ศัพท์ น่าสับสน ชุด I – inflammable
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ความหมาย อาจยืดหยุ่น ขึ้นอยู่กับ ตำแหน่ง/หน้าที่ ในประโยค
ออกเสียง inflammable = ‘in-FLAM-uh-buhl’
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree
combustible (figuratively: inflammable emotions)
Not to be confused with:
flammable – combustible (technical use, on a warning sign:
nonflammable – not combustible or easily set on fire
WORDS OFTEN CONFUSED WITH INFLAMMABLE
Inflammable and flammable both mean“combustible.”
Inflammable is the older by about 200 years.
Flammable now has certain technical uses,
particularly as a warning on vehicles carrying combustible materials,
because of a belief that some might interpret the intensive prefix in- of inflammable
as a negative prefix and thus think the word means“noncombustible.”
Inflammable is the word more usually used in nontechnical and figurative contexts:
The speaker ignited the inflammable emotions of the crowd.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary
in•flam`ma•bil′i•ty, in•flam′ma•ble•ness, n.
inflammable is the older by about 200 years.
flammable now has certain technical uses,
particularly as a warning on vehicles carrying combustible materials,
because of a belief that some might interpret
as a negative prefix and thus think the word means “noncombustible.”
inflammable is the word more usu. used in nontechnical and figurative contexts:
inflammable clothing; an inflammable temper.
Collins COBUILD English Usage
Flammable – inflammable
Both flammable and inflammable are used to describe materials or chemicals that burn easily.
A window had been smashed and flammable liquid poured in.
...commercial centres, holding large stocks of inflammable materials.
Inflammable is not the opposite of flammable.
The opposite is non-flammable.
The fuel is recyclable, clean and non-flammable.
Why Inflammable Is Not the Opposite of Flammable
Combustible and incombustible are opposites,
but flammable and inflammable are synonyms.
How can that be?
The in- of incombustible is a common prefix meaning "not,"
but the in- of inflammable is a different prefix.
Inflammable, which dates back to 1605, descends from Latin inflammare ("to inflame"), itself from in- (here meaning "in" or "into") plus flammare ("to flame"). Flammable also comes from flammare but didn't enter English until 1813. In the early 20th century, firefighters worried that people might think inflammable meant "not able to catch fire," so they adopted flammable and nonflammable as official safety labels and encouraged their use to prevent confusion.
In general use, flammable is now the preferred term for describing things that can catch fire,
but inflammable is still occasionally used with that meaning as well.
Words at Play
Flammable vs. Inflammable
Both words mean the same thing, but one of them is bound to confuse most people.
What to Know
Inflammable and flammable are synonyms
and mean "able to burn" even though they look like opposites.
In this case, rather than the prefix in- meaning "not," as it often does,
"inflammable" comes from the latin verb inflammare, which means "to cause to catch fire." "Flammable" was coined later from a translation of the latin verb flammare ("to catch fire"), which inflammare is related to.
"When cooking over a gas stove, avoid wearing loose, (flammable/inflammable) clothing that could catch fire easily."
Which word is correct: flammable or inflammable?
Trick question: both flammable and inflammable are correct,
as they both mean "capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly."
This makes no sense to the Modern English speaker.
In English, we think of in- as a prefix that means "not":
inactive means "not active," inconclusive means "not conclusive,"
inconsiderate means "not considerate."
Therefore, inflammable should mean "not flammable."
The Latin Inflammare
That would make sense—if inflammable had started out as an English word.
We get inflammable from the Latinverb inflammare, which combines flammare ("to catch fire") with a Latin prefix in-, which means"to cause to." This in- shows up occasionally in English words, though we only tend to notice it whenthe in- word is placed next to its root word for comparison:
impassive and passive, irradiated and radiated, inflame and flame.
Inflammable came into English in the early 1600s.
Things were fine until 1813, when a scholar translating a Latin text coined the English word flammable from the Latin flammare, and now we had a problem: two words that look like antonyms but are actually synonyms. There has been confusion between the two words ever since.
The True Opposite of Inflammable
What do you do? To avoid confusion, choose flammable when you are referring to something that catches fire and burns easily, and use the relatively recent nonflammable when referring to something that doesn't catch fire and burn easily. Our files indicate that use of flammable and nonflammable has increased in print over the last few decades, while use of inflammable has decreased.
'Inflame': Fired with Anger
Why doesn't it mean "to set on fire"?
What to Know
Inflame typically means "to make angry" or "to excite"
and has rarely been used in the literal sense as "to set on fire."
While some words gain metaphoric meaning over time, this is an example of a word losing its literal meaning early on.
