3 Everyday Words That Are Actually Incorrect
English is certainly a complex language. It’s filled with homographs (words that have the same spelling but differ in meaning and sometimes pronunciation) and homophones (words that sound the same yet differ in meaning and sometimes spelling), and that’s just the start. In some cases, we can’t even agree on whether or not a word is actually a word! Take a look at the examples below and see what you think about their validity.
Though it is most frequently used as a synonym for its root word thaw, when dissected correctly the technical definition of unthaw is “to freeze” or “not thawed.” In American English, it is defined both ways, depending on the dictionary you consult, and in some cases it’s not included as a word at all.
Though it does appear in some dictionaries, this nonstandard version of the word regardless is technically incorrect. Since the word regardless means what the speaker actually wants to say – “without regard” – it is the correct word choice. Tacking the prefix ir, which means “not,” onto the beginning of the word transforms it into a self-contained double negative whose literal definition is “not without regard.”
Although a dictionary definition is hard to come by, Heather Sanders argues in a post for The Pioneer Woman that supposably supposedly is a word in American English but not in British English. She’s not alone. Several blog authors defend the word’s legitimacy, stating that it means “conceivable” or “arguably.”
So, what’s the best way to sound smart in conversation? Just pick a different word! If these questionable terms are part of your daily vocabulary, find an alternative and make a habit of using it.