Writing Prompts: Irregardless

You have probably encountered words like ‘irregardless’ or ‘pacifically’ before. These ‘words’ sit alongside strange grammatical errors like ‘to of’ instead of ‘to have’, or the transposing of the words ‘affect’ and ‘effect’.

How does this happen? I can sort of understand how two similar words can be mixed up, but a made-up word like ‘irregardless’? Is it a pronunciation thing? Is an attempt to sound clever, even though the word you’re using doesn’t actually exist in the English language? Does the English language itself make life difficult with some of its baffling rules?

Then you get regional spelling differences, which can create a hole knew level of confusion. Yes, I did that deliberately…

Consider the word ‘behaviour’. Notice the u in behaviour. That’s how we spell the word in the UK. In the USA, it would be spelled ‘behavior’. On my screen, this flags as a typo, yet it’s not technically wrong. It’s a regional difference, prompted by the divergent evolution of spelling and writing conventions across two different continents. I have to say, quite why we have the u in there is a bit of a mystery to me, but I am so used to spelling word with that u that I won’t stop now…

The eccentricates get worse. For example, the word ‘read’. Did you pronounce that as in ‘red’ or ‘reed’? There are many words like that. ‘Bread’ and ‘bred’ sound exactly the same, but carry two rather different meanings! It’s no wonder we end up with words that aren’t really words, considering how off the wall English can be. I mean, look at my earlier use of new and hole. There are many contexts where you don’t want to be confusing those…

It makes you wonder how anyone ever actually learns this crazy language.

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