Comment: Inalienable vs. unalienable

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Inalienable vs. unalienable

Inalienable vs. unalienable

English has changed since Thomas Jefferson used unalienable in the Declaration of Independence. Inalienable is truer to the word’s Latin roots—in- is the Latin negative prefix, and un- is an English one—and while Jefferson’s Anglicized word has always been listed as an accepted variant, inalienable is now the more common form. Unalienable mainly appears in quotes of or references to Jefferson’s document. Inalienable is preferred everywhere else.

Both mean incapable of being transferred to another or others.