Cynus

'irregardless' is a word.

28 posts in this topic

This article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathon-owen/yes-irregardless-is-a-wor_b_4434749.html

The article brought back a memory for me of my eighth grade English teacher who told us the very first day that it was okay to use slang in our assignments. 'Slang' he said was how language evolves and changes, and that there was no reason to pretend that it didn't exist.

Any thoughts on the article?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article presents a rational argument that I find acceptable; at least until someone else tells me why I shouldn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, I'll go along with the assertion that 'irregardless' is a nonstandard word. I don't like it, I wouldn't use it, but because it is used and people accept the meaning that has been assigned to it, what can we call it other than a word? A word is supposed to convey meaning. 'Irregardless' does that. Hence, it's a word.

But we all choose the words we use. What choices we make help both define us and label us, show eductional level and to some extent, IQ. Using a word like that one allows people to place us in whatever their hierarchy is for sorting people out. I'd rather not be included in anyone's list of people who regularly use words like 'ain't' or 'irregardless' or 'satistics' or the like.

But it's a quibble to debate if it's a word. That's a matter of definition, and as it conveys meaning to most people hearing or reading it, it certainly meets the ordinary definition.

C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

English is a living language that forever changes. This is a good thing. I can't honestly say there are any words I don't like, or object to. I might not use 'irregardless' a lot - or indeed ever, but I'm happy to know it's there if I want it. Wibble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

English is a living language that forever changes. This is a good thing. I can't honestly say there are any words I don't like, or object to. I might not use 'irregardless' a lot - or indeed ever, but I'm happy to know it's there if I want it. Wibble.

I think this mirrors my own opinion on the matter quite perfectly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting to note how many words both Chaucer and Shakespeare are credited for "introducing" into mainstream English. Yet most of the words on these lists must have first have had some sort of shared common usage, or both of these great writers would have left their audiences baffled and their work misunderstood. http://flavorwire.com/135515/literary-smackdown-chaucer-vs-shakespeare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Cole: you won't find me using it anytime soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the use of "irregardless" defines people (their educational level, their IQ, how they've been 'sorted out'), so does the word "anyways" which personally drives me crazy when I read it in other than quoted dialogue. Actually, it drives me crazy when I read it in quoted dialogue, too. When I went to high school I heard it being used a lot by other kids. Hearing it made — makes — the fillings in my teeth itch.

Colin :icon_geek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I confess that quite a lot of common usage makes the fillings in my teeth itch (brilliant image, thanks Colin!). I do recognize that English is a constantly evolving language and I welcome and embrace that. But some usage betrays a poor understanding of the underlying derivation of words, and in turn therefore betrays an inadequate education. And I have to accept that even some of that usage becomes acceptable and mainstream. An example is the word DISSECT. Composed of the prefix DIS and the root SECT, it means to cut apart, unlike the word BISECT which means to cut in two. The two words should be pronounced differently (DIS-sect rhyming with KISS, BI-sect rhyming with PIE). However DISSECT is now almost universally pronounced the same as BISECT, even the BBC pronunciation guidelines indicating that to be correct. I regularly shout at the television....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here's another word that, when spoken, makes me cringe. It's route. When I hear it on the radio or TV it's pronounced "root" but reroute (def: send by a different route) is pronounced re-rawt. Router (def: someone who routes shipments) is pronounced "rawter". Why isn't route pronounced "rawt"? The dictionary gives both "root" and "rawt" as acceptable pronunciations. Who decided the "root" pronunciation is the one to be used as a standard?

Colin :icon_geek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm learning new stuff! I thought it was root in British and rawt in American. The exception is router which is pronounced rawter in British when it's a specialist carpentry tool but rooter when it's a domestic internet connection or a person who plans routes. The carpentry tool is based on the verb rout, to chase away, and the internet thingy is based on the verb route, to direct or divert. It comes from French where they definitely say root.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Australia 'to root', is well known and used to describe the act of impregnation.

My Wordweb dictionary: [Austral, NZ, vulgar] Slang for sexual intercourse. It is in this context that breed, breeding, and breeder are polite terms for root, rooting, and rooter.

It is therefore common for us to pronounce route as rowt, lest someone thinks we are making a lewd advance for their affections.

It might be wise for people from other nations to be very careful when asking an Aussie about a route (root).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be wise for people from other nations to be very careful when asking an Aussie about most anything.

At the risk of eliciting raucous laughter, I do have to ask Des if having a 'root canal' done means the same thing to Aussies as it does to Yanks.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my departed friends was a dentist and he would joke about having a canal root filling in my mouth.

