Monday, January 01, 2007

Irregardless - It's Still Wrong

There is a guy at work we just love to tease every chance we get. He insists on using the non-word irregardless no matter how mercilessly we chastise him. Occasionally we will use the word ourselves when he is within earshot just to get a rise out of him. At one point he argued his case with some success since even dictionaries now carry the word (it is labeled slang or as a misused word). It is actually the combination of two words: regardless and irrespective. Since the word regardless already contains a negative in its suffix -less adding the negative prefix ir- makes a double negative which is frowned upon among proper English speaking people.

It seems nearly everyday we hear people try to string together a familiar quote or a figure of speech only to cringe inwardly as it inevitably gets mangled. Sometimes it's simply hilarious and sometimes it's downright annoying.

Here is a quick list of ones I can remember hearing recently...

"It doesn't matter now, it's a mute point"
This one drives me crazy! But what the hell, trying to correct someone in mid-conversation is a moot point.

"Looking at her sad little face really pulled on my harp strings"
Ironic that a harp really does have strings and a heart doesn't...

"I pacifically told him not to put his hand in there!"
Maybe you should have been more specific.

"I have a great idear?"
I don't see an "r" dear

"Let me axe you a question."
Can I ask you to be careful with that thing!

"He took her love for granite."
And she took his money for granted

"yeah, it’s a doggy-dog world out there"

"treat this client with kit gloves"
You can get such a kit at Kids R Us.

"We were in intimate danger"

"it doesn’t pass mustard"
If you can muster the strength pass the ketchup.

And my all time favorite...

"she ran out of the house butt naked."
Being chased by a buck no doubt.



William said...

Poor usage is a HUMONGOUS problem--isn’t it.

Willy Wordsmith said...

Irrespective of proper usage of "the Kings English”, I find these stumbling attempts at vocabulary expansion far less troubling than the total butchery of the language popularized within Rap and hip-hop culture. Yes, Virginia I am purposefully “disrespecting” all of it. I find no redeeming value in its musicality, cultural or linguistic permutations.

Could it be that I’m just getting old and turning into my father?

I do have to confess to having been in Intimate Danger at least once in my lifetime. If I recall correctly I was Butt Naked and trying feverishly to Pass Mustard . However, that is another story for a different time and place. You can take for Granite that it wasn’t a pretty picture by any stretch of the imagination.