Questions about using the prefix un- vs. de-.

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4
votes
3answers
186 views

Should I say “declutter” or “unclutter”?

Which verb is more appropriate (and older) for clearing out my desk: declutter or unclutter and why? I should declutter my desk I should unclutter my desk Dictionary.com defines ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the difference between “dewatering” and “unwatering”

This report on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy refers to the process of removing water as unwatering. However, I always thought that this process was called dewatering. What, if any, is the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Opposite prefix to 'de'

Given a word, say deregulate, is there a prefix to denote the opposite, rather than simply saying regulate? It seems fairly illogical to have one but I was wondering if something existed.
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a general rule for the prefixation of “un-” and “de-” to words?

Given the different questions we have seen about the prefixes "de-" and "un-", I have grown curious if there is a overarching rule for terms that need undoing. “Unselect” or “Deselect”? “Unregister” ...
57
votes
10answers
49k views

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
31
votes
4answers
39k views

“Unselect” or “Deselect”?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?