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In semi-offical letter from non-native speaker the "medical unsurance" is offered to me. What is an unsurance really?

U & I as required in comments: ui

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Bonus points for an image of a keyboard with a freehand circle around U and I. –  RegDwigнt Feb 7 '11 at 16:54
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Or they have just recieved the most honest email from human resources ever. –  user774 Feb 7 '11 at 17:16
    
IainMH, can you explain a bit about honest email? –  osgx Feb 7 '11 at 18:08
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I guess you didn't understand what RegDwight meant in his comment. The letters u and i are close, in the keyboard; he is suggesting that unsurance is just a typo easy to be done because the position of those letters. –  kiamlaluno Feb 7 '11 at 18:51
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You should try to determine if the letter is meant seriously, or if it's all a joke.

If it's a serious letter, it's just a typo of insurance. As RegDwight suggested the letters U and I are close to each other, so it's an error easily made.

If it's a joke letter, it's a word play, probably between the words insurance and unsure. It's then insinuating that the medical insurance would not be so reliable. It may be written to resemble a Freudian slip, which is when you accidentally say what you think instead of what you ment to say.

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"unsurance" is almost certainly a typographical error, made carelessly or ignorantly, as is often the case in offshore phishing emails promising illusory benefits. I'm guessing that someone is trying to sell the recipient a bogus insurance policy for some upfront fee. The insurance will prove to be illusory, and the fee will disappear into the scammer's wallet.

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-1: Sorry, this is an opinion, and I don't think it attempts to answer the question. –  Jimi Oke Feb 8 '11 at 1:43
    
@Jimi Oke: OK, what I intended to say is that "unsurance" is almost certainly a typographical error, made carelessly or ignorantly, as is often the case in offshore phishing emails promising illusory benefits. I doubt that a serious insurance company would allow such a typographical error in any written or electronic communication, regardless of the nationality of the originator. This led me to the speculation that the originator of the email was a scammer. –  PSU Feb 8 '11 at 15:54
    
No hard feelings, and I hope no offense taken. All in the spirit of SE. The first sentence of your reply is the real answer, which would be most helpful for the asker. If you edit your answer accordingly, incorporating that sentence, then I will be obliged to upvote your answer. –  Jimi Oke Feb 9 '11 at 3:17
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@Jimi Oke: No hard feelings, and no offense taken. Answer edited per your suggestion. –  PSU Feb 9 '11 at 17:18
    
Upvoted accordingly :) –  Jimi Oke Feb 9 '11 at 20:20
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This is a typographical error, as the word *unsurance does not exist. It should have read medical insurance.

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Can I form a word unsurance from unsure + "-ance" ? –  osgx Feb 7 '11 at 18:08
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@osgx: You can make up any word you want, as long as your usage is clear. And @Guffa's answer clearly points out one instance of its probable use, i.e. a wordplay on unreliable insurance. –  Jimi Oke Feb 8 '11 at 1:23
    
As Rhodri mentioned, -ance can't be used with adj, only with verbs. So I should not form a word from unsure + ance –  osgx Feb 8 '11 at 14:07
    
@osgx: Of course, you can't create a word like that in standard or formal usage. Informally, however, you can make up any word you want, for effect, emphasis, or whatever reason, so long as your intended audience can apprehend the meaning. That's why I referred to the second paragraph of @Guffa's answer as an example of such usage. –  Jimi Oke Feb 9 '11 at 20:09
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