This week's grammar post is short and sweet—a quick list of my favorite words that aren't really words.
The word you want is "regardless." I have no idea where the "ir-" prefix came from, but please do your part to help banish it from the English language.
YES: Regardless of the weather, the wedding will go on.
NO: Irregardless of the weather the wedding will go on.
You can either freeze something or you can thaw it. If you're "unthawing" it, you're actually freezing it, so save a syllable or two and just go with "freeze."
YES: It took 5 minute to thaw the hamburger in the microwave.
NO: It took 5 minutes to unthaw the hamburger in the microwave.
I find this one quite endearing, for whatever reason. It always makes me smile. It's the word "ignorant" shortened to just two syllables, and in some regions of the country it is used in place of the word "rude."
NO: That ignernt driver just cut me off!
YES: That inconsiderate driver just cut me off! ("Rude" or "jackass" would also work in place of "inconsiderate.")
YES: That driver seems to be ignorant of the rules of safe driving.
I know I've mentioned this one before, but it warrants mentioning again. The term is "self-deprecating," and you can hear how it's pronounced by clicking on the little sound symbol next to the word at dictionary.com.
YES: Her self-deprecating remarks made everyone laugh.
NO: Her self-depreciating remarks caused her to lose value as she aged.
One person from my not-so-distant past used this term exclusively in place of "frustrated." I'm not the kind of person to correct such habits, so I always let it slide. But just for the record, it's not a word.
NO: I get so flustrated when my kids fight.
YES: I get so frustrated when my kids fight.
YES: I get so flustered when my kids fight, especially if they fight while I'm on the phone.
6. Flush out.
Well, I suppose you can "flush out" a bird that's hiding in a dense thicket, but if you're talking about filling in missing details, you want to use "flesh out."
NO: This is just a first draft, I'll flush out the story later. (What? You mean down the toilet?)
YES: This is just a first draft, I'll flesh out the story later.
And here are a few more:
sherbert (it's "sherbet")
perservere (it's "persevere;" skip that extra "r")
could of, should of, would of ("could have" is the correct term)
gruntled (you can be "disgruntled," but not just "gruntled")
p.s. I frequently use "slickery," "ginormous," and even "supposably" (thanks, Joey from Friends!) just to be funny, knowing full well that they aren't really words. But only when speaking, of course.