“Irregardless”

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Captain Obvious, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    A fellow worker says “irregardless” all the time. I’ve always thought this word was a nonsense word so I looked it up. Merriiam Webster has it in their dictionary. A lexicographer I came across wrote that she was “duty bound” to add it in the dictionary because people say it.
    Am I the only one who thinks this is the tail wagging the dog here?
    Aren’t dictionaries duty bound to maintain a standard of English rather than simply be a recording device of every human utterance of ignorant speech?
    I think this is philosophically relevant. Are we as a western people void of actual standards now, and willing to accept ignorance in hopes of bell curving our own language?
     
  2. Daggdag

    Daggdag Well-Known Member

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    By this logic the dictionary should be duty bound to add all slang to the dictionary as well because a lot of people use it, but Merriam-Webster has always been against that especially slang associated with minorities. Irregardless is not a word, any different than ain't isn't the word, adding nonsense words to the dictionary just because a lot of people don't know how to speak English properly is idiotic.
     
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  3. Curious Always

    Curious Always Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    My list of ways that Merriam Webster has made terrible decisions is quite long. I think their primary job is to ensure language stays up to date without losing the integrity of the language itself.

    For example, nowadays, people use the word anymore when they actually mean to say nowadays.

    Irregardless
    Acrossed
    Reoccuring
    Preventative

    And my favorite - for all intensive purposes.
     
  4. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Look how educated thought is treated in politics today.

    While "irregardless" and others are irritating, the utter disdain for medical science is actually lethal.

    A large perent of America actually accepts the idea that wearing a mask in the days of COVID is POLITICAL instead of health science related!!!

    There really isn't anything Mirriam Webster can do to the dictionary that is as profoundly stupid as that.
     
  5. James California

    James California Well-Known Member Donor

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    ~ Yes. That also goes for social etiquette and personal appearance when in public.
     
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  6. Curious Always

    Curious Always Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  7. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    That pretty much goes toward my point in the post. The point being that western thinking in regards to standards thinks of them as a moving target. If definitions can’t even be agreed on with something as simple as a nonsense word, it stands to reason the public at large will distrust any authority that claims possession of truth. If the scientific community has problems convincing the public at large of their findings- well, it’s their own fault.
    The lack of standards, political bias due to government funding, and the quality of work that people our bloated government funded universities have produced all factor in to public distrust.
    It isn’t the ignorance of the masses, it’s the actions of the past that has created a deserved mistrust.
    Philosophically, If the general thinking of consciousness trumps existence prevails, then facts and proofs become whatever we want them to be. We’ve been hearing for years that morality is relative and that all cultures are equally upright.
    If that is true, then truth and the art of finding the truth( science) has an equally relative standing.
    In other words, don’t tell us the sky is falling if we know science can’t agree what the word “fall” means.
     
  8. (original)late

    (original)late Well-Known Member

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    Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive.

    We use them that way, but that's the perspective of the user.

    Meaning comes from usage, which means languages change over time. Dictionaries just try to keep up.

    There have been times when people tried to control language. They don't work. There was one era where France banned English words, and England banned french words. It worked about as well as you'd expect, which was not at all.
     
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  9. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    Words are concepts. Languages change over time to meet the need of people who value those concepts. It’s the role of dictionaries to validate those concepts with yet another standard- logic. And integrate that concept into the greater whole. The validity of that concept depends on many factors including Necessity and redundancy.
    Dictionaries are descriptive of valid concepts but they are not and should not logbooks to register fallacious utterances that do not integrate with the whole of a language.
    If I tell you 2+2 = 5 and point to a math book that says it’s true because enough people believe it, I would say the authors of that math book have lost sight of the purpose of the book.
     
  10. (original)late

    (original)late Well-Known Member

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    Lovely, but doesn't alter what I said.
     
  11. jay runner

    jay runner Banned

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    A new car dealer here plays bongo drums and recites his pitch in beatnik poetry style, and he always ends with the exclamation, "Regardless!"

    It's working for him, irregardless.

    But yes, the English language has been dumbed down a lot in the last 60 years. While the goal was once to accurately describe the reality outside yourself for many now the goal is to express the hissy fit child inside themselves.
     
