Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fun with Words Wednesdays

Today's post is an educational piece inspired by an animated luncheon discussion at Pangaea on Saturday regarding spelling and grammar. A parley of the following words occurred: werd, phat, irregardless.

But first: "Pangaea" (pronounced pan-gee-ahh)
1) Hypothetical super continent believed to have connected the landmasses of the southern hemisphere with those of the northern hemisphere over 250 million years ago
2) Acclaimed Yorkville restaurant where international inspiration and regional ingredients comes together to form a unique and wonderful dining concept.

Nothing gets in my craw quite like this word, which I was incensed to discover has been acknowledged by modern dictionaries even though it should be soundly barred. Unfortunately, even my old stand-by, Miriam-Webster, takes a rather weak stand against its use:

Irregardless originated in American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Despite the aforementioned transgression, I am please to report that neither of the following two "words" (and here I use THAT word loosely!) can be found in Miriam-Webster. For illumination, I defer to the on-line Urban Dictionary definitions of the words "phat" and "werd".

70 definitions; many quite amusing and well worth the visit! Some worth noting:

1) Cool

2) Pretty Hot and Tempting

3) Phat does mean Pretty Hot And Tempting, like the other definitions say. The problem with "phat" is that it is no longer in really. It has kind of phased out and is mostly used by wannabes, lowerclassmen in high school, or middle schoolers. It is now considered a slang faux pas. I wouldn't use it if I was you.

14 year old: "That's phat man."
22 year old: "Um, dude, that word got old in the late '90s"

4) A word used by white suburban kids who think they are gangster to describe something "cool"/stupid and used to describe how "gangsta"/gaudy their wigger friend's ricer is.

Me: No. It is insanely gaudy.

5) Means for men to call a woman fat without the consequences of death or severe pain.

Man1: Damn that girl is "phat"
Man2: Hell yea she is!
Woman: What the hell did you say!!!
Man1: umm well :thinking:were dead
Man2: Umm NO NO baby P H A T, pretty hot and tempting
Woman: Damn striaght
-woman leaves-
Man1: damn that was tight we didn't our asses kicked or nothing!

6) A stupid word. Stop using it.

This word has come to us via Ms. Firefly Knit who routinely confounds Mrs. Peeps with its use.
Although Urban Dictionary provides a number of explanations for the uninformed, Mrs. Peeps still can never decipher Ms. Firefly Knit's intentions, which is probably the point (that way, what she says cannot be used against her in a court of law or in a performance review, for example):

1) What you say to sound interested or to avoid talking to someone annoying.

Annoying person: Yo dawg wassup?
You: werd

2) Used in replacement for "oh" or "really" ; when surprised.

3) Used when something funny was heard.

4) Used when something is phat or really kool.

5) Used as a form of agreement.

6) Used as a form of contentment.

7) Also used as a greeting.

8) A general word used in no certain occasion.

Werd, indeed.


Celtic Knitter said...

I looked up irregardless in the Oxford Canadian Dictionary . .. which is stadard for most Canadian publications . . . it doesn't show up in there. Are you looking at American dictionaries? I hate that word too!

Not An Artist said...

I don't care if its in the dictionary, irregardless is still not a word. Regardless. And neither is 'preventative'.

But you did miss 'kewl'.

Yvette said...

I am totally with you on irregardless. Can you see the hair standing up on the back of my neck? I equally loathe "I could care less".
"It's couldn't!", I want to scream, "Couldn't, couldn't! Think about what you're saying before you open your mouth!"

Little Knitter said...

Werd homie. I dig it, yo.
Irregardless, that is not just wack, but whiggida wack.


Peace out.

sar said...

I can't decide if "irregardless" is fantabulous or craptacular.