Which word is technically correct in English: debrick or unbrick?

With certain electronic devices if you make a mistake you can brick (used as a verb) the device, so that it ends up in a defunct state. So the device ends up being bricked. What is the correct term to recover from this bricked state? On the web one can find the terms debrick and … Read more

What is the difference between “dewatering” and “unwatering”

This report on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy refers to the process of removing water as unwatering. However, I always thought that this process was called dewatering. What, if any, is the difference between these terms? The dictionary does not give an entry for unwatering. But a quick google search suggests the term seems to … Read more

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of “undoing a registration” is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also use the verb deregister. Do both verbs exist? Are they synonyms? Is there a slight difference in their meaning? Answer This is … Read more

Is there a general rule for the prefixation of “un-” and “de-” to words?

Given the different questions we have seen about the prefixes “de-” and “un-“, I have grown curious if there is a overarching rule for terms that need undoing. “Unselect” or “Deselect”? “Unregister” vs “Deregister” For actions taken that need to be revoked or reversed, which prefix is preferred? Is there a distinction created by the … Read more

“Unselect” or “Deselect”?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: “Unselect the option” or “Deselect the option”? Answer Dictionaries (Merriam-Webster and New Oxford American Dictionary) have deselect but not unselect. The NOAD defines deselect as “turn off (a selected feature) on a list of options on a computer menu”, … Read more