I hate really really dislike it when people say “anyways.” What does it mean? It means I had a point, but I deviated from the point, and rather than try to tie the loose ends (or the tangent) together, I’m going to get back to what I was saying. No one says “anyways” unless they realize they are rambing or aren’t making a point. If you realize this, you can do something about it. Possible solutions include:

  • Speaking succinctly
  • Wrapping up the tangent to it flows with what you were saying
  • Not saying a word that makes it obvious you realize you weren’t cohesive

I did a quick search on Google and fortuately I am not alone in my dislike of this word. Ben Wise notes:

As ugly and juvenile as it sounds to these ears, which had almost never heard the construction until, perhaps, a decade or two ago, anyways now seems to have taken hold as common usage among the current generation of youth and young adults, at least where I live (New England). My guess is that it is a “juvenilism,” like, you know, retained into later years by today’s subliterate culture.

And Brian says:

“Anyways” at the beginning of a sentence usually indicates that the speaker has resumed a narrative thread.

Brian goes on to indicate “anyways” is incorrect and shouldn’t be used.

Is this picky? Sure. Do I say “anyways” sometimes? Not intentionally. Am I always cohesive and to the point? No (after all, I am a preacher). Am I only interested in succinct (=factual?) converstaion because I am a male? Maybe. Will this change the way you talk? Probably not.

BTW, “anyhow” ought also be dropped from use for similar reasons.

And don’t get me started on “anywho”…