I’m going to begin this piece with an important public service announcement: “Irregardless” is not a word.
Webster will try to tell you that it’s cool to use it, but Webster is a liar. It contradicts itself. It doesn’t make sense. The word you’re looking for is “regardless,” and no, they shouldn’t just be used all willy-nilly to mean the same thing. In that vein, however, this travesty isn’t the only common language error we make on a daily basis.
Few things make my blood boil quite like “Game of Thrones” spoilers and the aforementioned crime against humanity, but I’m not immune to making common mistakes myself. For example, a “chaise lounge” is apparently not a thing…and I say that phrase every time I see what I believe to be a chaise lounge. More on that later. Here are a few more words and phrases that we all need to stop screwing up.
1. This might seem like a no-brainer, but in some circles, “ask” sounds a whole lot like “axe.” While that’s all well and fine for everyday conversation, maybe avoid telling interviewers that you need to axe them something so they don’t wonder why you’re going all Lizzie Borden for no reason.
2. Unless you’re George W. Bush, stop saying “nucular.” Sound it out.
3. A mainstay for people in meetings who think that making more words come out of their faces will make them sound more authoritative, the phrase “for all intents and purposes” is often confused with “for all intensive purposes,” which is not actually a real idiom.
4. Here’s one of which I am very, very guilty. While I’m over here saying “mischEEvious,” people who know how to say words pronounce it the right way, which is “MISHchivous.” Noted.
5. When it comes to adjusting or moving something, you shouldn’t “orientate” it, because that’s not a thing. The word you’re looking for is “orient.”
6. The guy who actually invented the gifs we all know and love says that we should say “jif,” but that’s for peanut butter. Every other human on this Earth says “gif” with a hard G, so let’s go with that.
7. If you’re like me, you see weird hybrids of chairs and couches and say, “That’s a great chaise lounge.” The only downside is that the chaise lounge that we’re familiar with has a made-up moniker that does nothing but make us sound fancy and French. “Chaise longue” is technically correct. If you asked the folks at Wayfair, though, they’d disagree.
8. If you went to your cousin’s wedding and later told them how much you enjoyed the “nuptuals,” you’d have sounded way more convincing if you’d said it properly. “Nupshels” will serve you better next time.
9. Please, for the love of all things holy, stop saying “expresso.” This will save you so much humiliation when you go to Italy and ask for coffee. Europeans don’t need another reason to mock us, friends.
10. I’ll be the first to admit that “excetera” really rolls off the tongue, but that’s because I don’t speak Latin. Pronounce it as it’s written and you’ll be golden.
We all make mistakes! That being said, it’s never a bad idea to right those pesky wrongs, especially since they can really come back to haunt us when we’re trying to win arguments and land our dream jobs.
Or you could take this route. Either one.