Friday, February 22, 2008

Irrespective + Regardless = Irregardless

Today in a meeting I think I used the word “irregardless.” I’m not sure. But if I did, I’m very disappointed in myself. Irregardless? Really? Did you perhaps just mean plain ole “regardless?” I think you might have.

It’s not even the misuse of “big” words (four syllables is my limit) that bothers me. It’s that the word doesn’t make any sense. Irregardless? As in, the opposite of regardless? So we should give it regard?

It's a simple equation, I guess: Irrespective + Regardless = Irregardless. Uber-regardless. A whatever-happens, do-not-give-this-thing-regard level of regardless.

And here comes your West Wing quote for the day!

Vice President Russell: The thing is, the Speaker is trying to propulgate a tax bill onto an appropriations package. We start allowing that, we’re never going to get budgets passed.
...
Leo: I’m pretty sure there’s no such word as "propulgate." Maybe he meant "propagate?" Or "promulgate?"

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

Recently saw "stagflation" in the newspaper, presumably a hybrid of stagnation and inflation. Discuss.

Also re irregardless, compare inflammable and flammable. Cut-rate lawyer/dr. guy from simpsons: "Inflammable means the same as flammable? What kind of language is this??" or something like that...

[The correct quote is: Dr. Nick: "Inflammable means the same as flammable? What a country!" I would also have accepted (preferred?): "Josh: Why isn't college tuition 100% tax deductible? Sam: I don't know. Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?" --Ed.]

I'm sure the people in the meeting were thinking: Well, I didn't think irregardless really meant anything, but I noticed that sharp new Mr. [Redacted. --Ed.] guy used it, so it probably is meaningful.

10:12 PM  

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