Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Irregardless is not a word!

It's either regardless or irrespective, but not both.

That is all.


Anonymous said...

Oh goody, lets have a language war!

Merriam-Webster disagrees:

Or maybe I should ask if you believe that a word can spring into being solely by its repeated usage. If irregardless isn't a word then I suppose google isn't a verb.

And yet the OED said it is on June 15th 2006: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_(verb)

Ross Pruden said...

Aha! Someone smart is reading! Cool.

You make a good point—language does evolve and taking a stand about a word is like saying a person is un-American.

Regardless, a glance at M-W's entry says, "[Irregardless] is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead."

And here's what the Oxford American Dictionary says:

"Irregardless, with its illogical negative prefix, is widely heard, perhaps arising under the influence of such perfectly correct forms as: irrespective. Irregardless is avoided by careful users of English. Use regardless to mean 'without regard or consideration for' or 'nevertheless'."

Google is a new word with no previous incarnations to guage its usage, so of course new words get adopted into the language. I have no problem there.

But words with obsolete negative prefixes like inflammable (as opposed to flammable?) are equivalent to using a double negative and if a lot of people say, "I don't see nothing", that usage must be correct, too... if that's the rule we rely on. Should we now adopt double negatives into the rules of grammar?

And by the way, "lets" is actually "let's". :)

Ross Pruden said...

Um, no.