Last night I learned that ‘anyways‘ isn’t a thing that should be said:
Then we have “anyways,” a colloquial corruption of “anyway.” It’s universally considered nonstandard and should be avoided altogether. It might help to remember that “anyway” is an adverb, and adverbs can’t be plural.
I tend to use that word rather a lot and am disappointed to learn that it isn’t considered good English. Two years ago I didn’t know what the oxford comma was. Now I do, and my life is better for it.
When I was a kid my siblings and I used to tell one another to ‘keep your cotton-picking fingers off’ of our stuff. I was in high school when I realized the racist origin of that phrasing, and I haven’t used it since. Racial slurs were a common thing in my childhood home. I could list them all, but there’s not much point. At this point my family knows better than to say such things around me, though I have no doubt they continue to use racist language when I’m not around.
Here’s the thing. I know I was raised in a racist environment. I know that I have a lot of internalized prejudice. I know that there are likely to be lots of things in my speech and behavior that are, at the very least, not ideal. I know that it is my job to make myself better. I also know that I should expect to be coddled because of my upbringing- whatever misfortunes might come to me because of my racist behavior are fully justified.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Paula Deen and some of her racist behavior. There were times when I genuinely did not know any better, and perhaps- perhaps- she genuinely didn’t know any better either. It seems to me that the true measure of her character will be what she does with her new knowledge. I hope she doesn’t feel that she’s too old to learn anything new.