Facebook is irrelevant

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Serious dude

Member
Arabic
Does the word irrelevant also mean unimportant? I have noticed that this word means "not related to the subject", but I have just found this website. Here's it:
Urban Dictionary: Irrelevant

But I didn't find that meaning in any other dictionary, so is the following sentence correct?

Facebook is irrelevant(Facebook is not important and useless)



[The thread title has been edited to include only the original phrase instead of a single word and your attempt at an interpretation. Kindly remember this for future threads. Lauranazario- moderator]
 
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  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Absolutely not. Never, ever, rely on Urban Dictionary.

    The answer to your question should be obvious.

    Facebook might be irrelevant to what you're having for lunch, but could anyone argue that a site with two billion users is "unimportant?":cool:
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The literal meaning of "irrelevant" is "unrelated to the subject," the opposite of "relevant."

    Figuratively and in casual use, "relevant" often means something like "important" or and "irrelevant" means something like unimportant. More precisely, "relevant" means "important or interesting to a lot of people today" and "irrelevant" means not relevant in that way...

    Usage examples:

    "Detroit" - 50 Years Later, More Relevant Than Ever | Coronado Times

    Huawei's Irrelevant Success

    Ohio State Football: Preseason Ranking Exciting, Irrelevant

    Bespoke Arcades – How two nostalgic gamers are making arcades relevant again | Trusted Reviews

    Also, the other commenter's assertions about Urban dictionary are exaggerated. While is it often wrong, it is certainly not always wrong. There are times when it is the only 'source' that attests to some actually common and widespread usage. Like Wikipedia, like here at wordreference, like any crowd sourced resource, Urban dictionary has editors who put random unsourced things in it and other editors who are putting in actual facts. But any source has to be verified...
     
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    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    So?? Does it also mean unimportant? Is this sentence correct? "Facebook is irrelevant."
    I answered that already

    Figuratively and in casual use, "relevant" often means something like "important" or and "irrelevant" means something like unimportant. More precisely, "relevant" means "important or interesting to a lot of people today" and "irrelevant" means not relevant in that way...
    To say something is relevant (in this usage described above) is to say that the thing matters. (to matter, intransitive verb, to be of consequence or importance)

    "Facebook is irrelevant" means "Facebook doesn't matter."

    One can't say if that sentence is correct, it's a value judgment, not a statement of fact. It's a grammatical, meaningful, idiomatic sentence in English.

    ---

    Truffula has found some 'real world' examples of this usage, so I guess it's correct.
    Aww, thank you! :D
     
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    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Consider the conversation:

    A. "Where would you like to go for dinner?"
    B. "Global warming is a problem."
    A. "That's irrelevant."

    This means that global warming is not related to the question of where to eat dinner. It does NOT mean that global warming is unimportant.
     

    Serious dude

    Member
    Arabic
    I answered that already



    To say something is relevant (in this usage described above) is to say that the thing matters. (to matter, intransitive verb, to be of consequence or importance)

    "Facebook is irrelevant" means "Facebook doesn't matter."

    One can't say if that sentence is correct, it's a value judgment, not a statement of fact. It's a grammatical, meaningful, idiomatic sentence in English.

    ---



    Aww, thank you! :D
    So basically, It might be correct, but it's seems very bizarre and informal. Native speakers tend to not use this word in this manner. Thanks anyway!
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    So?? Does it also mean unimportant? Is this sentence correct? "Facebook is irrelevant."
    No. "Irrelevant" = "of no importance as far as the current discussion/topic/problem/situation, etc., is concerned."

    A: "OK, men - I've told you what to do - Any questions?"
    B: "Yes, what's that large grey animal with over there? The one with tusks and a trunk?"
    A: "That's irrelevant. We are here to clean out the swamp, not to look at wildlife!"
     

    atokad

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I agree with Truffula that relevant is often used in AE as described in post #4. I'm not sure what other people think regarding its correctness (only heypresto has directly commented on Truffula's posts), but it's certainly common in AE. I assume that it's a newer meaning of the word, since some dictionaries don't acknowledge this usage.

