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Today we’re entering our time capsule, traveling back to 1975. I won’t ask you to scrounge in your closet to find those old hot pants, or that three-piece polyester suit that was so “au courant” back then – what inspired me today was the song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen, released in 1975.

One of my favorite covers of that classic comes from the Muppets, who performed their own “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Remember the start, with the chickens and Gonzo whispering “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” It was a hoot!

Today’s grammar conundrum involves a word that people use incorrectly to mean that something doesn’t matter.

Irregardless.

Actually, that’s not a word. It’s a mix of two words: “regardless” and “irrespective.”

The dictionary defines “regardless” as an adjective and an adverb, both generally meaning “in spite of everything,” or “careless of the consequences.” Like this:

Regardless of the fact that Zilpha disdained his efforts, Melvin continued inviting her to the Pigeon Club’s monthly meeting.

Closely related to “regardless” is “irrespective,” which means “without regard to something else.” Like this:

Irrespective of Clarice’s requests, Horton continued wearing his sombrero to bed at night.

In both instances, something is happening without regard to another event, or without regard to possible consequences, especially in Horton’s case.

It isn’t as bad as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” where the singer is on the floor in a heap at the end of the song, moaning “nothing really matters…to meeeee,” but there is a disregard for future events in our examples.

Just remember – there is no “irregardless,” regardless of what anyone says!

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