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.