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In or not
4

In or not

In or not

(OP)
In college I saw a sign "Inflammable".
After words like inactive (not active), inappropriate (not appropriate) and inadvisable (not advisable), I thought the inflammable would mean NOT flammable. Boy I hate the English (American) language.

djj
The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23) - I need someone to lead me!

RE: In or not


Quote (George Carlin)


Flammable, inflammable & nonflammable... Why are there three? Don't you think that two ought to serve the purpose? I mean either the thing flams or it doesn't!

Skip,

glassesJust traded in my old subtlety...
for a NUANCE!tongue

RE: In or not

I agree, however it has nothing to do with American English, since its use predates the USA.

RE: In or not

(OP)
If it is not from American English then there is most likely a rule with a reason behind it. At least with my very limited knowledge of other languages, that seems to be indicated.

As an aside did you know that oxygen does not burn?

djj
The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23) - I need someone to lead me!

RE: In or not

Quote (djj55)

If it is not from American English then there is most likely a rule with a reason behind it.

Quote (Merriam-Webster)

inflame 2: to set on fire

Quote (Merriam-Webster)

-able 2: tending, given, or liable to

Thus, given the "rules", infammable = liable to set on fire, right?

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: In or not

From one source:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=inflammab...

Quote:

inflammable (adj.)
early 15c., in medicine, "liable to inflammation," from Middle French inflammable and directly from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare (see inflame). As "able to be set alight," c.1600. Related: Inflammability.


http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=inflame

Quote:

inflame (v.)
mid-14c., "to set on fire with passion," from Latin inflammare "to set on fire, kindle," figuratively "to rouse, excite," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + flammare "to flame," from flamma "flame" (see flame (n.)). Literal sense of "to cause to burn" first recorded in English late 14c.

RE: In or not

BTW, the misunderstanding may come from the fact that in English, "in", as a prefix, does not necessarily imply "not": for example: inborn, innate, inherent, innoculate, innovation, intrusive, et cetera.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: In or not

How about:
Innocent ( is 'nocent' = guilty? smile )
Inmate (mate = guy in other cell? smile )

Have fun.

---- Andy

RE: In or not

(OP)
The problem was from the 'in' prefix not meaning not. At the time I thought it did mean not.

djj
The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23) - I need someone to lead me!

RE: In or not

If I remember correctly, this is one of the complications of having a language that has borrowed bits and pieces from several other languages. Yes, the prefix "in-" frequently means "not", but other times has a completely different meaning. It depends greatly on the origin of the word.

RE: In or not

And interstate is not a compound word meaning we're burying one of the 50 due to sequester.

====================================
Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because there is more manure there - original.

RE: In or not

I found myself terested with this statement:

Quote (djj55)

did you know that oxygen does not burn?

Oxygen is not necessary for flammability - chlorine gas will burn with a flame in a hydrogen atmosphere, for example. Nitrogen dioxide and ozone are also oxidizing gases that support conflagration. For gas reactions, it hardly matters whether the atmosphere is oxidizing, and the fuel is piped in, or the other way around, with the fuel as the atmosphere and the oxidizing gas piped in:

Now if you had a planet with a, say 20% methane atmosphere in 80% nitrogen, and a little gas canister containing oxygen, attached to a little jet made from a glass pipette, you could ignite the jet of oxygen with a suitable ignition source like an electric spark, and the oxygen jet would burn quite happily.

It would be the same on a planet with a 90% helium, 10% hydrogen atmosphere, but the question is would the (oxyhydrogen) flame go vertically up or down, since oxygen (and the combustion product, water vapour) is denser than the atmosphere, or would the heat given out by the reaction make the reaction products less dense, and therefore convect upwards.

Under what conditions of temperature, pressure and gravity would the oxygen flame in a hydrogen atmosphere always fall downwards rather than rise upwards?

RE: In or not

This came up somewhat recently in another thread - thread1256-1685209: Dialed vs. Dialled

What I posted:

Quote (The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson)

We have at least six ways of expressing negation with prefixes:a-, anti-,in- il-, im-, ir-, un-, and non-. It is arguable whether this is a sign of admirable variety or just untidiness. It must be exasperating for foreigners to have to learn that a thing unseen is not unvisible, but invisible, while something that cannot be reversed is not inreversable but irreversable and a thing not possible is not nonpossible but impossible. Furthermore, they must learn not to make the elementary mistake of assuming that because a word contains a negative suffix or prefix it is necessarily a negative word. In-, for instance, almost always implies negation but not with invaluable, while -less is equally negative, as a rule, but not with priceless. Things are so confusing that even native users have shown signs of mental fatigue and left us with two forms meaning the same thing: flammable and inflammable, iterate and reiterate, ebriate and inebriate, habitable and inhabitable, durable and perdurable, fervid and perfervid, gather and forgather, ravel and unravel.

What CajunCenturion posted:
==> Inflammable Vs Flammable adding to start of a word change the meaning possible Vs impossible
Actually, the original word was inflammable, derived from Latin with the prefix en-, which means "capable of", as in to enflame or inflame. Both spellings are acceptable. It is the The Latin un- that means not. However, English also get words from other languages where the in- prefix does mean not. Hence the confusion.

Somewhere around the 1920s fire protection officials became concerned that people would believe that inflammable meant not flammable rather than capable of flame, so they started using the word flammable to hopefully avoid the confusion.

==> It is arguable whether this is a sign of admirable variety or just untidiness.
I think it speaks more the admirable variety since over the years, English has imported words from a variety of other languages.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: In or not

Quote (kwbMitel)

It is the The Latin un- that means not.

As in "united", "union", or "unique", for example? <grin>

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: In or not

==> As in "united", "union", or "unique", for example?
It should be fairly obvious that just because a word begins with the letters" un" or "in" doesn't mean the word is using either "un-" or "in-" as a prefix. However, while all of those three words do come to us from Latin, only one of them actually does use the prefix "un-" as a prefix meaning 'not'.

Who can tell us which one?


--------------
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RE: In or not

Well, maybe not. I have one etymology source that says that word does use the prefix "un-" meaning not, while a different source has a different etymology showing that all three of the words have the same Latin root without a prefix.

Personally, I think the second source is more believable.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. - Plato

RE: In or not

One thought that just occured to me. Although I have seen this question about Inflammable and Flammable many times, I have never heard anyone question Inflamed. Curious...

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: In or not

I have to say that I never knew that inflammable means that is can catch fire as I was under the impression that the in- means not in this case.
As for the Latin un- I can only compare it to German (my mother tongue) and it has the same use as the English in- as it sometimes means not and sometimes is just part of the words.

I love reading this forum as it is always very informative and makes me think and expands my knowledge of the English language as well as teaches me a lot more about pretty much anything one can have thoughts of when just sitting back watching the clouds and let the thoughts fly rampant.

Thanks to all of you participating here

Joe W.

FHandw, ACSS (SME), ACIS (SME)

http://convergednetworks.ca


Give a tech a solution and he will be back tomorrow to ask you the next question, teach a tech how to read the manual and he will be able to solve the problems for a life time.

RE: In or not

"You're the ex I'd always pected"
Hilarious!
Nice find, Chris!
2thumbsup

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

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