Flammable, inflammable, etc.

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Thinking about it, anticompetitive is a funny word with funny meaning... like flammable and inflammable....



Just to be picky ... "flammable" isn't a word, (which is I think what you meant), there is "inflammable" and "noninflammable" only.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Just to be picky ... "flammable" isn't a word, (which is I think what you meant), there is "inflammable" and "noninflammable" only.



    Since we are being picky...is this a serious post?



    It certainly is a word.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Just to be picky ... "flammable" isn't a word, (which is I think what you meant), there is "inflammable" and "noninflammable" only.



    Mr. Webster disagrees.



    I think the point of confusion typically is assuming "inflammable" and "flammable" are antonyms rather than synonyms.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Just to be picky ... "flammable" isn't a word, (which is I think what you meant), there is "inflammable" and "noninflammable" only.



    flammable |ˈflaməbəl|

    adjective

    easily set on fire : the use of highly flammable materials.

    DERIVATIVES

    flammability |ˌflaməˈbilətē| noun

    ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Latin flammare, from flamma ‘a flame.’

    USAGE The words flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, but flammable is preferred to avoid confusion: see usage at inflammable .





    nonflammable |nänˈflaməbəl|

    adjective

    not catching fire easily; not flammable.

    USAGE See usage at inflammable .





    noninflammable |ˌnäninˈflaməbəl|

    adjective

    not catching fire easily; not flammable.

    USAGE Technically, there is no difference between nonflammable and noninflammable, but the preferred, less confusing choice is nonflammable. See also usage at inflammable .





    inflammable |inˈflaməbəl|

    adjective

    easily set on fire : inflammable and poisonous gases.

    • figurative likely to provoke strong feelings : the most inflammable issue in U.S. politics today.

    DERIVATIVES

    inflammability |-ˌflaməˈbilitē| noun

    inflammableness noun

    inflammably |-blē| adverb

    ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from French, or from Latin inflammare (see inflame ).

    USAGE Both inflammable and flammable mean 'easily set on fire.' The opposite is nonflammable. Where there is a danger that inflammable could be understood to mean its opposite, that is, 'not easily set on fire,' flammable should be used to avoid confusion. Inflammable is usually used figuratively or in nontechnical contexts ( : his inflammable temper).





    Isn't English a wonderful, non-unambiguous language?





    .
  • Reply 4 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Since we are being picky...is this a serious post?



    It certainly is a word.



    I suspect he confused flammable/inflammable with flammatory/inflammatory.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Since we are being picky...is this a serious post?



    It certainly is a word.



    Sorry, my age is showing. "Inflammable" is the original with "noninflammable," being it's antonym. "Flammable" with "Nonflammable" as the antonym is the newer, mostly American variation of the same thing.



    People generally started using Flammable and Nonflammable because of the great confusion caused by Inflammable and Noninflammable since most people think the "in" prefix means "not" and that the "Nonin" prefix is a double negative that makes no sense. This isn't actually true but is the source of the confusion that the original poster was referring to (albeit with a couple of the terms mixed up).



    The point is that the original post was making reference to this very confusion so my background/correction was entirely appropriate and actually quite correct.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Sorry, my age is showing. "Inflammable" is the original with "noninflammable," being it's antonym. "Flammable" with "Nonflammable" as the antonym is the newer, mostly American variation of the same thing.



    People generally started using Flammable and Nonflammable because of the great confusion caused by Inflammable and Noninflammable since most people think the "in" prefix means "not" and that the "Nonin" prefix is a double negative that makes no sense. This isn't actually true but is the source of the confusion that the original poster was referring to (albeit with a couple of the terms mixed up).



  • Reply 7 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    I suspect he confused flammable/inflammable with flammatory/inflammatory.



    Not true (see explanation above of Tulkas actually being .. wrong!).



    And please don't "pile on" with Tulkas when he criticises me personally. It's bad enough he gets away with all his personal attacks and that he has a "thing" for me and reports every even vaguely inflammatory post I make to the "teacher," I don't need everyone else joining in thanks.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Sorry, my age is showing. "Inflammable" is the original with "noninflammable," being it's antonym. "Flammable" with "Nonflammable" as the antonym is the newer, mostly American variation of the same thing.



    People generally started using Flammable and Nonflammable because of the great confusion caused by Inflammable and Noninflammable since most people think the "in" prefix means "not" and that the "Nonin" prefix is a double negative that makes no sense. This isn't actually true but is the source of the confusion that the original poster was referring to (albeit with a couple of the terms mixed up).



    Where are you? Even in the UK, as far as I know, gas and liquid canisters and tankers are labeled "flammable".



    I think it may be your age showing... Alzheimer's!



    (I'm not serious, just joking with you!)
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Sorry, my age is showing. "Inflammable" is the original with "noninflammable," being it's antonym. "Flammable" with "Nonflammable" as the antonym is the newer, mostly American variation of the same thing.



    People generally started using Flammable and Nonflammable because of the great confusion caused by Inflammable and Noninflammable since most people think the "in" prefix means "not" and that the "Nonin" prefix is a double negative that makes no sense. This isn't actually true but is the source of the confusion that the original poster was referring to (albeit with a couple of the terms mixed up).



