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Re: [css-fonts] "Irregardless"? REALLY?

From: in real time <sixdegrees.rising@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 22:47:18 -0800
Message-Id: <9C19425D-DF45-4D0E-9907-2D0DCFB5EA56@gmail.com>
To: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
I personally like the way 'irregardless' sounds and rolls off the  
tongue, but that could be my summers spent in England as a child.
But I recognise that the journalistic standard is 'regardless';  
anything else and you're giggled at and mocked, and/or if you argue  
your paper will not be accepted into prestigious journals.

On Dec 2, 2009, at 11:54 AM, Richard Fink wrote:

> On Wednesday, December 02, 2009 11:48 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com 
> > wrote:
>> I still think "regardless" is a better word choice there.
> I've been using "irregardless" in casual conversation my whole life.
> I suspect - no hard research done - its usage is primarily regional.  
> (New York)
> Hence, perhaps that's why Eric Meyer spotted it as non-standard all  
> the way from Cleveland. ;)
> Dictionary.com pegs it's coinage as early 20th century and that fits  
> in with my speculation that the word originated with non-native  
> immigrant speakers.
> "Regardless" is nicely neutral. "Irrespective" has echoes of a  
> judgmental "disrespect" that I don't think fits the context here.
> I vote for "regardless". Does the job, language-wise.
> Regards,
> rich
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org] On  
> Behalf Of Tab Atkins Jr.
> Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 11:48 AM
> To: Brad Kemper
> Cc: Eric A. Meyer; www-style
> Subject: Re: [css-fonts] "Irregardless"? REALLY?
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 10:42 AM, Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>  
> wrote:
>> On Dec 2, 2009, at 8:01 AM, Eric A. Meyer wrote:
>>>  So just last night, I was reading up on 'font-size'adjust' (3.7)  
>>> and stumbled into the following bit of prose:
>>>  "It does this by adjusting the font-size so that the x-height
>>>   is the same irregardless of the font used."
>>>  Horrified, I searched the document and discovered it AGAIN in the  
>>> description of 'unicode-range' (4.5):
>>>  "Code points outside of the defined unicode-range are ignored,
>>>   irregardless of whether the font contains a glyph for that
>>>   code point or not."
>>> I believe both instances should be changed to "regardless",  
>>> because that's an actual word.  "irrespective" would also be an  
>>> acceptable substitute, though in my opinion just barely.  See <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/irregardless 
>>> > for more information, if that's really necessary.
>>>  Also, never tell me who did this, because if I find out I'll be  
>>> honor-bound to follow through on my public statement and slap them  
>>> like a haddock.  (Yes, "like", not "with".)
>>> --
>> Enough people use "irrespective" to make it an actual word. It is  
>> hardly the first instance of a word in English that seems to mean  
>> the opposite of what it should, or of what it originally meant.
>> Dictionaries can be both proscriptive and descriptive. Misuse of  
>> words turns out to be one of the biggest ways that languages change  
>> and evolve[1], and it always involves traditionalists bemoaning the  
>> disintegration of their language. But basically, if enough people  
>> misuse a word in the same way, the word takes on that new meaning,  
>> and dictionaries eventually have to adapt by describing the new  
>> meaning.
>> [1] <http://www.unfoldingoflanguage.com/>
> I still think "regardless" is a better word choice there.  Let's not
> promote silly opposites-mean-the-same-thing word pairs like
> flammable/inflammable.
> ~TJ
Received on Thursday, 3 December 2009 06:48:18 UTC

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