Word Smiths

Yesterday, Mr. Rochester and his sister K got into an email battle over the existence of three words. K insisted that while “undesired” was a word “undesire” was not. Mr. Rochester believed “undesire” was not a word but that “indesire” was a word. Then, he proceeded to throw “irregardless” into the mix. At this point, knowing my penchant for fun words and word games, Mr. R copied me into the email so that I, being the librarian goddess that I am, could resolve the argument. After this point, all hilarity ensued. This is what I initially found:

According to the OED (the Oxford English Dictionary for the uninitiated):

Irregardless can be an adjective or an adverb and is the non-standard use of the word regardless used mainly in North America. So basically, this is another word we Americans have bastardized. It is still a word.

Undesire is also a word. It can be a noun, first appearing in 1880, or a verb, appearing in 1395. So this also turned out to be an actual word.

Now for the good part. According to the OED, which in my mind equals god of the English language, “indesire” does not exist.

I broke the news to Mr. Rochester that he was wrong, an incident which rarely occurs, which I, as his loving partner, lorded over him. He pouted and asserted that he was right anyway and I could take my “nancy-boy” dictionary and…….you know. I checked Merriam-Webster Online and it did not exist there either, so I called him a “magnificent pouf”.

Unfortunately, later in the afternoon, a coworker, hearing my retelling of the argument, amid much gloating, looked “indesire” up on Dictionary.com. He says he found it but today I can not locate the word. I appear to still be the victor. Besides, even if I had found it in some online dictionary, I would not admit defeat unless the source were actually something that could stand up to the OED.

Really, Mr. R should know better than to challenge me regarding diction and the English language.

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