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Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Why can't people use the word "anymore" correctly anymore?

Asked by Call_Me_Jay (12161points) June 21st, 2016

Only in the past year have I noticed people using “anymore” to mean “in recent times”.

For example: “Game of Thrones is very popular, people really love it anymore.”

As with “I could care less” and the abuse of “literally”, it takes fifty points off the speaker’s apparent IQ.

Who did this? What happened?

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24 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve been hearing this for many years (decades), and it still bugs me. The difference is that we expect to hear it used with a negative construction: “I don’t eat sweets any more.” With a positive construction, it doesn’t make any literal sense.

More than that, I’m bothered by the misconstructions of people who write but apparently don’t read anything and so don’t quite get what they’re hearing; people who would write “I’d like to be apart of the solution” or “We have to do diligence.” If all they read is Internet posts and office e-mails, they’re going to absorb some very mistaken ideas.

If I can ever post questions again, I have one on a related subject.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If I can ever post questions again

I had to use the mobile site (using my desktop computer).

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“I’d like to be apart of the solution”

An auto repair shop in my neighborhood had a sign saying, “No Smoking Aloud”.

Dutchess_III's avatar


zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Quit yelling, just click on the links @Call_Me_Jay provided you, you will see a desktop display of the mobile version.

Jeruba's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay, “No Smoking Aloud” is a perfect example.

Coloma's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay No smoking “aloud.”
I came across one last year… ” Winter is apond us.” lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was yelling because I’ve been trying to ask this question for two days, everywhere I could think of. In messages and on the Tide Pool, and I couldn’t find the original question that talked about it and I was sad and frustrated. Sorry for yelling. I’M SORRY FOR YELLING!!!

So, saying, “Anymore it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther,” is wrong?

zenvelo's avatar

Yes @Dutchess_III “Anymore it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther,” is wrong because “anymore” is an adverb, not an adjective modifying “it”. And it is not modifying “seems”; it is modifying “post”.

And that is why it is used improperly in @Call_Me_Jay‘s post. “Anymore” means “to any further extent”.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenvelo, that’s not the correct explanation. You could construct a parallel sentence with another adverb in first position and it would be perfectly grammatical:

“Now it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther.”
“Recently it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther.”
“Somehow it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther.”
“Once again it seems like I can’t post questions on Fluther.”

The “it” construction is an expletive that allows us to put the subject of the verb after the verb, which we like to do when there’s a long, gangly subject. In this instance it’s not a direct substitution because the construction is not actually grammatical otherwise. It’s colloquial and would have to be reworded for strict grammaticality; for instance:

“It seems to be the case that I can’t post questions on Fluther.” = “That I can’t post questions on Fluther seems to be the case.” (The “that” clause is the subject of the verb “seems.”)

The reason it’s incorrect is semantic, as your last sentence indicates: the meaning of the phrase does not fit the sense of the statement. The intended meaning is something more like “still” or “lately.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

“I can’t post questions on Fluther anymore?”

zenvelo's avatar

I stand corrected. I shan’t reply anymore.

Pachy's avatar

I’m with @Jeruba. When I first started hearing it years ago I hated it. I felt the same way about “Awesome.” But nowadays there are so many other annoying mis-usages of words that I hardly notice those two anymore.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…And that’s how languages change.

Pachy's avatar

… and that’s how bars are lowered.

Coloma's avatar

Okay..while we’re on the subject, I heard someone use the term ” cut and dry” the other day. Is it ” cut and dry” or “cut and dried”?

dappled_leaves's avatar

I’ve never seen a native English speaker make the kind of mistake you mention, @Call_Me_Jay. I wonder if it is a regional thing. What I do see increasingly is the inability to tell whether the writer should be using one word or two.

For example, “Fluther won’t let me post anymore questions” or “I dropped into read questions on Fluther today, but couldn’t login. This happens nearly everyday. I should probably backup my files, just in case. Maybe then I can workout what is wrong.”

It drives me crazy. A lot of people also seem to think that “moreso” is one word, rather than two (“more so”).

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@Coloma If something is dried it is dry. So at least “cut and dry” is somewhat logical.

But “cut and dried” is better because it tells a little story, there’s imagery. 1) You cut a plant. 2) After that you laid it out to dry. 3) And now it’s dry.

“Cut and dry” sounds dead and done. The plant is lying there dry already.

Coloma's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Agreed, I have always said ” cut & dried” myself.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Not all dry things have been dried, so I suppose dried is more precise, if accurate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Combining two words that are often used together, into one word, is ancient. They’re called portmanteau words (which I just learned about 10 seconds ago.) Like, “afternoon,” “smog”( combining ‘fog’ and ‘smoke’,) basketball, carjack, doorstep, vitamin, (from vital and mineral,) breakfast. Chalkboard. They often start out as hyphenated words.

One phrase I have questions about is “spitting image.” I have a very strong feeling the original term was “splitting” image. “Spitting image” doesn’t even make sense. “Splitting image” makes perfect sense in the context it’s used.

Then there is “nip it in the butt,” which, I’m pretty sure should really be “nip it in the bud,” since it means to stop something before it gets too big.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III It really is spitting image,

You are right about “nip it in the bud”.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III A portmanteau can be used correctly in its proper context. That has nothing to do with the errors I pointed out in my post, if you were responding to that. (It’s not clear whether you were or weren’t.) It also has nothing to do with the OP’s question.

There is no such expression as “nip it in the butt”. If you have heard it, it is a misspoken version of “nip it in the bud”.

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