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Everyone Else Is Doing It

There are (typically) four weeks in a month! With that in mind, you have already been introduced to "Declan and Ellie." (Aren't they fascinating?) You will learn more about them in the first week of each month throughout 2021. For the second week of each month, you will have the opportunity to read about "the good, the bad, and the ugly use (or misuse)" of the English language in Grammar Police. The third week of the month, you are invited to the random thoughts of random things that pop into my random head! A potpourri of sorts, categorized under "So THAT'S Where That Is!" And the last week of the month will be dedicated to letters, emails, and questions I receive from viewers like you! "Wise Words" of advice, opinions, and commentary brought to you by MommaHattie; Loving Lots, and Smiling Often! Now without further adieu, on to week two ...


"Irregardless" of your feelings, this "nonword" has been in use since 1795, according to Wikipedia or the early 1900s, if you go by the American Heritage Dictionary. There were rants and a Twitter storm (among those who are very passionate about word usage) that Merriam-Webster recognized "irregardless" as a "real word" in July of 2020! (As if 2020 could get any worse, am I right?) Yet, this is untrue as it has been in Webster's since 1934. It was clearly on page 714 of my copy of Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Copyright 1988, "irregardless REGARDLESS: a nonstandard or humorous usage." (I do not see the humor at all.)The Oxford English Dictionary shows etymology dating back to 1912. It states its use is "Chiefly North American," so I am sure they are not having this debate over in the United Kingdom, Australia, or the many other English speaking countries.

This was a beloved gift from my parents upon graduating high school. Yes Mom, I still use it.

The hatred of this word is likely just as high as its usage. Those who use it will defend its use, and those who hate it will do the same. The fact remains it is a word. (That sentence was tough to type. You can probably surmise which side I am on.) Although technically a word, it is agreed upon in every dictionary I have looked through to be "nonstandard."

The American Heritage Dictionary's usage note states;

"Irregardless is a word that many people mistakenly believe to be correct in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. The word was coined in the United States in the early 1900s, presumably from a blend of irrespective and regardless. Many critics have complained that it is a redundancy, the negative prefix ir- duplicating the negativity of the -less suffix. Perhaps its reputation as a blend of ill-fitting parts has caused some to insist that it is a "nonword," a charge they would not think of leveling at a nonstandard word with a longer history, such as ain't. Since people use irregardless, it is undoubtedly a word in the broader sense of the language, but it has never been accepted in Standard English and is virtually always changed by copyeditors to regardless. The Usage Panel has roundly disapproved of its use since polling began; in 2012, 90 percent found the sentence A scientist investigating a social issue should seek to find out the truth, irregardless of its political implications to be unacceptable."

You may be wondering by now what exactly does "nonstandard" mean in this situation. It means that a word, although commonly used it is not necessarily correct. Some other commonly used words that are also not correct are:

  • anyways

  • kind of or kinda

  • in regards to

  • should of

  • thusly

If you are using any of the terms as mentioned above, you might want to reconsider and use:

  • anyway

  • somewhat

  • in regard to (or even: regarding or concerning)

  • should have

  • thus

If your only defense in using any of the commonly used nonstandard words mentioned is, "They are in the dictionary and therefore a word!" You might consider using the standard, more correct word, or get yourself a thesaurus and learn some brand new words! Enlarging one's vocabulary is never a bad idea.

When considering using a nonstandard word just because everyone else is doing it and it has wrestled itself into the dictionary, remember "ain't" is in there too. And irregardless of your age, you ain't supposed to be using that word if you want to sound kinda intelligent anyways. (Ugh - I have to take a long bath after typing THAT sentence.)

Love Lots; Smile Often,



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