The words origin is unclear, but its probably a hybrid of regardless and irrespective—an attempt to sound educated but an ultimate failure. Irregardless, the word has been around for quite a while, first appearing as far back as 1795. 7 Its one of the more controversial words in our language, and despite much insistence to the contrary, it is in fact a word with its own entry and everything. Like hopefully, though, the meaning of irregardless doesnt follow literally. The ir- and -less both mean the same thing, forming a kind of redundant double negative that should technically mean the opposite of what is intended. Chances are, if it ever gains acceptance as anything other than nonstandard, it would be idiomatic. It wouldnt be the first time that a word or phrase becomes figurative due to a linguistic misunderstanding. (see also i could care less, another linguistic irritant thats hazlitt gained traction over the years.) 3 Peruse This word frequently appears on lists of words youre probably using incorrectly, but theres more to the story than that. Like literally, peruse is host to a controversial double meaning due to common misuse.
The reason for the controversy is that the meaning of hopefully, when used as a sentence adverb, cant be directly understood from the sentence. 6 Hopefully does not translate to it is hopeful that. Hopefully instead modifies an implied subject, translating to i hope that or we hope that. However, this argument against the word has always been tenuous. Words like sadly or thankfully work the same way, with the meaning simply implied from the context. Despite their similar construction, nobody bats an eye at their use, possibly because hopefully in its new sense is such a recent inclusion while words like sadly predate it by quite a long time. 4 Irregardless Defending this word is certainly not a popular thing. Any writer who did so would surely have to issue this type of disclaimer: Im sorry in advance. Please dont send a lynch mob after my family, and essay please keep the comment section civil.
Its alright to use the word, though, but only for those who like to live dangerously. It may not be standard now, but there is a push to make. 5 Hopefully The most common meaning of this word slipped into the English language somewhat quietly. At one point, the word referred to an action that was done in a hopeful manner. A person could look on a situation hopefully or look at the sky hopefully. But they could not say, hopefully, this situation will end favorably for. Surprisingly, the change to the word was first documented as late as the 1960s. But even though ap style finally accepted the word in this sense, a select few still hold onto the idea that it isnt correct.
Smart words to use in an essay
Literally everybody in the English-speaking world knows what it means, and theres not much reason to guilt people for using. Its doubtful that it will ever lose its stigma in formal circles, though. 6 Alright The most common educated action when presented with this word unemployment is to mark it with a red pen and tell the writer to update their spell-check. But interestingly, this spelling has some backing, even though more formal circles will slap a writer on the wrist for using. The combination of the words all and right into a compound word has been done throughout history.
Even in Old English, we had the compound phrase eallriht. One of the most popular songs by The Who is The kids Are Alright, and authors like james joyce used the word, too. Despite its history of use, the reading of this word often registers a scowl on the face of editors, as many people hate the word. 5 Using the word alright in writing is an act of rebellion. Theres simply no need for two words that serve basically the same function, they would say.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Despite its addition to the dictionary, literally, as used in a figurative sense, is still not standard English. It would be a bad idea to include that usage in a dissertation, but only those who enforce standard English on the general population would correct you for using literally in a casual environment. 7 Aint This list wouldnt be complete without the word aint, even if it is fairly common information that aint very much is a word. What is less common information is that aint has been in dictionaries for over 250 years, albeit as slang, and became a proper, non-slang (but still nonstandard) word in 1993.
So the old adage, aint aint a word and i aint gonna say it isnt entirely accurate. Actually, aint evolved from an earlier contraction, ant or amnt. For a good portion of English history, the word was used unironically, even by writers like tennyson and Swift. 4 Then the word took on too many uses, also representing is not and then has not. After that, a wave of prescriptivists of the 18th and 19th centuries—people who promoted certain grammatical practices while discouraging others—decided that aint had become an abomination, a sort of chimera. These groups of people are also part of the reason that contractions, in general, are discouraged in essays and more formal writing. Today, aint is an acceptable informal word.
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Some who use this word have essay a verbal tick, as in I literally cant even right now. For others, its a form of hyperbole, as in I feel literally on top of the world right now. But whatever the case, literally should never be used to convey anything except an entirely, unquestionably, literally true claim. Or that would have been true six years ago, anyway. The word literally was used so often in a figurative sense that the Oxford English Dictionary literally added that definition 3 in 2011. What naysayers of this sense of the word may find interesting is that literally has been used as a figure of speech for over 250 years. Even Mark Twain used the word in its more cringeworthy sense.
It could be thought of as an endearing or affectionate term. But this word can also cause a bit of a cultural clash. Its often used negatively to refer to somebody who is disagreeable, stubborn, or easily upset. There are several examples spread out over the Internets existence of people discovering the words true meaning and then going on forums and other house discussion sites to talk about their experiences, like here. 2, although major dictionaries dont define this alternate use of the word, some sites, like wiktionary,. Wiktionary isnt the most credible authority on any subject, though, so it may be a while before we see the popular regional variant of ornery officially recognized. 8 Literally, the misuse of this word is a common complaint.
be correct. And Linnaeus himself used the plural octopodes, even while clearly understanding polypi to be the plural formed from the original word. It seems no matter which plural form you take, somebody, somewhere, will think to correct you for. 9 Ornery, the word ornery is a different beast. Despite being quite difficult to spell, it isnt a word that has accepted an unconventional spelling and the pronunciation differences are quite insignificant. Instead, this is a word that has taken on a different, regional definition that isnt listed in most dictionaries. When using this word, many people from the south or Midwest in the United States imagine that theyre describing a rowdy or mischievous child.
Here are 10 controversial words that might not be as wrong as you think. 10 Octopi, its a common thought—and even a common teaching—that this word is correct. Theres a historical reason for that. But the most correct plural is not really octopi or octopodes as some socially inclined grammarians, who dont understand that etymologies are not good small talk, would tell you. The most correct plural of octopus is actually octopuses. This is because the word octopus is not Latin, so the correct plural isnt octopi. The word isnt Greek either, though, so it isnt octopodes. The word octopus is actually a relatively recent Latinized Greek word 1 and writing was coined by carl Linnaeus, the man we call the father of taxonomy (the fancy animal-naming system in the 1700s. Given that somewhat mixed origin, its far safer to use the standard English system of pluralization rather than turn to the Greek or Latin.
Smart words to use in essays
Some of these words might make you beet red. But are the people who use them always misinformed, or is there more to the story? Whether we like it or not, the English japanese language is changing and will continue to change. Even though it developed from a language that had a great many rules—German grammar is a tedious thing—weve all but done away with many of them for the sake of convenience. Sometimes, we add rules about how a word should behave—what it means, how to make it plural—only to have that word change entirely. But languages are defined by their speakers. So no matter how wrong the new change might seem, we just have to grin and bear. Or argue to the ends of the earth to stand on the side of correctness. This might seem a little vague, so well look at some examples.