Insecure vs Unsecure

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Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby jrlizardking » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:02 pm UTC

Hey , I was wondering about the usage of "insecure" versus "unsecure". My friend was arguing with me about this, insisting that Vista's wireless network service saying "Security type:unsecured" and also "Are you sure you wish to connect to this unsecure network?". In my opinion the words are actually different, unsecure seems to imply a lack of security, where as insecure seems to imply a lack of confidence or self esteem.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby english_petal » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

jrlizardking wrote:In my opinion the words are actually different, unsecure seems to imply a lack of security, where as insecure seems to imply a lack of confidence or self esteem.

I would probably agree with you, although using 'unsecure' does sound a little weird. I'm not sure what else you could use insted though.

jrlizardking wrote:My friend was arguing with me about this, insisting that Vista's wireless network service saying "Security type:unsecured" and also "Are you sure you wish to connect to this unsecure network?".

Maybe I'm just not reading it correctly, but what was your friend arguing? Because from this, it sounds like you are of the same opinion.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby jrlizardking » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:10 pm UTC

Yeah sorry about that, I made my post quite unclear. He told me that it was using an improper prefix, and it should be insecure.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby english_petal » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

Ahh.
No, I think you are probably right... but it doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Anyone know why this is?
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby maxhalo » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

jrlizardking wrote:Hey , I was wondering about the usage of "insecure" versus "unsecure"... In my opinion the words are actually different, unsecure seems to imply a lack of security, where as insecure seems to imply a lack of confidence or self esteem.


Here's your answer. Unsecure refers more to the ability to have security, but simply choosing not to have it. Insecure means that you're without security, in any situation.

Saying...My system is so unsecure due to the fact that I have all of my ports open...or something along those lines. Since you have the ability to close your ports, but you're still without security. However, that's how it would be within normal grammar using the roots, but I don't believe unsecure is proper English.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby linguafranca » Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

And it sounds amusingly anthropomorphic to say "this network is insecure." So it's probably a connotation thing too.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby shill » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:38 am UTC

According to Dictionary.com Unabridged (Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.), unsecured is a valid word for "not secured ... by a bond or pledge", "not made secure, as a door or lock of hair", and "not protected against tapping or interception", the last definition definitely applying to wireless internet connections.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby liza » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:00 am UTC

"Unsecure" is not a word by most dictionaries, which is why it probably sounds funny. "Unsecured" works because the "secure" is a verb, whereas insecure uses "secure" as an adjective. I think. Insecure can also describe a network in the way you want it to, but I can see where the anthropormorphic connotations make you all hesitant to use it in that situation.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby Kabann » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:43 am UTC

I seem to remember a few years ago, web browsers would warn the user that they are about to send information to an insecure site. Everyone seems to have updated those messages to the less ambiguous 'unsecure,' but I can't help but think maybe websites are feeling better about themselves these days.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Whatever you may think about the word "unsecure", you have to admit that "insecure" has very anthropomorphic connotations. So even if it is the more correct grammatically, it's not necessarily the right word.

That said, I don't know why the use of "unsecure" as an adjective would increase, when we already have "unsecured" which people generally seem fine with.

But "insecure", when talking about a website or a server or a network, is still incorrect, in my opinion.

(On a vaguely related note, take the words illiterate and non-literate. Sure, the prefixes mean the same thing, but the words don't. Illiterate generally means someone who can't read or write in some language that has a writing system. Non-literate, on the other hand, usually means a culture or language that doesn't have a writing system to begin with.)
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby Owehn » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:35 am UTC

I've definitely heard "insecure" used synonymously with "unsecured" (but never "unsecure", as an adjective or otherwise), without any anthropomorphic connotations. My dictionary confirms two separate meanings for "insecure", so I don't see any problem with using it to describe websites and things.

Gmalivuk: you can also add "aliterate" to your list, which describes someone who is able to read but doesn't.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby Kabann » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:26 am UTC

Or the little-known 'antiliterate' - someone who tries to stop other people from reading.
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Re: Insecure vs Unsecure

Postby swifty360 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:38 am UTC

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/insecure
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Unsecure

If that doesn't solve your problem find a different dictionary.
My two cents.
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