A lot of academics won’t use Irregardless.ly because they see any style guide, even a crowd-sourced one, as prescriptive.
I love Strunk & White. Discouraging pretense is by definition unpretentious, and using as few words as possible to convey your meaning shows respect to your reader. I hope Irregardless.ly users will fight wordiness and jargon so as to make our language more accessible.
Irregardless.ly is a place not just to catch redundancies and clichés but to alert authors to phrases like “snail mail” that are unwittingly offensive. Our tool can help new immigrants catch unidiomatic phrases or help someone understand a contract by asking their lawyer to run it through our Legal Jargon Killer.
Tips on Irregardless.ly are no more than suggestions. You won’t find any “replace all” button when you check your writing, so you’ll have to decide whether you agree with each tip triggered by your document.
No matter your position on prescriptivism, here’s a clinical basis for Irregardless.ly, quoting Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman in Thinking Fast and Slow:
“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do… couching familiar ideas in pretentious language is taken as a sign of poor intelligence and low credibility.”
Tips on Irregardless.ly should help to reveal your intelligence and credibility by pointing out where your writing could be simpler and clearer. Give the tool a spin and let me know how it can be improved!