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Language is an evolving beast. What's incorrect today may very well be correct tomorrow if it falls into common usage. I know, I know: You can't stand people who use words wrong, or worse, make up words completely. But it is the way of progress, and arguing against it is pointless. Yet some of these stupid neologisms stand poised to take over existing words: Just look at what that uncultured heathen, "ain't," did to our beautiful "amn't."

We cannot let this happen. But we also cannot stop stupid words and phrases from existing. So we must do the only thing we can: We have to accept this idiot speech but alter its intended meaning enough so that we can still use the originals. Here, let me show you what I mean ...


What People Think It Means

"Regardless." As in, "Regardless of your good work here, Gary, you're not allowed to use the copier to counterfeit arcade prize tickets."

But "irregardless" can't take the place of "regardless"! "Ir-" is already a negating prefix, as in "irrespective" or "irrelevant." And because "-less" is also a negative suffix, "irregardless" is a paradox. Using it would technically mean that you actually have regard for something -- in which case you can just say you fuckin' regard that shit!

What It Should Mean

"Regardless" is most often used in modern conversation to cede a minor point while simultaneously dismissing it. As in, "It's true, Gary, you could probably take the Funland security guards. But regardless, you're still using company property to defraud a nickel arcade."

"No, Gary, I don't think Billy is 'rubbing it in your face' -- I think he just really wants that skull ring."

Let's let "irregardless" officially take over that one specific use of "regardless."

Irregardless: When you do actually have regard for the subject matter but you just don't want to talk about it with that person anymore.

"Yes, I do admire the works of Godwin, Gary. But irregardless of anarchic philosophy, let's at least put on some pants, OK?"


What People Think It Means

"Misestimate." "To estimate something incorrectly." As in, "It would indeed have been a sweet jump, Gary, but it appears you misestimated the distance and inadvertently landed your Corvette in the break room."

But we not only already have "misestimate" for general incorrectness, we also have "underestimate" and "overestimate" to further specify just how fucked one's general estimation skills have become. The Estimate Pool is full up. You have misunderestimated the amount of room in the Estimate Pool.

What It Should Mean

Misunderestimate: To underestimate the completely wrong thing.

As in, "Jim was watching out for Greg the whole time, but he misunderestimated the threat. Stacy from accounting was actually trying to warn him about Gary, who is currently hiding in Jim's cubicle with a steak knife."

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In Good Conscious

What People Think It Means

"In good conscience." As in, "I cannot, in good conscience, allow you to drink all that copy toner, Gary."

It's a weird mistake, because people are confusing sort-of sound-alike words -- "conscious" is not a homophone of "conscience," exactly, but it's close. A honophone?

What It Should Mean

In good conscious: Something you cannot do unless you're drunk, high, or otherwise inebriated.

As in, "I cannot, in good conscious, do anal," or "I cannot, in good conscious, attend this One Direction concert with you," or "I cannot, in good conscious, authorize company funds for 'a ho-run to TJ,' Gary."

That doesn't mean "No!" It just means "Slip some crank into my coffee and we'll talk about it later."


What People Think It Means

Nothing. It's not a word ... yet. But if you'll allow me to break premise a little, I think all of humanity will hail what we have done here today as the stuff of heroes. A munt is when you try to choose between two synonyms and end up jamming them together into a portmanteau of failure. "Munt" isn't necessarily your word for this behavior, it's mine: For some reason, trying to decide between saying "I might go" and "I'm not sure if I'll go" converges two alternate universes into one stupid timeline where I end up saying "I munt go."

So let's just make the fucking thing a word already, OK?

What It Should Mean

Munt: To be faced with two decisions and, by not acting or acting incorrectly, ruin both.

"... then Becky said I had to decide, so I grabbed Debra by the ankles and started swinging her around like a mace, and man, I really made a munt out of this one."

Every episode of Three's Company revolves around a munt. As in, "I was dating Donna and Kelly, and I really liked both of them, but I couldn't commit. Then they ran into each other at a supermarket, and now ... well, anyway, the whole thing's a munt, so here's your shovel back. Just promise to never dig up your backyard. See you at the office tomorrow, Jimmy boy!"

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What People Think It Means

"Good" or "merciful." The opposite of "ruthless."

But "merciless" serves the exact same function as "ruthless," and it's far more common. Both words are meant to signify people with little to no compassion. And what do we call those people? No, not sociopaths.

We call them Gary.

What It Should Mean

Fuck it. We should just accept the implications of "ruthfull" -- that there is such a thing as a "ruth."

Ruth: An insubstantial measure of goodness or patience.

So named for Ruth Goodsman, the first person to ever be good. Before her, everybody was just fuckholes 24/7.

If one is ruthfull, one has a lot of ruth. Say you start your day with just a surplus of ruths -- like, twelve; twelve entire goddamn ruths -- and you're in such a good place that you feel you can take on whatever is thrown at you. But then your day goes to crap, and you start burning up ruths. That fucker, Jim, asked you to put headphones on if you're going to watch porn on your work computer. That was one ruth. You didn't bash your manager's head in when he told you, "Irregardless of your car exploding, you can't be seven hours late for work." Took about three ruths just to restrain yourself. Now the day is over, and you are friggin' ruthless. You are out of ruths.

The next guy who fucks with you is getting logjammed by a whiskey bottle -- which stupid Stacy said you're not even allowed to have in your desk!

You are operating on negative ruths here.


What People Think It Means

"Supposedly," or "supposing that this is true." As in, "Supposedly they keep Gary around because he's such a good worker, but I'm pretty sure he outsources all his filing to a team of Indian dudes. Just yesterday I caught him yelling at the phone in Hindi!"

What It Should Mean

Supposably: When you are absolutely sure somebody is lying, but it's easier to pretend to believe them, rather than call them out on it.

As in, "I get that you're having a rough time, Gary. Supposably your car exploded on the way to work -- which is weird, because you told me it exploded last week and that you 'bought a horse to make sure it doesn't happen again' -- but that does not excuse you giving Jim a 'Tennessee Enema' in the supply closet!"

Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

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