Quote: Originally Posted by LadyC
I used irregardless on purpose - I was going to post it, but the Rev beat me to it.
(that's why I put it in italics.)
I suspected as much, but it's not always easy to be sure without the nuances of body language and tone of voice. Gotta be so careful when all you have is the words and a few emoticons to convey your meaning.
As for the meanings of "despite" and "in spite of," I checked three dictionaries before posting my remarks about them, and they all agreed with me. I'm no language Nazi though, meanings evolve, words and idioms don't generally have fixed and immutably precise meanings, and dictionaries aren't always current on usage in the real world. Words and phrases mean whatever people agree they mean. Gay used to be more or less synonymous with happy, for instance, and that's a major shift of a word's meaning within my lifetime. Similarly, "hopefully" seems to have shifted from meaning "with hope" to "I/we hope."
I think real language is defined by how people speak it and understand it on the street, not by what some dictionary says. Dictionaries just freeze it at a particular moment. Maybe we're seeing another shift in meaning with despite and in spite of, so I can't say you were taught wrongly, you were just taught something different from what I was taught and from what my dictionaries say. But I'm probably older than you, frozen in a different moment...
Language is so fluid it's a wonder we can have meaningful exchanges at all sometimes.