Monday, August 15, 2011

Regiment, regimen, regime, regimental

I just started using Twitter. And let me just advise you that if you find the grammar, syntax, and spelling on Facebook (and various blogs) to be preposterous, you will find Twitter that much more so. Here's the tweet in question:
See, now, I can't retweet that because, there really is no such thing as a workout regiment.
THIS is a regiment.
What he really meant to write was regimen. Wikipedia defines it nicely.
regimen is a plan, a regulated course such as a dietexercise or medical treatment, designed to give a positive result. A low-salt diet is a regimen. A course of penicillin is a regimen.
I've also heard the expression, "workout regime." Nuh-uh. It is not a thing. I won't let it happen. Most often, the word regime is used in reference to a political structure that kicks humanitarian rights in the teeth. Wikipedia does give other uses for the word, but, trust me on this, none of them has to do with improving your physique.

This is a picture showing the results of a totalitarian regime in Uganda.
I've never heard anyone use the word "regime" in a positive sense.
As in, "He wielded gentle justice in his kindhearted regime."
Now, just to leave you smiling, I include this picture of someone "going regimental" in a kilt.
In this context, it means according to the rules of the regiment.I have not asked, nor have I checked, so I do not know,
whether Steve went regimental when he wore his kilt.

[I was going to write that he was going sansculottes, but learned that this word has all sorts of overtones and implications, though its literal translation is "without pants."]

[And, no, I did NOT write this entire post, just so I could use that last picture.]


  1. One should never ask a Scotsman if he is regimental. Too personal and too likely to offend. Like asking a large woman if she is pregnant.

  2. I think many Englishmen would disagree with you... they often say workout regime -- it's a well-accepted term... :)

  3. I will admit that I've heard "exercise regime" before. But if I'd admitted that, it would've ruined my whole snooty, curmudgeonly better-than-thou tone. :)


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