Irregardless of what you may think, “irregardless” is a word.

OK, so I slightly modified the headline on an NPR article from last week. Go read this short article to find out what I did, and to learn something. I will wait.

The problem is that the world is full of snobs and peevers who don’t understand what a dictionary is. Yes, there are a lot of people who don’t like the word “irregardless.” If you’re in that camp, do what the last sentence of the NPR article recommends: don’t use it.

But don’t object to the facts! Language changes all the time. We aren’t still speaking Old English. “Irregardless” has been a word for a long time. The English language isn’t decaying, it’s just changing.

By the way, as the article points out, people who object to “irregardless” are misunderstanding the “ir-” prefix. It’s an intensifier, not a negator. If you are irradiatedyou’re not getting the opposite of radiation, after all. Ponder that for a while.

Categories: Linguistics