“Irregardless” – Is Added To Webster’s
According to Merriam Webster dictionary - irregardless is now a word.
I threw enough of a fit, many years ago, when they declared "ain't" to be a word. Irregardless is the last straw for me.
Is there a dictionary out there that is still doing their job?
Often when I talk about this, someone will say to me, "but you know that language evolves, right?" My answer is always, "The dictionary was created to fix that flaw."
Here is what I mean:
Before we had a dictionary, people pronounced words the way that they thought they heard them. Words were spelled phonetically in whatever way a person thought should work. The meaning of a word was what a person thought it meant in the context they first heard it in.
This caused a lot of confusion. Back then, language was a current of changes based mostly on misunderstandings and confusion.
People argued, fought, and even killed each other over a misunderstanding of the meaning of a single word.
I have no idea what took us so long but someone finally thought to invent a guide for words. This radical idea would catalog each word with the final definitive say in what the word meant, its spelling, and its pronunciation.
The stated job of the dictionary, at that time, was to fix the flaw of a confusing an ever-evolving language. For a time, it did.
When I was in middle school I used the word gay in a sentence and was quickly called out for misusing the word. "Gay is a specific kind of happiness," I said. They thought the word meant homosexual. I sang to them a bit of a Christmas song, "don we now our gay apparel”. I then reminded them of the ending to the Flintstones song from the cartoon, "we'll have a gay old time." I then picked up a dictionary, looked up the word, and read the definition out loud. Everyone that I had been arguing with got quiet, then admitted to me that I was, in fact, correct. Because the dictionary said so.
Nowadays, if enough people are misusing a word, Webster's caves in and says, 'well I guess that's what it means now.'
So what changed? Why did Webster's suddenly decide to change and go with the popular flow rather than hold the line?
Because enough people incorrectly add an 'ir' to the word regardless, Webster's has decided to add it to the dictionary, rather than holding the line and telling those people, 'you're wrong.' To be clear, I don't care if every single person on the planet began saying irregardless. That would mean that every single person on the planet was saying it wrong. Regardless, I would not put it in the dictionary.
As a radio talk show host part of what I do is debate for a living. I often find people trying to change the meanings of words when they have lost an argument. "Healthcare is a RIGHT!" they proclaim. But a right is NOT a product or service provided by the government. That is not what that word means. For those who argue that point with me I ask them to give me my free gun, because I have the "right" to bear arms. That shuts them down quickly.
The dictionary was designed to solve a problem. With their new policy of flowing with the current and most popular mistakes, Webster's is now bringing us right back to where we started, before there was a dictionary.
This means that Webster's Dictionary is now useless, and has become part of the problem they once swore to solve. Therefore, I will not be using them anymore.