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  12. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    But it does completely refute it.
     
  13. (original)late

    (original)late Well-Known Member

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    Try seeing what people that make dictionaries have to say about it.

    I did.
     
  14. usfan

    usfan Banned

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    On the altar of newspeak, it is completely altered..

    ;)
     
  15. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    There’s a reason this post is in the philosophy section of the site. If the cruxt of your argument is “this is what other people think so I think that way too”, and you can’t defend the point you’re making, then you really have no value here. So you’re wasting your time.
    Thanks for trying and good luck.
     
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  16. Curious Always

    Curious Always Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It should, at least, be consistent in its' inconsistencies.

    Take preventive. A perfect word. Three easy syllables. Why complicate the language by saying preventative? Preventative was not a valid word 30 years ago, but people forgot how to pronounce it and now it's a longer word. That's stupid.

    When someone says preventative, I wonder if they say things like connectative and attentative, too.

    I recall this being a thing when Bush, Jr, could not pronounce nuclear. He says nukular. The entire reason the pronunciation in the dictionary was changed was because our president couldn't pronounce it.
     
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  17. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    I HATE nukular!
     
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  18. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Your reading assignment = https://www.grammarly.com/blog/preventative-preventive/
     
  19. Curious Always

    Curious Always Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well, thank you for that. It's very informative, and I had no idea.

    My first hearing of preventative, literally, was during an ISO 9000 audit circa 1995. The auditor's question? What is the difference between preventive and preventative? My answer was "one is a word and the other is a mispronunciation of the same word."

    So, perhaps what has happened is that what I knew for the first 40 years of my life was that the cleaner way to say it was the more oft used way. Now, the less efficient way is more common.

    Weird, since we've changed, "are you alright?" with "yite?"

    Language tends to improve efficiency of movement, not increase it.

    Sincerely, thanks. Etymology is, while not a passion of mine, is a fascinating topic.
     
  20. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    I find it very interesting to research words when reading "ancient" literature because etymology shows when words were first used. Remember, Jesus didn't exist before 1631. He was called something else before then.
     
  21. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I'd say people "obeying" lexicographers would be the tail wagging the dog. It seems to me, Merriam Webster are not actually the authority when it comes to English, we merely trust them to give an accurate representation of the actual authority, the actual usage of the language.

    There is no standard of English other than what English-speaking humans' utterances are. Words change meaning, sometimes in ways that are not intuitive if you're used to a particular version. This has always been happening (potentially it happens less, but more noticeably with the internet), "awful" stopped meaning "full of awe", "you" replaced "thou". Much to the chagrin of people and lexicographers everywhere, but not an indication that it's not correct usage further down the line.

    Prescriptivism, the idea that there is a correct language and people sometimes deviate from it, is very useful for primary school and people learning a new language. However, when it comes to how language actually works, descriptivism, the idea that language is the means that people use to communicate, and any "correct" language is only correct insofar that it reflects that, is usually closer to the truth. It provides a better model for how language can (and did) evolve over time and why there are several correct languages in the world (for instance, prescriptivism has historically often been used to disfavour groups other than the ruling group in many places).
     
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  22. GrayMan

    GrayMan Well-Known Member

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    Irregardless of your opinion, Language has always evolved. Pretty much every word grew outside of the dictionary before becoming a regular part of something society. My only issue is when the meaning of a word or the concept of a word is inconsistent with reality.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  23. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Active Member

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    Your examples are all evolutions of words as you say. But if you say there are no or should be no standards is way off base.
    Go ahead and take directions on how to repair an automobile from someone speaking ebonics. Build a nuclear bomb with directions spoken to you by a coonass from southern Louisiana. Then argue that the language doesn’t need standards.
    I argue that the standards a society holds as a value is directly related to its technological advancement.
    Adding garbage nonsense words to the dictionary only legitimizes ignorance.
     
  24. GrayMan

    GrayMan Well-Known Member

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    That's fine but you need to come up with a standard for what constitutes a 'garbage word'. Some made up words might expand and enrich language, providing better and more concise communication.
     
  25. James California

    James California Well-Known Member Donor

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    ~ The dumbing down of America continues - regardless .
     

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