Of Irregardless

By now you have probably seen or heard news of the official sign that 2020 is the year of the apocalypse:

Regardless of what you think, ‘irregardless’ is a real word, at least according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Dictionary | Definition of Dictionary by Merriam-Webster Irregardless

irregardless adverb
ir·re·gard·less | \ ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs \
Definition of irregardless
nonstandard
: REGARDLESS
I told them that irregardless of what you read in books, they’s some members of the theatrical profession that occasionally visits the place where they sleep.
— Ring Lardner

We label irregardless as “nonstandard” rather than “slang.” When a word is nonstandard it means it is “not conforming in pronunciation, grammatical construction, idiom, or word choice to the usage generally characteristic of educated native speakers of a language.”

Is irregardless even a real word?

Its been an age old debate and irregardless even made it to The Guardian’s A-Z list of horrible English words.

Well, language is dynamic and extremely fluid held afloat by a few conventions. The thing with conventions is that it’s a fancy way of saying we make it up as we go along.

What does real even mean? Hogwarts is not a real school of Witchcraft and Wizardry but I may or may not have helped write and mail a cousin’s application letter to the school and they may still be waiting for the rejection letter, should I tell them?

The Afrobloggers School Of Blogging is not a real school, it does not exist… yet, but sometimes I pretend I am the Professor Albus Dumbledore of the school, I already have the beard for it, I mentor bloggers and some call me uncle.

Teaching blogging to juniors

Sometimes I post blogging advice such as The BloggingABCs or 10 lessons Learnt about blogging from watching spiderman and this one time I wrote A Review Of The Dictionary.

What is blogging anyway but Graffiti with Punctuation?

When you say irregardless is not a real word, are you saying it’s a fictional word which does not exist; or it defies conventional logic and has no business being used anyone? Well it exists and people are using it, you and I may not like it but its out there… dictionaries have usage notes on how it is non-standard word.

Irregardless Convention

People will agree that language changes over time but most people are unwilling to accept the changes that occur during their time…

I am fairly sure that during their time the likes of Shakespeare, Dickens and Lewis Carrol got their fair share of flak for ‘inventing’ words which today we use without batting an eyelid.

If enough people agree something is correct it becomes correct and if you see everyone jumping off a cliff…..

A word’s inclusion in a dictionary is neither an endorsement nor a recommendation.It is a plain statement of linguistic fact: This series of sounds and letters are understood by many people to mean a particular thing.

Peter Sokolowski Lexicographer Merriam Webster

I would rather you didnt use this word which feels like a illogical derivative of irrespective and regardless, there’s many other things I would rather people did not do such as squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle…

Use regardless instead

~B

PS… if the dictionary is wrong how will you know?

21 Comments

      1. Here is one that has long been standardised we dont speak of it anymore… ever wondered how flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? Turns out it was realised it might cause disastrous consequences so the opposite of both is accepted to be Non-flammable
        Using irregardless might offend one’s grammatic sensibilities but it wont burn you to death…
        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just learnt that — I thought inflammable meant non-flammable 🤭

        Lol I have a friend who corrected me about irregardless once and I’ve been working on “getting it right” since …now I’m just like 😌😌

        Liked by 2 people

      3. “inflammable” = able to be inflamed = able to be burned = flammable. Yes, it’s stupid, but that’s what happens when you Frankenstein a dozen languages together to make English.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Because the process of letting go requires such painful uprooting? I am letting go moment by moment these days. An interesting painful project. Like small deaths of me that are then suddenly inconsequential. And this too…

        Like

  1. A lot is a plot of land where I am from. Yet, always I see it used as a gross of one thing or another, no longer do I point out there is no such thing as ‘a lot’ realizing there must be. I think irregardless must be the same thing and I must accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What if one has a lot of plots 😂😂
      Interesting enough I am familiar with the use of both meanings of lot meaning plenty of something and the one meaning a parcel of land, so it was easy to accept.

      And speaking on lots, did you ever hear about a guy who was hired at the the airforce because they thought he was said he was a pilot then his brother a wood cutter who had also applied for a job was told there was no opening for him someone with his skills then asked how come they hired his brother and the interviewer says we’ll cause he is a pilot
      Then the brother says but I have to chop the wood first before he can pile it
      OK its a terrible joke but I find it hilarious 😂😂😂
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Irregardless rolls off the mouth better than regardless; I guess that’s why there’s a whole debate about it.

    Like

  3. Thank you for fueling my fire.

    Yes, I saw the headline the other day. However, I have not read the article. I’m not sure how “irregardless” came to be. It’s SO often used. I have to say that it does exist in my head. Although, I do try and fight it.

    I’ve been complaining about dictionaries adding stupid words every year but this… this is on a whole other level!

    We call it “non-standard?” Do you see how far this insanity is going with everyone identifying as whatever they want? Now, words can mean whatever we want.

    No wonder “No means no is ineffective.” For some, “no” might mean “yes.” Why would you argue otherwise in the world where left if right and right is left?

    Like

  4. I bet you could write a while book on all the idiosyncrasies of the English language and all the words with countless meanings. And it never ends…. And it probably never will as we morph words together or apart or make them up as we go! 🤣🤣🤣 Amazing we can understand each other? Glad we can communicate, and can I call you professor? ❤️

    Like

  5. It’s funny that our President here in Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta has been using ‘irregardless’ for the longest time and we’ve always made fun of that. Now we have to cut the guy some slack. Great piece Uncle Dumbledore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂😂
      I have always been curious about his name was he like destined to be president or what..
      But irregardless has a nice ring to it, when spoken out loud it can drive a point, politicians are the main culprits in its (over)use.
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

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