Negative prefix (non, un) along w/ a verb-made adjective

Discussion in 'English Only' started by alexandra_lee, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. alexandra_lee New Member

    Hi, guys.

    I don't know which denying particle I should use before some adjective "made by a verb".

    In this particular case, I am trying to say there is only one right choice to make. The others choices are wrong and you'd be doomed, if you take them.

    Can I say,

    "that's the non-doomed way to go" or

    " the undoomed way to go" ?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I don't think I have ever heard a choice called either "non-doomed" or "undoomed".
    We'd say: That's the safe choice.
    Or something like: That's the only choice that will avoid disaster.
  3. Jim2996 Senior Member

    Boston, MA
    American English
    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    What you are trying to do is, of course, possible. I can easily imagine someone saying or writing—and I consider it a standard thing to do in English.
    Your proposal is doomed to failure; what we need is a non-doomed proposal.
    Non- is the prefix that means not.
    Un- is the prefix that means to reverse or undo.
    Your proposal failed; we need to un-fail it.

    Related to this are compound adjectives
    Your proposal is too fancy; we need a less-fancy proposal.
    or, with doomed
    Your proposal is doomed to failure; what we need is a not-doomed-to-failure proposal. Compound adjectives need hyphens. I want to call this standard English, but notice that many people are either ignorant, sloppy, or disagree, at least in some cases.

    I used hyphens with the prefixes. I recommend this unless it forms a regular word. There is always some question about what is a regular word and what is not. A dictionary or a Google search may help. Remember, the goal in writing is to help the reader easily understand something. There is judgement involved, and a wide area where it doesn't really matter that much.

    Your proposal is doomed to failure; what we need is a proposal that is not doomed.
    You proposal failed; we need to rescue it.
    These are more conventional English. I don't think that they are more standard. Sometimes you want a little unconventional punch, but still follow the rules.

    As an aside, I don't agree that " ... there is only one right choice to make. The others choices are wrong ... " I think that there are always more choices and better choices. I hope what you mean is that this is the best choice at the moment. Maybe it is better to say
    Your proposal is doomed to failure; we need a better one.

    Enjoy your options. There are so many choices.
  4. alexandra_lee New Member

    Oh thanks for replying
    Neither, the google has heard of it T_T I was kind of neologising it

    What if it was about "Cherished Dreams or values"

    Could I use the "uncherished values"? or
  5. alexandra_lee New Member

    Jim 2996, thank you so much!!!

    But I still have one doubt

    When you use compound adjectives you 'not' before it instead of 'non'
    Is that a rule for this kind of adjectves?
    When I know the right one in this case?
  6. Jim2996 Senior Member

    Boston, MA
    American English
    If you look in a dictionary to will find entries for many un- words. You will also probably find a large list of words at the bottom that are used and don't require hyphens—too many to give each a separate entry.

    This is a process of making new, easily understandable words. With non-cherished you have some company. With uncherished you are far from the first one, it's even in the dictionary (but I just noticed that my computer's spelling checker rejects it).

    I think you are asking if not-doomed is another way to write non-doomed. Sure. You could even expand it to not-to-be-doomed, even not-soon-to-be-doomed.

    A little of this punch can spice up your writing and make it more dramatic and forceful, but a little can go a long way.

    Only you can decide what is the best or most suitable. I'm just telling you what is not wrong. There is no right one.

    EDIT: I meant a printed dictionary; online one don't usually offer this. I just looked up non- and the bottom half of two pages is dedicated to telling you whether you need the hyphen or not.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013

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