    Facebook is irrelevant is an unusual thing to claim, but here's an example sentence: If Facebook doesn't adapt, it risks becoming irrelevant in five years.

    So basically, It might be correct, but it's seems very bizarre and informal. Native speakers tend to not use this word in this manner. Thanks anyway!
    This kind of usage strikes me as neither bizarre nor informal. It might be incorrect, but native speakers (at least Americans) do use this word in this manner.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I agree with Truffula that relevant is often used in AE as described in post #4.
    It is also used that way in BE. That use and meaning is consistent with the idea that "irrelevant/relevant" must be "of significance to/for something"
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    I answered that already



    To say something is relevant (in this usage described above) is to say that the thing matters. (to matter, intransitive verb, to be of consequence or importance)

    "Facebook is irrelevant" means "Facebook doesn't matter."

    One can't say if that sentence is correct, it's a value judgment, not a statement of fact. It's a grammatical, meaningful, idiomatic sentence in English.
    Irrelevant is always in relation to SOMETHING. As PaulQ said.

    Definition of IRRELEVANT
    Definition of irrelevant
    not relevant : inapplicable that statement is irrelevant to your argument
    It's more like: inapplicable. So I have to reject your position.

    Urban dicc is fine for looking up non standard use of significations.

     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    relevant - definition of relevant in English | Oxford Dictionaries

    Oxford dictionaries states that one meaning of "relevant" is "Appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest."

    Of contemporary interest.

    Yes, I think even a dictionary agrees with me.

    And another dictionary has also picked up this meaning:

    relevant - the free dictionary "2. Meaningful or purposeful in current society or culture" from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Better keep to the definitions of irrelevant.

    But to pick up on your definitions of relevant:

    Oxford says: 1.1 Appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest.
    Contemporary interest something else and wider than mere interest; interest can be purely personal. If it's not of your interest, it can be of contemporary interest. Relevant and interesting are close, but not the same. To my feeling irrelevant and uninteresting are much further apart.
    Both definitions of Oxford, 1 (appropriate to the subject discussed) and 1.1 (appropriate to the times) use the word appropriate, so I would stick to that. Even for relevant.

    2. Meaningful or purposeful in current society or culture" hasn't much to do with interesting and rightly doesn't mention interest.

    ************

    As for the question in the thread title: something irrelevant is more 'inapplicable' or 'inappropriate' than 'unimportant', but it can also bring that connotation. (something irrelevant to an argument is clearly also unimportant to that argument). But besides of not having exactly the same meaning (irrelevant says more), unimportant is far from having the same condemnation power or rejection power as irrelevant indeed . 'Uninteresting' is still much further off.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I looked at Truffula's examples, and in none of them would I substitute "important" or "unimportant for "relevant" or "irrelevant" unless they were qualified to explain their context. That is, in all four cases the importance or unimportance is specifically related to the context of the writer's opinion. For example, Huawei's general success is only unimportant in the "not invented here" environment of the American mobile phone market. It's not unimportant (the company is hugely successful), but it is irrelevant in a discussion of the US market.
    "irrelevant" means something like unimportant.
    Yes, "something like", but not the same - it is not the synonym that one Urban Dictionary entry claims.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Synonyms rarely mean exactly the same thing. I agree with Andygc that the meanings aren't identical and, in general, with his further explanation of the difference.

    But "importance" and "unimportance" always relate to the writer's opinion, that's not actually a difference...

    Other synonyms of irrelevant, like inapplicable, also have different meanings and usage patterns. I would no more substitute "inapplicable" for "irrelevant" than I would "unimportant" in the headlines I cited above. I even would say that "Huawei's Inapplicable Success" would be a worse choice than "Huawei's Unimportant Success" - though both are poor choices.

    "Insignificant" is a better choice. Would you really assert that "insignificant" is closer to "inapplicable" than it is to "unimportant" ?
     
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