Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

I don't want to look stupid, but irregardless I want to know

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:21 pm

Beg to differ, Braz; French does indeed do dem double don'ts (ne pas fumer, je ne sais rien = don't not smoke/I don't know nothing).

Neither ne nor rien is intrinsically negative. Ne is also found in contexts with such words as avant que: Je dois aller à la pharmacie avant qu'il ne fasse nuit and Je crains qu'il n'ait reçu la lettre qui révélait la vraie identité de son père. Rien could be found in Rien n'a été découvert qui le compromette. You'd get a double negative in French in Il ne sait pas rien.

It's not ne that makes something negative in French, it's pas, e.g. colloquial French, which gets rid of ne but retains pas to convey a negative idea: Je le connais pas.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby malachai » Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:48 am

"irregardless" is nonstandard English for "regardless". It is probably a blend of irrespective and regardless.

I don't think it makes sense to complain about it because it isn't logical - language is not logic - or because it is redundant - languages are redundant.
malachai
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:39 am

malachai wrote:"irregardless" is nonstandard English for "regardless". It is probably a blend of irrespective and regardless.

I don't think it makes sense to complain about it because it isn't logical - language is not logic - or because it is redundant - languages are redundant.


or irresponsible, irreplaceable, etc.

It's not a redundancy really, but a double negative -different other animal.

I think we protest because either:

a) it offends the plaintiff's logic (see Stargzer's multiplicative algorythm (sic) post above) and thus muddies the intended meaning (personally as a dedicated Arithmophobic I feel burdened to have to start adding up negatives to see what the final score was, multiply by the context, subtract the speaker's background and finally come up with nothing more certain than an educated guess, when all the while "regardless" could have been used (see also gaffers)).

or
b) it just aggravates the plaintiff that the speaker is not listening to him/herself (see also nuclear) yet expects the listener to do so.

Or both. it sounds (a) evasive, and (b) careless

I think my pet peeve of this type of abuse is <cringe> "I could care less", when intended to mean exactly the opposite :!: It does distract from the message when you have to pause the flow of thought to reverse the meaning of what you just heard.
War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery.
Thus irregardless is not unlikely considered...
what's not the unword?
Ah, not no: irresponsible.

Welcome a-Board Malachi! Don't be a strangler. :lol:

I'm thirsty but I have no "uncola". Do I have cola?
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby malachai » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:57 am

But do people say "I could care less" or "irregardless" when they intend the opposite? I don't think they do.

Some overnegation is confusing.
"Do you not believe that, through the act of immigration, our nation has not been anything if not improved?"

What does that mean? I don't know. But in contrast, "I could care less" and "irregardless" are obvious in their meaning.
malachai
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:16 pm

malachai wrote:But do people say "I could care less" or "irregardless" when they intend the opposite? I don't think they do.

Some overnegation is confusing.
"Do you not believe that, through the act of immigration, our nation has not been anything if not improved?"

What does that mean? I don't know. But in contrast, "I could care less" and "irregardless" are obvious in their meaning.


The contrasting examples above are equally equivocal to me.

I wish they didn't but people indeed do say "I could care less" meaning "I couldn't care less". I agree that its meaning is obvious but really, these speakers in question say one and mean the other. It's all over; I can't explain it but it really is there.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby malachai » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:31 pm

Do people really say "I could care less" when they mean "I couldn't care less"? Is it really their intention to convey the meaning that it is possible for them to care less about the thing in question?

No. They mean that it is impossible for them to care less. The literal meaning of "I could care less" means that it is possible to care less. But people who say "I could care less" obviously don't mean that.
malachai
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm

Postby Bailey » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:38 pm

was this rhetorical or are you asking a question, I was thinking maybe you are trying to tie up all the threads with expert explanations.

mark not-to-be-one-upped Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby malachai » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:43 pm

It was a rhetorical question.

I don't mean to tie up all the threads with expert explanations. I'm just talking about stuff that interests me!
malachai
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:47 pm

malachai wrote: The literal meaning of "I could care less" means that it is possible to care less. But people who say "I could care less" obviously don't mean that.


Which was exactly my point. Cheers!

PS thanks Malachi for stirring up the dust of Chaos around here. Stimulating :)
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby malachai » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:52 pm

sluggo wrote:
malachai wrote: The literal meaning of "I could care less" means that it is possible to care less. But people who say "I could care less" obviously don't mean that.


Which was exactly my point. Cheers!

PS thanks Malachi for stirring up the dust of Chaos around here. Stimulating :)


You're welcome!

But I feel that we're coming at this from very different angles. People who say "I could care less" obviously don't mean that literally. Therefore, "I could care less" is an idiom whose meaning is different from its literal meaning.

In other words, everyone knows what is meant by "I could care less." I don't see why there is confusion.
malachai
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm

Postby Bailey » Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:11 pm

malachai wrote:It was a rhetorical question.

I don't mean to tie up all the threads with expert explanations. I'm just talking about stuff that interests me!

Then please accept my abject apologies, we do, from time to time get agitators and I'm so glad you are not one. I just want to stay on an even keel but- I love a good fight too.

mark doesn't-know-whatinthehek-he-wants Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby Bailey » Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:16 pm

malachai wrote:Do people really say "I could care less" when they mean "I couldn't care less"? Is it really their intention to convey the meaning that it is possible for them to care less about the thing in question?

I think the answer's obvious here, in my opinion due to the vast (or is it just half-vast?) numbers of people I've met I believe it's because most people live completely unconscious lives, they have no idea they are saying the exact opposite of what they mean.

No. They mean that it is impossible for them to care less. The literal meaning of "I could care less" means that it is possible to care less. But people who say "I could care less" obviously don't mean that.

as I said I disaggree.
mark just-do-it Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby sluggo » Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:47 pm

malachai wrote:I don't mean to tie up all the threads with expert explanations...


Don't worry -you're not :D

Thanks for clearing that up, Bailey. I started to wonder whether I was indeed stating the obvious.
Last edited by sluggo on Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby gailr » Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:58 pm

Bailey wrote:I think the answer's obvious here, in my opinion due to the vast (or is it just half-vast?) numbers of people I've met I believe it's because most people live completely unconscious lives, they have no idea they are saying the exact opposite of what they mean.

I agree with Bailey about the unconscious state of the half-vast population. :)

Pet peeves about language misuse have a common denominator: speakers who do not apply any thought to what they are saying and instead just regurgitate previously heard ideas or phrases. (Like Orwell's duckspeak in which the brain is disconnected from the mouth.)

Mistakes such as "irregardless" and "I could care less" are legion. But they persist due to a combination of ignorance and carelessness.

-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby skinem » Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:28 pm

Mistakes such as "irregardless" and "I could care less" are legion. But they persist due to a combination of ignorance and carelessness.


Amen! (It being Sunday and all...)
It's a pet peeve of mine when people do use imprecise language. I'm guilty enough of it and I generally do pay attention.

Why does it persist? I don't know and I don't care.
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

PreviousNext

Return to Etymology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest