Is it a word?
The English language is complicated, to say the least, and sometimes the rules just don’t make any sense. Especially with texting being such a staple in today’s communication, abbreviations, contractions and other words that just don’t sound as if they possibly could be considered legitimate have become English language staples and have even been added to our dictionary. English is wacky so we’ve compiled a list of words that people don’t believe are actually real, but have been declared authentic by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
First things first: Why would anyone still say firstly instead of first? Ordinal numbers such as first, second, and third serve as both adjectives and adverbs, making the adverbs firstly, secondly, and thirdly redundant. While most grammarians agree would say that firstly is considered “inferior” to first, it is a word that people use, even if the best example given in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary – “Firstly, gather all the ingredients together” – sounds a bit awkward.
Merriam-Webster says “the most frequently repeated remark about irregardless is that ‘there is no such word.’ There is such a word, however.” It has been used (mistakenly) in place of regardless since the early 1900s and has now been admitted into dictionaries. So even though it is a word, irregardless is still far from being widely accepted. And judging by the scorn it receives online, it won’t be widely accepted anytime soon. Merriam-Webster’s advice: “Use regardless instead.”