It's OK to Hate 'Irregardless,' but ...


A friend recently sent me a transcript of a delightful Garrison Keillor sketch in which he tries to promote good grammar to a folksy local. Among the gems in this sketch, he says "It's imperative that you learn about the subjunctive." This is especially clever because the subjunctive, for example the "be" in "It's crucial that you be on time," is used in imperatives (commands).

But in the same sketch, Keillor says that "irregardless" is not a word. Actually, it is. It's even sanctioned by dictionaries.

I don't know a single word-savvy person who advocates using "irregardless." All agree that "regardless" is always better. But that doesn't mean "irregardless" isn't a word.

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