1. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Is insubordinance a word?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by TimHarris, Jul 8, 2013.

    Yeah, was wondering about this. I hit upon this word during the writing of the chapters in my book and thought i'd ask. According to my word processor, insubordinance is not a word, and auto correction would have me substitute it for insubordination.

    Yet I can swear I have heard the word insubordinance mentioned several times before on TV or in books, I just cannnot recall any specific cases off the top of my head. To give an example, I will paste part of my book. The word looks correct to me, and I assume that it might be some sort of slang word. Can it be used, or should I avoid it? Maybe it's a silly question, but certain things just stick with me :)

     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Why didn't you just look it up?

    insubordinate
    insubordinately
    insubordination

    The last one is the noun form you are looking for, rather than the one you are asking about. So, no, it is not a word according to the Free Dictionary. Perhaps it can be found in a different source but I doubt it.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, you are correct Ginger. That's not a word. I've head it, but it's just one of those occasions where -nance feels like it might be the right suffix to create a noun, but isn't.
     
  4. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    You're stuck in an interesting spot. Since you're writing in first person, unless your character is an English major or someone with impeccable English skills, the OC can use insubordinance, even if it isn't an "official" word. So, the real question is: would your character use that word? It's the same question as: would your character use "ain't," though of course, since English words are determined to be words by their appearance in dictionaries, "ain't" is officially a word.

    If your character is a military person and s/he is referring to actual court martial charges of insubordination, then I would stick with the real word, since s/he's liable to have heard it enough times, especially if the person is educated and smart enough to be in an advisory position for a president.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's in the narration, not the dialogue so I'm missing something with your point.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not a word, so don't use it unless you want to have a character who's clearly misspeaking use it in dialog...
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's probably going to become one of those non-words that ends up in the dictionary because so many people use it. I've certainly heard it before. "I'm sick and tired of your insubordinance!" I've certainly heard it used that way. (Teacher-talk?)
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never heard of this non-word, "insubordinance" before, and I'm hoping you will unlearn it fast. If that is "teacher-talk" I dread to think what other damage these people are doing to the language.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that for me!
     

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