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Keith Shetterly

Keith Shetterly Owner

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Irregardless, the Copacetic Analyzation of, Like, Per Se is &@#%!

Want to make more sales or maybe just sound smarter?  Then learn which words make lots of people--from your peers, to your bosses, to your CUSTOMERS--cringe.  Spoken or written, these words lose you sales!


Irregardless.  It's a common word now that is most often misused as a synonym for "regardless"--and it is not.  It's a double negative of "regardless"--instead of meaning "in NO regard" to something, like "regardless", it means "NOT in NO regard" to something, or actually then IN REGARD to something!  So, saying "Regardless of the high interest rate, you got a new car!" is not the same as "Irregardless of the high interest rate, you got a new car!"  The first sentence says to the customer that he or she is getting a new car and just ingore the minor pain of the interest--the second sentence says the customer got a new car AND the interest rate is painful.

The Fix: Just use the proper word "regardless" whenever you would say "irregardless", and you will be correct!  However, if you are mentally stuck needing an "ir-" word for what you mean by improperly using "irregardless", then properly use "irrespective"--which is an "ir-" word that actually has the same meaning as "regardless".  And is a likely culprit for the historical slip-up that led to the modern mis-use of "irregardless"!

Footnote:  Yes, despite claims to the contrary, "irregardless" is a word accepted even by Merriam-Webster now.  It's the way it is used as a synonym for "regardless" that is wrong!  Which is why many grammar/spell-checks alert on it.


Copacetic.  It's a word.  And it may sound to you like it comes from some education--however, the very origin of the word is not clear.  It means "very satisfactory", but it shows up quite often as a synonym for (of all things) the common (but also of mysterious origin) word "okay".  As in "Are we copacetic?", "Things here are copacetic.", "We're all very copacetic.", and so on.  Is it a word much seen in educated speech?  No.  It sounds, perhaps, lofty and powerful, and someone using it often blazes out with "copacetic" like it's a code word for the phrase "smart folks like me will know this word".  

The Fix: Just use "okay" instead!  Or be specific, when it makes sense, as in "Are we selling enough GMCs?" or "Is the department morale good today?"


Analyzation.  You mean "analysis", don't you?  Yes.  "Analyzation" is, again, a real word to Merriam-Webster, though even as I type it the grammar/spell-check of this site alerts on it.  It's a really pompous and uneducated-sounding way to say "analysis".  So . . .

The Fix:  Just learn to always use "analysis" instead.  This one's not that hard.


Per se ("per say").  Ugh.  It's a latin phrase for "in itself" and is sometimes defined as "as much".  And it's the one phrase that get's littered across some conversation almost as much as the word "like" (see next entry), as in "Well, I'm not saying, per se, that you stole my customer.  Or that, per se, you're a snake.   However, you did, per se, end up with a commission on a $6,000 gross that you didn't, per se, share with me."  Even if you read that sentence back and mentally substitute "in itself" or "as much" for "per se", you'll understand that this is just speech that only sounds irritating, not educated.  

The Fix.  Stop saying it.  Period.  Ever.  You'll feel better.  And soon laugh at anybody you hear saying the phrase.  As it is almost as irritating as . . .


Like.  "Oh. My. God. Like. Totally..."  The use of "like" as an idiotic-sounding "bonding pause" in speech has a long, long history, as in "Yeah, like, I was, like, going to, like, the store, and, like, my Mom, like, wouldn't, like, give me any money!"  So, it's been around the speech of teens for decades. And it's use this way is, hands down, the most obnoxious mis-use + over-use of any non-profane word I can think of in the English language!  Luckily, many teens grow out of the need for it.  However, some job applicants are headed to a sales floor near you, still in their early twenties, using it.  Or maybe you use it yourself.

The Fix: ABSOLUTELY STOP!  This mis-use + over-use of "like" has been scientifically demonstrated to melt the brains of lab mice, stop the hearts of anyone over 40, and absolutely and totally end the career of anyone in sales.


&@#%! (Profanity).  Don't use it.  At least not to sound professional.  And certainly not in sales.

The Fix:  You know what to do.


Now, everybody, either &@#%! go forth and copacetic-ally perform some, like, analyzation of, like, your professional usage of English.


Or instead just remember this article . . . per se.  :)

by Keith Shetterly,

Copyright 2011,

All Rights Reserved 

Bryan Armstrong
Hilarious and timeful. Thanks.
Tommy Bay
Brilliantly put. I actually clicked on this article to leave a comment about how 'irregardless' is not a real word, and to my delight I found that there was no need. Thanks for taking a grammatical stand for good! Not only sales people, but ALL people would do well to give these suggestions some, like, serious thought.
Keith Shetterly
Thanks Tommy and Bryan!

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