Read Editorial with D2G – Ep 461

Carry on regardless

D2G wears no responsibility of the views published here by the respective Author. This Editorial is used here for Study Purpose. Students are advised to learn the word-meaning, The Art of Writing Skills and understand the crux of this Editorial.

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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”?

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