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Thread: "Anytime" or "any time"

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  1. #1
    I'm a grrrl dog, yo Greenwolf103's Avatar
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    "Anytime" or "any time"

    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?
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  2. #2
    Fig of authority
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    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."

  3. #3
    Where have the last ten years gone? Bufty's Avatar
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    My 10th Edition of Oxford says 'anytime' is a chiefly North American variation of 'any time'.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  4. #4
    I'm a grrrl dog, yo Greenwolf103's Avatar
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    Thanks. So does this mean either can be used? Or one specifically?
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  5. #5
    Where have the last ten years gone? Bufty's Avatar
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    Seems to me one can use anything one likes - whether it's accepted by the editor concerned is up to the editor I guess.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  6. #6
    Fig of authority
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    The safe course would be to keep it two words until the dictionaries accept "anytime" as more than a variant.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwolf103
    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/defi...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.

  8. #8
    The Peacock Next Door Cat Scratch's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    I'm a grrrl dog, yo Greenwolf103's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone.
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