    The point is that the original post was making reference to this very confusion so my background/correction was entirely appropriate and actually quite correct.



    You're just being anti-noninflammable



    .
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Sorry, I'm going to pile.



    You said "flammable is not a word". You were proved wrong. You said, "Well, it used to be not a word." Then had the nerve to claim that Tulkas was wrong? You must be a Republican.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post




    Quote:

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

    Thinking about it, anticompetitive is a funny word with funny meaning... like flammable and inflammable....





    Just to be picky ... "flammable" isn't a word, (which is I think what you meant), there is "inflammable" and "noninflammable" only.



    Professor, I must agree with the other posters. The meaning of words and the way the are spelled do evolve. Even those that are frowned upon may become accepted because of common usage.



    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flammable



    Flammable though has been around for a very long time -- root word: flame from Latin flammare to flame, set on fire, from flamma. Date: 1813. If you are older than that, I will be more impressed than your title, Professor. You have achieved what even modern biomedicine could not. Only in the Bible can you find such ages being possible ]





    Flammable liquids (not "Inflammable liquids") is used more aptly in chemistry, for very highly combustible liquid materials; at least where I came from and the institutions I have worked with.



    I am not sure if it was solely due to confusion of "in-" and "non-in", as claimed.



    The English language should have followed Lewis Caroll: "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." But then again, the English language would not be as vibrant.



    CGC



    N.B. For a reverse, the related words "lightning" and "lightening". I frowned upon "lightening" when I see it used to refer to that bright light that precedes the roaring thunder. I was so used to "lightning". As it turned out, "lightening" was of older usage. Nonetheless, I still prefer "lightning" because it evokes something faster appropriate to the natural phenomenon, coming before the roar of thunder.



    But, let us all lighten up, or we might produce lightning from all the frictions we make.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Sorry, my age is showing. "Inflammable" is the original with "noninflammable," being it's antonym. "Flammable" with "Nonflammable" as the antonym is the newer, mostly American variation of the same thing.



    People generally started using Flammable and Nonflammable because of the great confusion caused by Inflammable and Noninflammable since most people think the "in" prefix means "not" and that the "Nonin" prefix is a double negative that makes no sense. This isn't actually true but is the source of the confusion that the original poster was referring to (albeit with a couple of the terms mixed up).



    The point is that the original post was making reference to this very confusion so my background/correction was entirely appropriate and actually quite correct.



    Dude, it shouldn't be that hard to just admit your simple mistake. It was funny, but it isn't like anyone would hold it against you. Start shovelling and trying to 'make the facts fit' in order to 'be right' and people might.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


    Professor, I must agree with the other posters. The meaning of words and the way the are spelled do evolve. Even those that are frowned upon may become accepted because of common usage.



    Flammable though has been around for a very long time -- root word: flame from Latin flammare to flame, set on fire, from flamma.



    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flammable



    Flammable liquids (not "Inflammable liquids") is used more aptly in chemistry, at least where I came from and the places I have worked with.



    CGC



    N.B. For a reverse, the related words "lightning" and "lightening". I frowned upon "lightening" when I see it used to refer to that bright light that precedes the roaring thunder. I was so used to "lightning". As it turned out, "lightening" was of older usage. Nonetheless, I still prefer "lightning" because it evokes something faster appropriate to the natural phenomenon, coming before the roar of thunder.



    But, let us all lighten up, or we might produce lightning from all the frictions we make.



    You are the single polite responder so I picked you to respond to.



    Sorry "Tulkas" and "tonton" I've decided to follow Tulkas' example and report all forum violations from now on so consider yourself reported.



    The problem here is that it isn't a word to me because I'm an English person born in England and use English (as defined by the Oxford dictionary) as my guide. It's the only official guide to English there is (sorry Webster's users). My copy of Oxfords says precisely what I am saying.



    So after admitting I forgot about the newer American uses ("Flammable" actually hasn't been in use that long of a time, I'm not *that* old), I am still getting beat up here. No one has anything more constructive to do I guess?



    Facts is facts, and I don't want to be rude, but whether it's used in the USA or in Webster's has not much to do with official "English." We (the English) did actually think up the language first after all.



    I would also like to repeat for those that didn't get it, that the original poster seemed to be referring to language confusion between pairs of words of this type. For many many years one of the classic examples of this (which the poster deliberately referred to), is the whole flammable /inflammable/nonflammable/noninflammable thing which I think we can all agree is a source of confusion for many and has been for a long time. The flammable/noninflammable example was the standard example of this kind of prefix confusion used in classroom for decades. This is in fact the very reason the change was made in the USA; because lot's of people didn't understand the original.



    So regardless of anything else, what I originally commented was actually rather spot on and completely appropriate and accurate. I don't understand why everyone is taking this so personal and using it as an opportunity to criticise me personally.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Not true (see explanation above of Tulkas actually being .. wrong!).



    And please don't "pile on" with Tulkas when he criticises me personally. It's bad enough he gets away with all his personal attacks and that he has a "thing" for me and reports every even vaguely inflammatory post I make to the "teacher," I don't need everyone else joining in thanks.



