It is I, Grammar Nazi! I'm back to ask you all a very serious question: "Wie sagt man 'IDIOT' auf deutsch?"
Today's three lessons come from just a few of the ceaselessly stupid things that I hear coming out of your mouths everyday. Some of these could be considered pet peeves of mine, or cases where I simply prefer one way over another. But, even if this is the case, just remember this: I AM ALWAYS RIGHT! (If you have trouble remembering this simple, little nmemonic device, just remember this equally easy-to-remember one: I AM NEVER WRONG!)
And now, we begin our lesson.
LESSON #4 - "ANYWAYS"
I hear you all saying this one. And I do mean ALL of you! Scarcely a single one of you ever gets this one right! I hear you say things like, "Duh. . . I'm an idiot, but it doesn't matter, anyways! I've been one all my life!" or "Anyways, I'm not gonna worry about how stupid I am. It's not like I can be any better!"
"Anyways" - with an 's' at the end - is NOT A WORD! It never has been and, God willing, it never WILL be! Here's how we can look at this one. . .
The correct word is "anyway", and this word can be looked at simply as "any way you look at it", or "in any way possible", meaning "ultimately", "eventually", or as a way to shrug off a statement in a passive manner, like "besides". But what you keep saying is "anyways" - as in "any of the ways you look at it" or "in any ways possible", which may seem like a proper statement, but it's not.
When referencing "any" out of a possible many "ways", you're still referring to only ONE - a SINGULAR object. (And in English, we just don't pluralize a singular. It's just how we do things.) So, when you are saying something in a sense such as "in any way you look at it", what you're really saying is, "no matter which (ONE) way (of the MANY ways) you should choose to look at the situation..." - and this is still a singular phrasing of the term "way". That is why you should say "anyway" and not "anyways".
If you insist on using that plural form of "way", the way you do in "anyways", just be sure to break it up into its root words - "any" and "ways" - and make it plural by adding two little words in the middle, and make the phrase, "any of the ways". Now, what you've done is to denote that the singular word is "any" - meaning, "to choose any singular thing out of many" - and the plural word is "ways" - meaning, "there are many ways from which to choose". By adding "of the", you've actually separated the subject and object of your sentence, and you can now refer to "one of many", instead of just "one". Good for you!
Do we all get it now? Good! DON'T let me hear you say it wrong again!
Lesson #5 - THEN vs. THAN
Okay, kids -- let's regress back to first grade, (or even the brilliant German invention of KINDERGARTEN!,) and cover this ground again.
This isn't so much a problem in the oral/spoken English language, but more so in the written format. I see you kids texting and IMing and emailing your friends - or even ME! - with such comparative phrases as, "I'd rather see this movie then that one." or "My dad's richer then your dad!" when the word you mean to be saying is "than".
"Than" is preposition used to conjoin two comparative (or contrasting) things in a sentence. ("Conjunction Junction... what's that function?")
But the word you've been typing is "then", which means "at the time in question". It has absolutely NO PLACE in the sentences you've been typing! Save this word for such phrases as, "First, we should read The Grammar Nazi's blog, and then we should hang ourselves for having been so painfully stupid all along!" You see how the word is used to denote at what point in time a certain thing should be done? "First this, then that!"
I know this can be confusing, but just know that these are two very different words, and that
interchanging them can subject you to public ridicule... BY ME! And that fact alone should help you hesitate before you blatantly spout out yet another completely nonsensical statement.
Lesson #6 - "LITERALLY"
Yes, this one may be one of your biggest blunders yet, you imbeciles!
"Oh my god, he was so cute that when he walked by and smiled at me, I literally dropped dead!"
No, my pathetic little valley girl. Unfortunately for all of us, this statement is completely false. You did not "literally" drop dead, even if you fainted, stopped in your tracks, or just got some basisrecheneinheiten in your magen!
What you meant to say was that you figuratively dropped dead. Here's the difference:
The word "literally" means "in a literal sense", or "the words I'm using here denote exactly what happened, word-for-word, without dramatization, exaggeration or hyperbole."
The term "figuratively" means, "in a figurative sense", or "the words I'm using here DO NOT denote exactly what happened, but rather exaggerate for the sake of drama using a comparative phrase, scenario, or idea to emphasize the power of the actual scene."
So you see, the true error here is that you have used the term, "literally", to mean the exact opposite of its definition (or its antonym), "figuratively". And that is just another example of why you're a total moron.
So, Little Miss Sweet Valley High, the next time Jonny Hightops comes walking through the hall and smiles at you, you can report this event to your equally bimboic gaggle of girlfriends, (whose bleach in their blonde hair has seeped far deeper than the roots,) you can tell them, "When he smiled at me, I literally stopped in my tracks, and I figuratively was on cloud nine!"
Now let's have no further incidents of this vapid, intellectually-void chatter from you dimwitted dingbats again, or you shall have hell to pay!