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Words That Aren't Words

June 6, 2018

People like to be right.

 

 

At least, I know I do. But with the English language being as it is, everyone occasionally has a grammar goof or sentence slip-up. The other day, instead of exclude, I said the word disclude.

 

Now, there is certainly an argument that if it can be spelled and spoken, it’s a word, but as far as a recognized word, disclude isn’t one of them. So that got me thinking, what other words aren’t “real,” but are commonly used? There are many, but here are some of my favorites.

 

 

 

Irregardless

This is one of the most commonly used non-words. The correct version is “regardless,” meaning without regard, uncaring. While it does appear in some dictionaries, you’ll see it labeled as nonstandard, so it’s best to avoid this word.

 

Conversate

With the volume of different languages that have fed into English, it’s easy to understand how people get it wrong when turning a noun into a verb. When you have a conversation (noun) you are conversing with them, not conversating with them.

 

Misunderestimate

Mistakenly said by former president George W Bush during a formal speech, this word is not recognized as legitimate. The main problem here? Underestimate means you already got it wrong, when you add “mis” to it, they cancel out meaning you are really just estimating.

 

Alot

This is also a very common mistake in spelling. Alot is actually two words and should be written as such. After all, you wouldn’t say alittle, would you?

 

Unthaw

Like Misunderestimate, unthaw adds a negative that cancels out the original meaning of the word. If to thaw something is to melt it, to un-thaw something would mean freezing it again.

 

Anyways

This adverb is simply a product of people wanting to make things more complicated than they need to be. The real word is “anyway.” Adding an “s” on the end does nothing to change the definition and looks silly to boot.

 

Snuck

Yet again, another verb falls prey to poor conjugation. Snuck is supposedly the past tense of sneak, but nowhere in the English language does a verb ending in “eak” change to “uck.” The correct past tense is “sneaked.”

 

 

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