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Greenwolf103
04-02-2006, 10:53 PM
I've started to notice the word "anytime" printed as "any time." And they usually mean the same thing!

Example:

"Come back anytime."

And

"You can call me any time."

What is the differemce? Which one is correct?

reph
04-02-2006, 11:10 PM
My dictionaries don't have "anytime" at all, but they aren't very recent. I haven't checked online dictionaries for the latest news.

From editing material on human development, I know one use of "anytime." Birth defects that can originate during a wide range of stages of pregnancy are called "anytime malformations."

Bufty
04-02-2006, 11:13 PM
My 10th Edition of Oxford says 'anytime' is a chiefly North American variation of 'any time'.

Greenwolf103
04-02-2006, 11:32 PM
Thanks. :) So does this mean either can be used? Or one specifically?

Bufty
04-03-2006, 12:03 AM
Seems to me one can use anything one likes - whether it's accepted by the editor concerned is up to the editor I guess.

reph
04-03-2006, 12:26 AM
The safe course would be to keep it two words until the dictionaries accept "anytime" as more than a variant.

luxintenebrae
04-03-2006, 01:25 AM
Here's the only link I could find for now on the topic:

http://experts.about.com/q/Language-Arts-Kids-3249/question-concerning-grammar.htm

In case my link doesn't work, here is what the person on the site said:

Use the single word "anytime" as an adverb meaning "any time whatsoever"; use the two words to mean "any amount of time" or as the object of a preposition such as "at":
Do you have any time to help me with my homework?
Have you worked for MacDonald's at any time in the past?
You can come over anytime you please.
The single word adverb, anytime, is apparently used much more frequently in the U.S. than it is in the UK.

Jamesaritchie
04-03-2006, 01:29 AM
I've started to notice the word "anytime" printed as "any time." And they usually mean the same thing!

Example:

"Come back anytime."

And

"You can call me any time."

What is the differemce? Which one is correct?

Traditionally, this was always two words, at least in formal writing, but pretty much any recent dictionary shold list "anytime" as an adverb.

In North America, either is correct, though there are some holdouts for always using "any time" in formal writing. "Any time" is not, of course, in any dictionary because it's two words. "Anytime" is in many dictionaries, including:

Merriam-Webster http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=anytime

The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=3369&dict=CALD

The American Heritage Dictionary. http://www.bartleby.com/61/63/A0356300.html

I still use "any time" in writing I submit, but I don't think many editors are going to worry about "anytime." It's too prevalent now, and is used almost everywhere. I've only found one dictionary that lists it as informal.

Cat Scratch
04-04-2006, 03:44 AM
According to "Lapsing Into A Comma" by Bill Walsh:

"Until very recently the dictionary of choice for most newspapers called for any time as two words.... The fourth edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary, published in 1999, finally recognizes anytime."

In unrelated news, my copy of this book smells like candy.

Greenwolf103
04-20-2006, 01:41 PM
Thanks, everyone. :)