Just got done explaining to the staff at my local Starbucks that this is not a “real” word, but something akin to slang. I informed them that irrespective may indeed be the word they were looking for. Asked if I was an English major I replied that I wasn’t, but had made the mistake of using this word once too often and was quickly corrected by someone who has a better command of our great language than I do. Much like being corrected by my Dad when I would say something like “we did good” with his response of “its did WELL”, this correction on irregardless has been etched in my vocabulary.

What was the outcome with my pubescent staff at the ‘bucks. They thought I was off my rocker and questioned that irrespective was even a real word – “irrespective? I’ve never even heard of that”. Look it up my pimple faced barista…look it up.

My daily rant. Thanks.


Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.


~ by Indy on October 26, 2007.

One Response to “Irregardless?”

  1. The word they are looking for is actually “regardless” as in having no regard. adding Ir infront of the word simply creates a double negative which then means having regard which is of course the opposite of what they mean to say.

    re·gard·less (ri gärd′lis)
    without regard; heedless; unmindful; careless
    Informal without regard for, or in spite of, objections, difficulties, etc.; anyway

    ir·re·gard·less (iri gärd′lis) (disp.=REGARDLESS) Though in widespread use, this word should be avoided in favor of Regardless. (See Regardless)

    Well in all reality there are several “Bad definitions” in many dictionaries for this “word” [irregardless]

    Webster’s New International Dictionary (2nd. Ed. Unabridged) described IRREGARDLESS as “an erroneous or humorous

    form of regardless”
    but failed to define what they meant by humorous and many misread that as it’s ok to use the word in a humorous

    context, when what they meant was it’s humorous to see so many people misuse the word regardless by negating it with

    the addition of the IR prefix.

    Many Dictionaries do not list it at all. Or have it listed in the appendix sections under “easily confused words” or

    “Commonly Confused Words” with the side note “Use Regardless instead”

    However, full vindication came in the form of the Oxford American Dictionary which actually lists the word, (due to

    the overuse of this incorrect word) But gives the following as it’s definition:

    Irregardless: (disp.=REGARDLESS) Though in widespread use, this word should be avoided in favor of Regardless. (See Regardless)

    Still they need to go one step further to make this word finally disappear and clearly define it as a mistake:

    Hence the definition should be worded a little more like:

    Irregardless: Irregardless is not an actual word. It is an incorrect usage of the word Regardless. As it’s

    meaning would clearly be the same as having regard. Though it is a common mistake that is now in widespread use, the

    word should be avoided in favor of regardless

    I believe it has to be clearly defined as many proponents of the “word” “Irregardless” are starting to use the more

    vague definitions of some of the lesser dictionaries as support for the “so called word”.

    DJ Emir Mixtapes

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