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'[OT]: Inflammable. (Was:Re: Heisenberg)'
|----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Olsson" <TELIA.COM> morgans.rt
To: <MITVMA.MIT.EDU> PICLIST
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2000 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Re: Heisenberg
> In some connection: I am researching to install a fire alarm here...
> Can some native english speaker tell me the difference between flammable
and inflammable ?
> It sounds to be opposite but from what I have read it seem to mean the
"In-" is one of those tricky prefixes which can mean several things, some of
them mutually opposing. You are right that it can negate the following word
but in this case (and in several other words derived from French) it is a
corruption of "en" meaning in this case in or into. The parent word is the
French verb "enflammer" - to set on fire.
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (another British understatement, it is
two rather thick volumes - OTOH the complete OED is some 20 volumes) has
say about "in" as a prefix:
...used esp. w. vbs & their derivs. w. the senses into, in, within', on,
upon', towards, against', sometimes expr. onward motion or continuance,
sometimes intensive, sometimes trans., & in other cases with no appreciable
force. Often w. parallel forms in EN-1 (EM-1).
> REgards ... um... wonder what gards are... ;)
If I told that you I'd have to shoot you afterwards...
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Thanks Andy H., perfect formulation :)
Andy Howard wrote:
>"In-" is one of those tricky prefixes which can mean several things, some of
>them mutually opposing. You are right that it can negate the following word
>but in this case (and in several other words derived from French) it is a
>corruption of "en" meaning in this case in or into.
Joking: So, when I see an english word beginning with "in" I just have to get a french dictionary and if the word exist in french, then I negate the english word... ;)
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