A few people have been bugging me lately by mistreating the English language, and I thought I might get my frustration out and clear the air about a few myths at the same time. The following are a few phrases and oft-used words which shouldn’t be so oft-used at all.
1. The saying is “for all intents and purposes,” NOT “for all intensive purposes.” You can check out Wiki Answers on this if you don’t believe me, but it’s an old legal saying from English law. It is used to compare two different acts, such as “He just asked me to sign the divorce papers, which for all intents and purposes means our marriage will soon be over.” You can think of it as “for all practical purposes” or “in effect.”
2. Irregardless is a word. That’s right, I said it – according to the Merriam Websiter online dictionary, irregardless is a word, just not a very good one. A nonstandard form of the more proper “regardless,” “irregardless” originated in the early 1900s and is still popular today. Most people will correct you if use it in a sentence because it is basically a synonym of “regardless,” which is the preferred spelling.
3. You do well; Superman does good. When someone asks you, “How are you doing?” don’t answer them with “I’m doing good,” instead say “I’m doing well.” Unless, of course, you happen to be foiling a bank heist when they ask you. The difference is you (as a person) can do something well, but things (inanimate objects) are good. The notable exception is Superman, who “does good,” meaning he is performing acts of goodwill.
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