Browse Definitions :

Is it inethical or unethical?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?

interrobang Be careful out there on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday too — _____ retailers will be pulling out the old bait and switch gag.
a. inethical
b. unethical

Answer: b

Explanation:

Why is unethical right? It just is. Like the ibles vs. ables issue, you pretty much just have to learn which words take which suffix or prefix. As Michael Quinion explains on World Wide Words, there is a rule — just not one that will do most of us any good. It’s kind of interesting, though. Here’s an excerpt:

There is a rule, but it’s only of value to somebody who knows which language the root word came from, so it’s really no help at all for most of us. In general, words take un- when they are of English (Germanic) origin and in- if they come from Latin. (The forms im-il-, and ir- are variations on in-.) Apart from that, there’s really no good guide to which one you should choose. You’re just going to have to stick to learning them by rote.

Let’s see how people are doing with this one…

Google poll:

inethical — 1,330,000 hits

unethical — 3,440,000 hits

That’s a pretty significant number of people getting it wrong. I had to stop and think about which was correct the other day, which is why I wrote this post. The best thing to do in that situation? Look it up.

twitter bird  Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close