In today’s exciting chapter of the new and to-be-randomly-updated feature on my little slice of the internet (henceforth to be aptly titled Word of the Day), we will discuss a word that is near and dear to many of our hearts: irregardless.
Irregardless is one of those words that a lot of people use and a lot more people hate. Like me. I hate it. It’s redundant, it’s stupid, and I know a few people who use it all the time like it’s their favorite word. For a long time, I got behind the war cry of IT’S NOT A WORD!!! Sadly, after a five second Google search my whole world has been turned upside-down: it turns out it is a word.
Not surprisingly, its definition is the very word that should always be used in its place: regardless. Why not just use regardless? Because irregardless is a bigger word? Does the extra syllable make you feel smarter? I just can’t understand it, but what amazes me most is how long this bastardized combination of irrespective and regardless has been around. According to the folks at Merriam-Webster, it’s been around for over a hundred years (first known use: 1912). Considering it would take a couple years for it to make its way around the world, that would bring common knowledge of its use to around 1914. That, of course, is the beginning of World War I. Now, I’m not saying that this stupid word started WWI or anything, but with as violently hated as the word can be, you can’t fault my logic that it has to be more than a mere coincidence.
All kidding aside, the sad truth remains that this is a word if for no other reason than Merriam-Webster said so. They’re the word police, right? Hey, wait…if I get a job there, can I just make up words and put them in the dictionary? Wouldn’t that be fun? Finally, MacDubious would get the global respect it deserves. But I digress.
I say if you like the word, go on and use it. Use it as if it’s your favorite word. Use it until you’re blue in the face, because everyone around will be able to look forward to you passing out just so you’ll stop saying it. Go on with your bad self, but go on with the understanding that just about everyone is hating you. And if you’re using it in the company of us authorly-types, well…let’s just say there’s a really good chance you’ve been straight-up murdered in someone’s book. Horribly and violently murdered. Maybe more than once.
Not…not that I know anything about that…