Posted by: episystechpubs | January 3, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Anyway

It’s not even my birthday yet and I got some new books! One is called Comma Sutra, which promises some interesting lessons on good grammar and includes quizzes. Now, since the title is a play on words with the Indian book of sex and love, I may have to change things up before I share them with you, but still it should be fun!

I also bought another book called What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves. Okay, that one might be completely unquotable. We’ll see.

And finally, I purchased You’re Saying It Wrong, by Ross and Kathryn Petras. Not only is it a pronunciation guide, but it provides historical tidbits on the words it reviews. So today, let’s have a look at an excerpt from this book.

Anyway

[EN-EE-way]
anyhow, nonetheless, supports or refers back to a previous statement or point

What is this simple word doing in a collection of shibboleth words? Yes, of course you know how to pronounce this. Good for you…since an alarming number of people seem to think there is an s at the end of it. “Anyways,” they say. “I was going to say it correctly anyways.”

But it’s anyway, singular, derived from the phrase “by any way” dating back to the 1300s. It’s possible the errant s added to anyways stemmed from the Middle English ani-gates (somehow, in any way), since any ways has appeared in texts from about 1560. But it doesn’t matter: no s, any and way. That’s it—pure and simple.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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