-1
votes
1answer
70 views

untypical, atypical, nontypical

I'm trying to label customer data with a word describing how typical they are. There is basically 3 possible values: typical, temporarily untypical, untypical. But I'm not sure if "untypical" is the ...
5
votes
1answer
410 views

How to hyphenate a negated compound noun?

We have a term for a process, "defect source assessment". We want to describe a set of processes that are not related to that process. Which of the following (if any) would be correct? non ...
4
votes
3answers
382 views

How to form this tag question?

We always use a positive tag question after a negative sentence: You shouldn't take this medicine, should you? We use a negative tag question after a positive sentence: She must leave early, ...
-1
votes
2answers
158 views

Inconsecutive or nonconsecutive or …? [closed]

I want to say that the data is not like 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159 but can be 154, 156, 157, 159. How do I negate the word "consecutive"? I was not able to find it in the dictionary. I have found ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Using “not” versus the negation prefixes for negation

Let's take this sentence as an example He is able to move. Now, what is the best negation of that action between those two? He is not able to move. He is unable to move. And what ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

“Not able to” vs. “unable to”

Which phrase is more suitable to convey one's inability to do something — "not able to" or "unable to"? For example, not able to join the meeting unable to join the meeting
8
votes
1answer
448 views

Un-(adjective) but In-(noun) — does it ever go the other way?

Many pairs of words use un- as a prefix for the preferred adjective but in- as a prefix for the preferred noun (e.g. unstable/instability, unequal/inequality, unable/inability, unjust/injustice, ...
1
vote
3answers
189 views

Why does no dictionary carry the word 'non-affair', though all carry 'nonevent'?

I came across the word “non-affair” in Jeffery Archer’s novel Kane and Abel, which I just finished reading yesterday. The word appears in the following sentence (p. 544): “She couldn’t recall ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How productive is the prefix “un-”?

Is it possible to use un- with new words such as sit, sleep, sad? I'm currently seeing many words (in programming) which use "un-" in the meaning of undoing something. For example, is it possible to ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase

Does "non-" prefixed to a two word phrase permit another hyphen before the second word? If I want to refer to an entity which is defined as the negation of another entity by attaching "non-" it seems ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Difference between “unlikeable” and “dislikeable”?

Is there a difference between unlikeable and dislikeable? It feels like there is, but I'm uncertain how to explain it.
8
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the opposite of “enroll”?

Deenroll? Unenroll? I understand words like cancel and resign would work, but is there an appropriate antonym with "enroll" in it?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the distinction between “nonessential” and “inessential”?

I'm revising a text that uses the word "nonessential", but my ear is telling me "inessential." Usually when there are two very similar words like this, there is some subtle (or not so subtle) ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

“The service is temporarily unavailable” vs. “…not available”

Is there a difference? Both versions are common. If there is a difference, which do I use when, and why?
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “uncomplete” a word? [closed]

Or would I just use incomplete? Would there be any instance that one would uncomplete?
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Antonym of the verb “complete”

I have an action on a web form. It's a button whose action is to complete a case. I need to name another button, and I want to use a verb that conveys the meaning of "undo the completion" of this ...
2
votes
4answers
11k views

“Uncapable” or “incapable”?

In Microsoft Word, uncapable is marked as wrong. It sounded pretty alright to me, thus, I checked it up on the Web and found that many dictionaries do not have "uncapable" in their entries, but ...
-5
votes
2answers
470 views

Why is “insatiable” pronounced as if it was “unsatiable”? [closed]

Why is insatiable pronounced as if it was unsatiable?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

'Irrealistic' or 'unrealistic'?

I basically learnt that words that start with a 'm' or 'p' get 'im' as a negative prefix, whilst words starting with 'r' get 'ir' in such a case (irreverent, irrelevant). However, I stumbled upon ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Isn't the word “uninstall” wrong?

I've never understood this. Why is the proper usage "uninstall"? You can't actually "unin" something at all and this isn't that case with most (all?) other use cases. Examples: You make someone ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Is “incomplex” a legitimate word?

I want to create a poster titled "An Incomplex Introduction to Complexity-based Cryptography." As you see, it contrasts the words incomplex and complexity. (Words like simple or easy do not provide ...
14
votes
11answers
20k views

What is a good replacement for “ununderstandable”?

I want to tell a colleague of mine I'm doing something that will prevent her from getting "ununderstandable" errors. I have: ...so that you will not get unnecessary, [ununderstandable] errors. ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

“Undistinguishable” vs. “indistinguishable”

Is there a difference between these two words? To me, it seems that undistinguishable is more where you can't tell what it is, and indistinguishable seems to be where they're the same. It seems a lot ...