6 Words Made Up by Stupid People (We Should Learn to Accept)

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 ...

#6. Irregardless

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?"

#5. Misunderestimate

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."

#4. 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."

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Robert Brockway

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