    I was 'wrong' because I was factually correct and your were entirely incorrect, or I was wrong to have the nerve to point out your mistake (which was only funny because you were actually trying to nitpick).



    Edit: I need to ask, do you really interpret my correcting your 'correction' as an attack? Seriously? Wow.



    It reminds me of this guy a friend of mine works with. He works IT at a university. He is a bit of a joke to his co-workers because he always used to try show how smart he was by trying to find ways to make the others, including the profs look dumb, but he just seems angry. It's sad, because he has been in this same job for 21 years, he still takes the bus to work, his house is in rough shape, his peers are 1st and 2nd year students. He doesn't really rate as an intellectual, but he wants to come off as one. The problem people have with him, is that he is so often wrong when he tries to correct others to show his intellect and he only comes off as bitter and small. Some people pity him a little, me included. I don't work with him, but I know his mother is very elderly and his father is gone. He takes the bus because he just never bothered to get his license. If people knew him better, they might not talk about him or make fun of him. But, he continues to belittle others and he can never, ever admit to being wrong.



    Just a unrelated story that we might all learn from.



    Edit2:

    One thing you should know about tonton and me...we have both been here a very long time. We pretty much never agree and in the past used to get into some of the heated conversations here. But, we both know when lines are crossed. Actually, you have done me a favour. I think this is probably the first time in a decade that tonton has been on my side of a conversation. It is an interesting experience.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    grahamwgrahamw Posts: 575member
    Alright folks. We're done discussing the semantics of kindling. Get back to the topic.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    I don't understand why so many threads get derailed over word usage. It's not difficult. Keep needling each other like that, I'm going to be making arbitrary decisions that no one is going to like.



    MacOS Dictionary, which my US copy uses New Oxford American Dictionary:



    flammable |ˈflaməbəl|

    adjective

    easily set on fire : the use of highly flammable materials.



    If you're not using the American dialect, then that's understandable, but then, we need to put these dialect differences in the open because this is an international community.



    Random House Dictionary says this usage has been around since the early 1800's. Hardly "new" unless your interests predate that.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    I was 'wrong' because I was factually correct and your were entirely incorrect, or I was wrong to have the nerve to point out your mistake (which was only funny because you were actually trying to nitpick).



    It reminds me of this guy a friend of mine works with. He works IT at a university. He is a bit of a joke to his co-workers because he always used to try show how smart he was by trying to find ways to make the others, including the profs look dumb, but he just seems angry. It's sad, because he has been in this same job for 21 years, he still takes the bus to work, his house is in rough shape, his peers are 1st and 2nd year students. He doesn't really rate as an intellectual, but he wants to come off as one. The problem people have with him, is that he is so often wrong when he tries to correct others to show his intellect and he only comes off as bitter and small. Some people pity him a little, me included. I don't work with him, but I know his mother is very elderly and his father is gone. He takes the bus because he just never bothered to get his license. If people knew him better, they might not talk about him or make fun of him. But, he continues to belittle others and he can never, ever admit to being wrong.



    Just a unrelated story that we might all learn from.



    Not sure what you're talking about here unless you are implying that this guy you are describing is me? If so you are wrong in almost every respect of your guesswork about who i may or may not be.



    Also, as I said above, even though i rarely if ever have reported people before, after your consistent attacks on me I had a conversation with the admins and re-read the rules. The suggestion is that I should report every single infraction (as you seem to have done with me), in order to balance things out so I'm doing that.



    This whole post is "about me" and not the topic at hand, what you're implying is unflattering at best and I am therefore reporting it.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    I suspect he confused flammable/inflammable with flammatory/inflammatory.



    Wow! I have been around physicians and biomedical people for many years, but I do not recall ever hearing "flammatory", while inlfammation and inflammatory were more commonly used.



    Googling (which is a more recent accepted word) flammatory does not yield any actual definition in an online dictionary, although, it appears to be used in medical lexicon, at least. I am not clear yet though what it means:



    Non-flammatory, I assume to be opposite of inflammatory is used also.



    CGC
  • Reply 19 of 26
    grahamwgrahamw Posts: 575member
    I said we were done derailing the thread and I meant it.



    Seriously guys.



    A) grow up. This is an Internet forum, not a debate at the UN.



    and



    B) Be polite to one another. I don't care what your preference for computer platform or soft drink is. If you're getting that visceral about it, take 15 and go get some sunshine. I'm on my deck right now enjoying a cold beverage and soaking up some sun. If you blood pressure is elevated when you're posting you're doing it wrong.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grahamw View Post


    I said we were done derailing the thread and I meant it.



    Seriously guys.



    A) grow up. This is an Internet forum, not a debate at the UN.



    and



    B) Be polite to one another. I don't care what your preference for computer platform or soft drink is. If you're getting that visceral about it, take 15 and go get some sunshine. I'm on my deck right now enjoying a cold beverage and soaking up some sun. If you blood pressure is elevated when you're posting you're doing it wrong.



    What's with the "soft drink" reference? Are you saying the Mr. Pibb isn't a "real" soft drink? WELL ARE YOU?
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