a bone to pick

I have a bone to pick with you if you use the word irregardless.  It’s not a word.  Don’t use it.

I believe the word you’re looking for is regardless.

Okay, technically it’s a word because it sounds like English and it appears in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.  But it is only there because someone somewhere along the way decided to combine regardless and irrespective.  The prefix ‘ir-‘ means ‘not’ or ‘the opposite of.’  For example, “The pilot in the plane crash was acting irresponsibly when he texted his order to Pizza Hut while trying to land.”  The pilot was acting the opposite of responsible.

So by adding ir to the beginning of regardless you are saying, ‘not regardless’ or ‘not without regards to…’  Yes, that last one should confuse you because it doesn’t make sense.  It is a double negative.  And you know what two negatives make!  A positive!  So unless you mean ‘caring about the consequences of,’ don’t use irregardless.  And feel free to join me in this crusade against irregardless.

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One thought on “a bone to pick

  1. I heard someone use this word on the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen” the other day and so I relate deeply with this blog post. And I feel like we need to bring the word “irrespective” back into our vernacular — because I definitely hear “irregardless” more frequently! Oh, that’s sad.

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