Anyway(s) and Other Words
Updated: Sep 18
Consider this your lesson in commonly confused words. Confusing Words 101, if you will.
Today’s lesson will focus on ten words people get confused, or words I’ve seen people get confused about at least.
Anyway & Anyways
Anyway is the right word to use, always. The word “anyways” isn’t a real word, per se. It counts as one, but it’s a nonstandard word, which is a nice way of saying you’re still wrong, but you’re an acceptable kind of wrong.
Regardless & Irregardless
Considering that irregardless comes up with a red line when I type it into my word processor, I would say that’s enough of a point alone to make this word a non-word. How this word came into usage when regardless is a word that already exists is beyond me. Irregardless is a mash between the words “regardless” and “irrespective,” so please stop using irregardless.
Anytime & Any time
Anymore. Anyway. Anybody. These are all words. Anytime? Sadly, this is not actually a word. Shocking, right? For whatever reason, English has not formally accepted “anytime” as a word. Most publications seem to accept it as an adverb meaning “whenever,” but it’s a nonstandard word, still. And since anytime and any time always tend to mean the same thing except in the phrase, “at any time,” it’s kinda strange it hasn’t been made a singular word yet.
Therefore, if you’re ever in doubt, just use “any time,” since you’ll always be right.
Sometime & Some time
And here’s the entry that compounds my confusion for the word “anytime” not being a standard word. The word “sometime” IS A standard word, meaning “at an unspecified time.” As in, “We’ll go to the store sometime.”
Some time means that “some time” has passed. “Some time passed since we went to the store last.” Pretty easy to distinguish the two. But the usage of sometime as a standard word really gets me wondering why anytime is not standard.
Anymore & Any more
This word follows the same format as “sometime and some time” in the sense that “anymore” means any longer and is an adverb, where as “any more” is a word that would say you don’t want any more cake. Pretty simple to figure out and use this one.
Everyday & Every day
Everyday is an adjective that basically means “normal, commonplace, happens every day.” The usage of every day is more like, “This happens every day.”
The rule in my head is that if you can say “every single day” then it’s every day, if you can replace the word with “commonplace,” it’s everyday.
Toward & Towards
These mean the same thing. With an S, it’s a British spelling. Without the S, it’s an American spelling. Same meanings and usage.
Grey & Gray
This one is easy to remember: Grey = England. Gray = American. The difference in the vowel is the start of the country they’re from. English and American English.
Whisky & Whiskey
This is another one that can be a bit hard to discern, but they’re both basically the same thing. Just research if you’re not 100% sure about it and need to be.
Ireland & America: Whiskey
Scotland & Canada: Whisky
The rule is basically the same as grey/gray. If a country has an E in its name, it likely spells it as whiskey.
Ingrained & Engrained
These words mean the same thing. One of them is just a nonstandard spelling. Ingrained is the correct version of the word, though engrained can also be accepted. Realistically, people understand and use both words, but if you want to be the “most correct,” then use ingrained.
Further & Farther
This one is a little tricky. Here’s how to remember the usage:
Farther, think far. It’s used for physical, measurable distances. “I walked ten miles farther than you.”
Further is used for nonphysical, figurative distances. “You need to look for further information, because I cannot continue on any further.”
So, what do you think?
Comment your thoughts!
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Have a good wander, friend.