and informal registers, provided they are used correctly per their respective meanings. Understanding the difference between these words is essential for effective and engaging communication.

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