Monday, July 14, 2008

ANYWAY: My Father's Plight Against Poor Grammar

I just received this email from my dad:


I caught up on your recent blog posts over lunch today. I don't know if I can read it anymore. Your continued use of "anyways" is killing me. I seem to recall that you did well in English during your years of formal schooling. I even recall a time when you wore a scarf at high school graduation signifying your membership in a select group at the top of your class. I don't recall that four years at an elite liberal arts college gave you license to bastardize the English language so I'm not quite sure where this comes from.

I decided to see if I could find anything on the Internet that would justify the disposal of sixteen years of topnotch and often costly education and came up with the following:

"Anyways is incorrect and is slangy, anyway is correct."

"'Anyways' is one of those words you would want to avoid saying in a job interview."

"Any way vs. Anyway vs. Anyways
Any way = 'any method' adjective
Anyway = 'in any case' adverb
Anyways = don’t use"

"'Anyways' is very informal and normally only heard in informal conversation. It is also not used by all native speakers. The standard word 'anyway' is fine in any kind of English (i.e. both formal and informal, both written and spoken)."

From the book, "When Bad Grammar Happens to Good People.": "'Anyway' never, ever has an "s" at the end." You see, you're not a bad person, just a person behaving badly.

This one is my favorite:

"This is going to be short and simple. Do not say or write 'anyways'--not ever. The word is 'anyway.' The form 'anyways' is found in some dialects in the United States, but it is not standard English, and it should never be used in any situation where you want to be considered reasonably well educated. That's all there is to it. "

I could have continued looking but after checking six sources, I think it's safe to say that there's nobody out there sanctioning the use of "anyways". But continue using the form if you like. Neither I nor, most likely, your educated friends (you still have a few?) will continue to read your blog but I'm sure you'll capture a certain number of the wackos who worship people like Celine Dion and John Stamos. Anyway, you can always bring us up to date with your latest epiphanies when we talk on the phone.


He certainly has a flair for the dramatic, wouldn't you agree? (Nice dig at my friends too Dad. Your popularity rating is skyrocketing right now.)

Okay, so apologies to everyone reading Jaw Wired Shut--if my terribly WRONG use of "anyways" has offended you, inspired feelings of nausea or shortness of breath, or just generally ruined your day--please forgive me. If you, like me, are "uneducated" and couldn't give a rat's ass--again, I apologize. But hey, a big YOU'RE WELCOME! to those who enjoy a good inner-family passive aggressive fight over email. Oh that's right--my brother and step-mom were CC'ed on the email, in an apparent attempt at grammar intervention I assume.

ANYWAY, I can't claim to have perfect grammar and I hope you are not reading this blog in hopes of finding evidence of top notch prose or a fine example of the English language--all you are going to find are a lot of opinions, pop culture references, and self absorption. Family issues are extra.

No comments: