Writing for Business

Jul 23 2009   11:38AM GMT

Anytime — anyway, anywhere?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

typing Which is correct?
A patch panel enables you to switch and swap Firewire connections ______ you want.
a. any time
b. anytime

Answer: a or b in the US, a in the UK

Explanation: To my surprise, anytime has become acceptable in the US. Not so long ago, there was a distinction between compound words made with any: anyone and anywhere, for example, being acceptable but anytime not. However, it makes sense that usage would slide towards a common form.

Datsplat reports on anytime vs. any time.

The question is also answered in this issue of The Grammar Logs. Another surprise in that issue is the fact that obsolete has been acceptable as a verb since the mid-1600s. I would have put money on that use being at least as recent as impact as a verb. Good thing no one suggested a bet.

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