Carry on regardless
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Meanings are given in BOLD
The illogical ( lacking sense or clear, sound reasoning ) Americanism “irregardless” has been irritating teachers and purists ( a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures, especially in language or style ) for over a hundred years, and now they are fit to be tied because the Merriam-Webster dictionary suggests that it is a legitimate ( able to be defended with logic or justification; valid ) word.
It is the boojum ( an imaginary dangerous animal ) of double negatives, whose use is historically deprecated ( express disapproval of ) because they serve no useful function, since a much simpler word could take their place. Logically, irregardless only means regardful. But just to diddle ( cheat or swindle (someone) so as to deprive them of something ) you, it actually means exactly the same as “regardless”, and only intensifies ( become or make more intense ) its impact in a droll ( curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement ) sort of way.
In fact, it is a portmanteau word masquerading ( pretend to be someone one is not ) as a double negative. Lexicographers ( a person who compiles dictionaries ) surmise ( suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it ) that it is a blend of “irrespective” and “regardless”.A few years ago, the Guardian put it right at the top of a list of infuriating ( making one extremely angry and impatient ) double negatives like “undoubtedless” and “unforbidding”.
It noted their rising popularity, which it read as a sign that the English-speaking world was descending into linguistic barbarism ( absence of culture and civilization ). However, even Dr Johnson, the father of English lexicography, had done battle with them. He was apparently set off by the word “irresistless”, in a villainous ( extremely bad or unpleasant ) translation of the Song of Solomon.
But language researchers argue that the validity of a word should not be judged by its logical consistency. If a critical mass of people successfully use it to communicate, it’s just fine. And so, horrifically, the word “miniscule ( extremely small; tiny) ”, a common misspelling of “minuscule ( extremely small; tiny) ”, has been judged to be a variant by the Oxford English Dictionary.
“Kudos”, which is singular in Greek but has a confusing plural ending in English, persistently ( in a persistent manner; continuously ) litters the letters columns on the facing page, and no one cares. But like “irregardless”, badly-formed words energise colloquial ( used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary ) communication. Could a straight sentence possibly convey the power of common Hindi speech, as in the popular phrase, “My bad luck is itself bad”?