If you are like most of my colleagues, the title of this piece had you grinding your teeth. In the hopes that you might consider me a credible source and continue reading, allow me to state that I know the term "irregardless" is generally considered incorrect, convention saying that the correct term, "regardless," sufficiently conveys the same meaning. I recently shocked CEO, Mike Graham, by telling him that irregardless is now acceptable. Well, admittedly, I did not actually say that it is acceptable, but that I had been reading a book, Words on the Move, in which the author, John McWhorter, makes the case (and I am paraphrasing) that the English language is constantly changing, and words like irregardless may eventually make their way into the realm of acceptable speech, even in formal settings. His point (again, in my words) is that the function of language is to communicate, and the words we use should be judged on their ability to serve that function; if they enable us to understand each other clearly, then we have no other reason to judge any particular word as "good," "bad," "right," or "wrong." (For a much more in-depth and intelligent discussion of Words on the Move, please see this New York Times review by another writer whose work I greatly appreciate, Lynne Truss).