I shudder inside when people use language incorrectly. I’m sure I use words incorrectly but since I don’t know that I’m using them incorrectly I get a free pass. Sometimes ignorance is the best defense.

Irregardless: my list of words/phrases that make me shudder.

  1. irregardless
  2. aks
  3. less instead of fewer
  4. hopefully
  5. effect for affect
  6. impact for affect
  7. impact for effect
  8. shutter for shudder

Let’s discuss…

  1. irregardless. there’s no such word. fun to use among others who understand that it’s not a word.
  2. aks. ditto
    1. less things can’t be counted individually
      1. “don’t take less than 10 trojans to parumph” is a no-no.
      2. “you’ll have less fun if you don’t take enough trojans to parumph” is correct (and true)
    2. fewer things are counted one by one
      1. “don’t take fewer than 10 trojans to parumph”
    3. you will go nuts when dealing with money and time
      1. i have less than 500 dollars is correct
        1. i have less than 500 dollars is incorrect if you’re speaking of the actual dollar bills.
      2. i have less than 500 dollar bills is not correct.
      3. i have fewer than 500 dollars is incorrect
        1. i have fewer than 500 dollars is correct if you’re speaking of the actual dollar bills.
      4. i have fewer than 500 dollar bills is correct.
      5. it’s similar when speaking of time.
      6. if you’re not sure which to use, phlebologist apply it to each instance and the one that sounds correcter probably is.
  3. hopefully is often confused with hopeful or full of hope. most pedants on the internets agree that the battle for hopefully has been lost.
    1. this is how it’s often used:
      1. hopefully, disinfection google will hit 1000/share within the next couple of months.
    2. what’s meant is:
      1. “i’m hopeful that google hits 1000/share…” or “i hope google hits 1000/share…”
    3. hopefully can be used correctly and incorrectly in the same sentence. consider:
      1. hopefully, i’m going to the meeting tomorrow.
        1. one means to say
          1. “It’s possible i have a meeting tomorrow and i hope it comes through.”
        1. but one is actually saying
          1. “i will be going to the meeting tomorrow full of hope that they greenlight ski school 3 through 10”.
        1. so “hopefully, i’m reading for the part of dysart in the corey haim production of equus’ is correct if you mean you are auditioning for dr. dysart.
      1. my brain hurts
  4. affect/effect will rip your brain out. the general, easy method to remember is that
    1. affect is to do
      1. not brushing will affect my breath
    2. effect is to have done
      1. the effect of not brushing was my crappy breath
  5. impact in place of affect and effect looks like it’s a lost battle as well. i think it’s because talk show hosts can’t remember the affect/effect difference and impact has replaced them. the verb impact means hit the noun means a collision . an impact does affect what it impacts, but that must means it had an effect, not that it had an impact. make sense? you hear me, cnn?
  6. a shudder is your reaction when the cat lady upstairs doesn’t close her shutters at night.

by the way, capitalization is for suckers. i capitalize when i feel like it, okay?