inedible not unedible

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Emerson Squirl, Jun 23, 2009.

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  1. Emerson Squirl

    Emerson Squirl Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2009

    Any English buffs out there know why we say "inedible" and not "unedible"?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2009

    For the same reason that we say

    inconceivable 'cannot be thought of'
    inevitable 'cannot be avoided'
    indisputable 'cannot be argued against'
    indisposed 'not well'
    indifferent 'not caring'
    insufferable 'cannot be endured'
    impartial 'not biased'
    illogical 'not logical'
    irreverent
    'not reverent'​

    - there is a Latin prefix in- that means 'not'. Edible 'can be eaten' is from Latin, and historically it has taken a Latin prefix rather than the Germanic negative prefix un-.

    (There's another Latin prefix in- that means 'in' or 'into' or 'on', as in inflame 'get heat on', inspire (literally 'breathe into'), indicate 'point (in)to', illuminate 'get light on'. This muddies the water a little but not a lot.)
     
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