deselect

Roman Age

Senior Member
French - France
Hi, what is the opposite of 'select' used as a verb?
Talking about web pages/options, like selecting a box...
'deselect' is ok, what about 'unselect'?
Thanks
 
  • plinkaplinka

    New Member
    English - English
    As a native UK English speaking IT professional I would select and deselect text, objects and buttons on a computer system. However, being English, I would tick boxes rather than check them , if only to avoid the ambiguity of the verb to check. I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to untick a box, although strangely I'd have less of a problem unchecking one!

    I agree that unselect sounds wrong but I have seen it used. Deselect is in M-W unlike unselect.

    I think the problem is that none of these negatives has much of an existance outside of the world of IT, so there are few rules. I can't imagine using any of them in a piece of real text. Conversely, if asked, I would say the opposite of select is discard, and you can't use that in this context.
     
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    Roman Age

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thank you for your answers, I just wanted to make sure that "deselect" was the best option, rather than "unselect", which you confirm.

    As for check/unckeck, I will not go there as I use it when appropriate, but in this case it is an actual selection, so I wanted strictly the opposite of "select".

    PS: "unselect" may sound wrong as a verb, but as an adjective it sounds right to say "unselected" (and not "deselected").

    Thanks
     

    plinkaplinka

    New Member
    English - English
    Yes I think you are right there, and with my pedant's hat on there is even some logic to it.

    Suppose there are 5 boxes
    You select boxes 2, 3 and 5.
    You then deselect box 3.
    The unselected boxes are 1, 3 and 4.
    The deselected box is 3 - because that's the only one that has been deselected.

    Getting carried away here, I think
     
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