It’s easy to get the impression that changes in language most often come in the form of newly added meanings to words(cookie and mouse come to mind), but the reverse also happens: meanings can also fall away, something that is surely harder to notice.
Case in point: inflame. It all starts with fire (at least, etymologically and metaphorically speaking). The word inflame and its derivatives like inflammation, inflammatory, and inflammable have word roots that are clear, and “in flames,” of course, means “on fire.”
Usage of 'Inflame'
But we don’t use inflame to mean“to set on fire” very often, and if we do encounter it, it seems distinctly archaic. It came to English from the French verb enflamer, and enflame remains a variant spelling. Here is its literal use from the Wycliffe Bible, the Middle English translation that dates from the late 1300s:
and þe day cummynge ſhal enflawme hem
The later rendering of the same passage from the Book of Malachi in the King James Bible uses burn instead, showing that the literal use was already falling away by the early 1600s:
and the day that cometh shall burn them up
In fact, inflame has always been more commonly used in figurative ways than in its literal meaning. Early use of the word clearly means “to make angry” or “to enrage”:
Whan the pages sawe the kynge so inflamed with ire
— Jean Froissart, translated by John Bourchier Berners, 1525
be not inflamed wyth angre, hatred or envye against your neighbor
— Thomas Cranmer, Catechismus, 1548
for although he kylleth not his brother with a swerde, yet beyng inflamed with hatred, in his herte
— Christoph Hegendorph, Domestycal or housholde sermons, 1548
France, I am burned up with inflaming wrath
— Shakespeare, King John, Act III, Scene i
Carrying the metaphor a bit further, inflame became a bit more abstract, taking on the meaning “to intensify,” “to excite,” or “to rouse”:
That have inflamed desire in my breast To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree
— Shakespeare, Pericles, Act I, Scene i
'Inflammation' and 'Inflammatory'
Today, when we encounter the word inflammation, we think of physical discomfort or pain—a medical symptom. Indeed, that’s one way the word has been used for centuries, as early as the 1530s, when Sir Thomas Elyot published a treatise on physical health entitled The castel of helth (“The Castle of Health”), in which he used the term in phrases such as “inflammation of the lunges” and “a soorenesse, a swellynge or an inflammation.”
Some medical use of the word from this period can seem strikingly modern:
a swift inflammation of the eye, being redde and moist
— Jacques Guillemeau, A worthy treatise of the eyes, 1587
However, there was also a figurative use of inflammation in the 16th century that has fallen from contemporary use. It was still alive in the 1800s, as shown by its definition from Webster’s dictionary of 1828:
Violent excitement; heat; animosity; turbulence; as an inflammation of the body politic, or of parties.
“Violent excitement” fits well for this instance of the word’s use:
Wherfore the zele & thonour of god / the compassion of Christe / & the inflamacion or kyndelynge of >his owne hert hereunto: be moost properly to be attended & beholden in ye woundes of Christ
— Ulrich Pinder, The myrrour or glasse of Christes passion, 1534
Shakespeare’s use of inflammation makes reference to the “violent excitement” fueled by the liquid courage of alcohol:
They are generally fools and cowards—which some of us should be too, but for inflammation.
— Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2, Act III, Scene iii
This meaning is even in the King James Bible:
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
— King James Bible, Isaiah 5:12, 1611
Inflammatory is a more recent addition to English, created by using the Latin scientific vocabulary rather coming than from a French word. As such, it has always had a more technical quality. Early use from the 17th century shows consistency with its current meanings: “lascivious and inflammatory books”; “inflammatory diseases.”
Inflammable came from French, but dates from around 1600, much later than inflame. The original Latin-derived French in- means “in” or “with,” but it’s easily confused with the other prefix in- meaning“not” (like un- or non-), which explains why inflammable is sometimes confusingly used to mean “not flammable” instead of the more historical and correct “flammable.”
This confusion exhibits one of the problems with language change: it can seem to make the meaning of a word seem to go up in flames.
Inflammable & Nonflammable
In- often functions as a negative prefix, carrying the meaning of “not”
However, in the case of inflammable the prefix means “in” or “into” (the word comes from the Latin inflammare, "to inflame”). Inflammable can mean either “flammable” (“capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly”) or “easily inflamed, excited, or angered.” Nonflammable, on the other hand, means“not flammable; specifically, not easily ignited and not burning rapidly if ignited.”
Common Errors in English Usage Dictionary
“Inflammable” means the same thing as“flammable”: burnable,
capable of being ignited or inflamed.
So many people mistake the “in-” prefix as a negative,
however, that it has been largely abandoned as a warning label.