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  1. #1
    ckcgordon is offline Junior Member
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    Default unfeasible vs infeasible

    Is there any difference between "unfeasible" and "infeasible"? I think both of them mean "not feasible".

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: unfeasible vs infeasible

    They are alternative spellings, though in BrE "infeasible" is not acceptable. It is fine in AmE.

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    Default Re: unfeasible vs infeasible

    According to the second edition (1989) of the Oxford English Dictionary it is not improper in British English to use the variant "infeasible". The OED does say that "infeasible" is "rare", but it provides examples of its having been used as recently as 1881. Its most recent example of the use of the variant "unfeasible" dates from 1886, which does not do much to demonstrate the comparative rarity of "infeasible", since there is only five years between them. To call "infeasible" unacceptable seems much too emphatic.

  4. #4
    hotmetal is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: unfeasible vs infeasible

    Native Brit, not a teacher.

    I would tend to say unfeasible. Infeasible sounds odd to my English ears, though I would stop short of saying it is wrong. I have the Shorter OED, in which "infeasible" has it's own entry, but it does say rare. Oddly, unfeasible only appears as a further example of "un" as a negative prefix, listed under Unfeathered!

    I think we can all agree though that they both mean not feasible.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: unfeasible vs infeasible

    Quote Originally Posted by cameroncb1 View Post
    According to the second edition (1989) of the Oxford English Dictionary it is not improper in British English to use the variant "infeasible". The OED does say that "infeasible" is "rare", but it provides examples of its having been used as recently as 1881. Its most recent example of the use of the variant "unfeasible" dates from 1886, which does not do much to demonstrate the comparative rarity of "infeasible", since there is only five years between them. To call "infeasible" unacceptable seems much too emphatic.
    There is a tendancy amongst speakers of British English to refute all 'Americanisms' as being new creations. While this is true in many cases, there are usages from 17th, 18th and 19th century English which Americans have retained but have fallen out of useage in British English. The same applies, to some extent, to Irish English and Indian English.

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: unfeasible vs infeasible

    Quote Originally Posted by cameroncb1 View Post
    According to the second edition (1989) of the Oxford English Dictionary it is not improper in British English to use the variant "infeasible". The OED does say that "infeasible" is "rare", but it provides examples of its having been used as recently as 1881. Its most recent example of the use of the variant "unfeasible" dates from 1886, which does not do much to demonstrate the comparative rarity of "infeasible", since there is only five years between them. To call "infeasible" unacceptable seems much too emphatic.
    Look at the dates - late 19th century.

    These days "infeasible" is not acceptable in the UK. This is not a refutation of "Americanisms" [many of which, as has been shown, are survivals of old forms], but indicating that current usage is what it is.

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