Thursday, September 9, 2010

Word Nerd: Irregardless

What people say: irregardless

Better word: regardless

Meaning: despite everything; anyway

Wordsmiths often claim that irregardless is not a word, but that's not strictly true. According to Merriam-Webster, irregardless has been a part of American speech since the early 20th century. Yet it never caught on in written prose and has always been roundly slammed by grammarians. Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" suggests that it is a double negative, since it combines the 'ir-' prefix and the '-less' suffix. The "AP Stylebook" simply states, "Regardless is correct."

  • Even though it was raining, they went hiking regardless.
  • He dated the older girl, regardless of his mother's opinion of her.