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I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in a news article titled “SCIENCE WATCH; PROGRESS IN AIDS DISPUTE” in The New York Times (March 10, 1987).

Dr. Robert Gallo at the cancer institute later isolated the same virus and asserts that his laboratory first demonstrated unequivocably the role of the virus in causing AIDS.

After searching on Oxford Dictionaries, I have found no item for "unequivocably", but I got a lot of hits (139.000) from Google; so I am wondering if "unequivocably" is in common usage nowadays.

Can someone clarify this question? Or is "unequivocably" a common error?

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As you said, Google search on unequivocably shows about 139,000 results but below that it says "Did you mean: unequivocally" and searching "unequivocally" shows about 8,880,000 results. – Wishwas Jun 4 '12 at 12:12
What Wishwas said. This is General Reference. – FumbleFingers Jun 4 '12 at 16:10

The correct word is unequivocally. Unequivocably is wrong.

According to Merriam-Webster, unequivocably is a non-standard word for unequivocally. Its first known use was in 1917.

The word (unequivocally) was perhaps altered by drawing an analogy between unequivocal and, say, understand. Understand changes to understandably, so they changed unequivocal to unequivocably. Though, as I said, it's wrong.

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If it's so commonly used, should it still be wrong? English is constantly evolving, let's add another change. – user30712 Nov 11 '12 at 3:23
I came here to figure out if these two words have subtly different meanings or if they are synonyms. My first instinct was actually that -bly was the proper term because it flows through my mouth somewhat more fluidly. What a surprise. – Steven Lu Nov 4 '15 at 22:55

protected by RegDwigнt Nov 11 '12 at 3:33

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