Let’s start my word witch hunt with the misuse of the word irregardless. This may be the most irksome of the misused words because it’s not a word! Largely because it’s a double negative. However, the most bothersome piece of information resides with its mainstream usage which has landed the word “irregardless” in the dictionary.
The so-called word experts are pandering to the masses and apparently feel powerless to stop it. Here’s the video with a bit more information about what you’re doing and why it’s wrong.
Irregardless is NOT a Word
The Funny Story
So, the funny story I agreed to share happened a long time ago when I was a T.V. news producer. One of the many responsibilities of a producer is to give the reporter and photographer time cues before they are supposed to be live on T.V. I would give my crew a two minute, one minute, thirty seconds, ten seconds and standby cues. On this particular morning, I forgot to give a two-minute warning to the crew and gave them a minute-thirty seconds cue.
I don’t know why I missed the two-minute warning as we didn’t have breaking news or anything that day, but I did. I heard the photographer grumbling despite already having his sound and lighting checked for a previous hit.
When he came back to the station following his morning live shots, he began to scream at me in the middle of the newsroom. I’m talking red-faced, crazily waving his arms around, full out losing his mind. I had apologized to him in his IFB for the mistake earlier, but I should also point out he hit his live shot and there were no complications. This doesn’t mean giving the cues aren’t important, they absolutely are, but I couldn’t figure out why he was so angry for a one time mistake with no casualty.
Despite his tantrum, I tried to reason with him (I know, a mistake). He agreed this was the first time I had missed giving a cue and this was not a regular problem and then proceeded to scream, “YOU PRODUCERS…” and I cut him off explaining if he had a problem with another producer, to take it up with them because this wasn’t something I should be bearing the responsibility. This further incited his anger and I had now lost interest in trying to find a respectful way to end this ridiculous display.
So he says, “IRREGARDLESS…” and I once again interrupted him. I said, “Irregardless isn’t a word, but please continue.” I may have seen actual smoke coming out of his ears. He quickly spun on his heels and evacuated the newsroom before he exploded into a fiery rage. Oh wait, he already had. 🙂 Anyway, I felt vindicated and I could continue on with my day.
He starts emailing me links from dictionary.com and merriamwebster.com all showing irregardless in their database. I simply hit delete.
Well, he cried to his boss who then cried to mine. I was advised that even though irregardless was not a word, I was not to upset said employee again. (This could be a whole other series of blog posts, by the way.)
Yes, I was screamed at for no reason. It’s true, my boss didn’t take my side. But I still felt wholly satisfied in knowing I was right about the word irregardless and no one could take that away from me.