Happy now? :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a similar word in America, Des: rut. 'Root' is one of those words with multiple definitions, both a a verb and a noun. Here's list of the verbs:

verb (used with object)

18.

to fix by or as if by roots: We were rooted to the spot by surprise.

19.

to implant or establish deeply: Good manners were rooted in himlike a second nature.

20.

to pull, tear, or dig up by the roots (often followed by up or out ).

21.

to extirpate; exterminate; remove completely (often followedby up or out ): to root out crime. Synonyms: eradicate,eliminate, wipe out, obliterate.

22.

Digital Technology .

a.

to gain access to the operating system of (a smartphone,tablet, gaming console, etc.), as to alter system files orsettings. Compare jailbreak ( def 3 ) .

b.

to install a rootkit on (a computer, electronic device, etc.).

verb (used without object)

23.

to become fixed or established.

24.

Digital Technology . to manipulate the operating system of asmartphone, tablet, etc. Compare jailbreak ( def 4 ) .

Idioms

25.

root and branch, utterly; entirely: to destroy something root andbranch.

26.

take root,

a.

to send out roots; begin to grow.

b.

to become fixed or established: The prejudices of parentsusually take root in their children.

Origin:
before 1150; (noun) Middle English; late Old English rōt < OldNorse rōt; akin to Old English wyrt
‘plant’, wort2 , German Wurzel,Latin rādīx (see radix), Greek rhíza (see rhizome); (v.) MiddleEnglish roten, rooten, derivative of the noun

Related forms

root·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged

root 2 [root, roothinsp.pngthinsp.pngt] Show IPA

verb (used without object)

1.

to turn up the soil with the snout, as swine.

2.

to poke, pry, or search, as if to find something: to root aroundin a drawer for loose coins.

verb (used with object)

3.

to turn over with the snout (often followed by up ).

4.

to unearth; bring to light (often followed by up ).

Origin:
1530–40; variant of obsolete wroot ( Old English wrōtan, akin towrōt ‘a snout’)

root 3 [root or, sometimes, roothinsp.pngthinsp.pngt] Show IPA

verb (used without object)

1.

to encourage a team or contestant by cheering or applaudingenthusiastically. Synonyms: cheer, cheer on, shout for,applaud, clap, boost, support.

2.

to lend moral support: The whole group will be rooting for him.Synonyms: back, second; champion, advocate, favor,espouse.

You will note something missing in the list: there's nothing suggesting the word means attempting or having sexual congress with anyone.
Leave it to an Aussie to corrupt a perfectly fine old English word for their own nefarious purposes!
:spank:
C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Root does occasionally get used in the UK that way, usually as a dismissive description:

'As I passed the car with misted-up windows I caught a glimpse of a couple in the back seat rooting like bunnies.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Cole, I don't know what happened in the U.S. but certainly when I was at school I remember our new immigrants from the Motherland (the UK.) were well versed in using rooting to describe their sexual activities, as well as the quality of education they were getting.

I'll also agree with your other listed definitions and history as being understood in Australia, but you have to remember that somewhere in the early days of the colony the word had fallen into disrepute to such a degree that my grandmother considered it as just another way of cursing equivalent to the F word. I had much fun, as a 13 year old, using the word in one its legitimate uses (such as citing the root of a tree) and watching the adults around me blush with embarrassment.

I will leave the management of sexual congress to the U.S. where I understand that the reason it is called The United States Congress is because it is so good at fucking things up. Sex and politics never goes out of fashion. Our own Parliament is no better, but we are more likely to just admit that our politicians have buggered, rooted and fucked up everything, yet again. I guess that is something our school teachers did manage to teach us..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least regardless/irregardless won't get you in serious trouble. Imagine the poor kid whose dad catches him smoking next to the gasoline can.

"Boy! Whatchu doin'? Caint you see that can's plain marked FLAMMABLE?"

"Sorry, Pa. I'll go over yonder by that truck where it's plain marked INFLAMMABLE."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's as bad as moot. There's a word that's never made much sense to me.

C

Does this mean you've never used the word "moot" in any of your stories?

On CW you used "moot" in The Big Splash and The Busboy chapter 7.

Colin :icon_geek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A moot is a big ditch around a Scottish castle, generally filled with water. If they'll not be lowering the drawbridge fer ye, you'll need to sail your boot across.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this mean you've never used the word "moot" in any of your stories?

On CW you used "moot" in The Big Splash and The Busboy chapter 7.

Colin :icon_geek:

Ah, but you see, when I use it, I always use it to mean the same thing. But others use it with a variety of meanings. My attempt in using it is to bring stability to the proper use of the word.

C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now