Misused Words: Regardless and Irregardless

What is the difference between regardless and irregardless? Irregardless has become so commonplace that sometimes confusion arises between them. Here is an explanation of the two words:

Misused Words: Regardless & Irregardless

Regardless means “without regard.” For example: Janice tore up the completed draft of her short story regardless of the consequences.

Irregardless is not technically a word. The prefix “ir” means “not” or “without” and the suffix “less” means “without.” Thus, the definition of irregardless is “without without regard” which doesn’t make any sense.

Having said that, irregardless has become more and more prevalent in the English language especially in speech. In fact, the word is even in some dictionaries. For example: Janice tore up the completed draft of her short story irregardless of the consequences.

Therefore, although technically is not correct it can, and sometimes is, used. However, when it comes to writing, I would not recommend using irregardless, particularly when it comes to academic or business writing. In informal writing you can get away with it but if you want to look professional and polished, treat irregardless as if it doesn’t exist. 🙂


Tweetable: Regardless & Irregardless

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