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Strictly Speaking

Irregardless?

IRREGARDLESS

Despite an inclination of word processing spell check to accept this usage, the thinking person will carefully consider the advantages of using a word that apparently hybridizes irrespective with regardless.

When decomposed to constituent parts, both of these words present meanings that are quite clear: (1) irrespective means without respect to; and (2) regardless means less regard, or without regard to.

Both irrespective and regardless mean that after considering a former point, it weighs less in the subsequent argument than it is purported to mean. By contrast, irregardless means without regarding a less regarded point. In other words, the derivative opposite of the two independent words that have fused to create it.

While no word is tagged substandard in the descriptive era, here is a word that reverses its intent mid-syllable, and turns intended meaning on its head. Among thinking people, its use is likely to be a social setback for the user.

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