Unalienable vs Inalienable

The Highest Dictionary In The Land

The Supreme’s Court Dictionary

Black’s Law Dictionary 1st to 9th Edition

Written By: Atelston Fitzgerald Holder 1st

To understand the differences between unalienable and inalienable, we have to precede the Declaration of Independence, and consider the denotations, and connotations, the fundamental meaning of words and how they’ve evolved and interpreted differently by societies.

Robert Cawdrey was known for creating the first English dictionary, a magnificent feat and a swelling compilation of lexicons.
Robert Cawdrey – Table of Alphabeticall Neither unalienable or alienable were ever documented in his dictionary compilation; Ironically, development in a number of scientific fields in the 1600’s, caused a major fluctuation of English words into many different cultures, mostly because of the rich and affluent.

Robert Cawdrey found their verbosity fanciful and complicated, So he conjured up a chronicle of lexicons, as a means of organization words so simple men could’ve understood. So the words, unalienable and inalienable, most likely existed, but not in his dictionary.

Thomas Blount (1618–1679), published his dictionary in 1656, with over 10,000 words, including etymological definitions, quite a feat to accomplish if you ask me. Edward Phillips (1658) Edward Cocker (1705) and the list is perpetual. The objective of this article is the demystify the enigmatic interpretation of these two words, “Geez, writing this article is irritating.”

Samuel Johnson’s (1709-1784) dictionary became the standard English lexicography, published in (1775), it was deemed a masterpiece and was considered a literary authority, it preceded that of the all encompassing oxford dictionary which eventually became the prevalently cited dictionary.

I’m going to use black’s law dictionary as an introduction to, unalienable vs inalienable; conversely enough, most standard dictionaries are synonymously interchangeable in their definitions. It’s more like a play of semantics, because there are no distinctive characteristics, hence the reason i researched black’s law dictionary, because it’s the contemporary reference cited by the federal and state court, a comprehensive chronology of of the most ubiquitously cited dictionary on legal matters. Shall we?

Unalienable: Not to be separated,; inalienable
Inalienable:cannot be transferred to another or others:inalienable rights

Black’s Law Dictionary, Ist Edition

image 1

Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition

image 2

Black’s Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition

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Notice the 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition seems self-explanatory? no alterations whatsoever; ironically, both definitions have the exact same meaning.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition

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Notice an alteration in the 4th edition? UNALIENABLE: Inalienable: before the definition; While, Inalienable definition remained the same.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition

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Oh Oh! (Related Forms Added)
Inalienable Rights Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred
(without the consent of the one possessing such rights?) Morrison v State, Mo.App, 252 S W.2d 97, 101.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition



WTF Again? Seriously? The irony is the contrast in meanings; first, Unalienable and Inalienable are somewhat synonymous, but now it has a polarized definition, Inalienable being contingent on a consent, and Unalienable “not.”
Meaning, your personal rights which cannot be bought, sold or transferred from one person to another, can actually be, if you give consent. Morrison
v. State, Mo.App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101 See Bill of rights.<<< Ouiii now we’re getting somewhere! Lets go check out the Bill Of Rights!

Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition

image 7a

WOW now you see it! now you don’t, apparently,
(without the consent of the one possessing such rights?)
is missing!

Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition

image 8

Inalienable Rights redirects to more vague generic Dictionary terms like “Rights?” Inalienable Rights cannot be defined with specificity? and why does it categorically need to be defined under the word “Right?”

Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition



Black Law 7th, 8th & 9th Edition
In the Black Law 7th, 8th & 9th Edition, the word “Unalienable” redirects you to “Inalienable,” and “Inalienable” redirects you back to “unalienable;” However, in the two related forms, “Inalienable Interest and Inalienable Rights, it says, “See INTEREST and See RIGHT.”

Henry Campbell Black’s Law Dictionary has definition discrepancies, from the 1st to 9th edition. In the first four editions both Unalienable and Inalienable definitions have synonymous meanings.

In the 4th edition both words are used interchangeably, but in the 5th and 6th edition, they added, “Related Forms,” and the synonymity evolves into differences of subtlety.

Unalienable: Incapable of being aliened, that is, sold or transferred.
(Related Forms)
Inalienable Rights: Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Citation at the end: Morris V. State, Mo.App, 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.

The 7th to 9th edition becomes becomes vaguely inexplicable edited, by redirecting Unalienable to Inalienable, then redirecting the definitions to more generic dictionary terms like, “Interest” and “Rights.” Here’s what’s far more intriguing, there’s over 30 entries of this vague nature, the latter edited versions seem rather lackadaisical.

When the Declaration of Independence was drafted in 1776, the word Unalienable and Inalienable we’re used interchangeably, at first Thomas Jefferson used, “Inalienable,” then James Madison changed it to, Unalienable.”

Henry Campbell Black was born in 1860, and he published the first edition of the Black’s Law Dictionary before his 31st birthday. A dictionary recognized today for being a top legal resource by the United States Supreme Court.

Clearly the way unalienable and inalienable were interpreted preceded that of Black’s Law Dictionary, so I find it ironic when people retrofit Black’s Law Dictionary with respect to the Declaration of Independence. (In retrospect to online articles) The debate between these two lexicons existed 100 years prior to Henry Campbell Black, furthermore the first edition of his Law Dictionary.

The peculiar question is; How was the words unalienable and inalienable defined prior to (1776)? and why was the words unalienable and inalienable changed continuously? Why was there a debate over the words? Clearly the words had distinctive characteristics prior to our contemporary times, because the definitions are synonymously interchangeable…

Black’s Law Dictionary 1st edition: published in 1891
Black’s Law Dictionary 2nd edition: published in 1910
Black’s Law Dictionary 3rd edition: published in 1933
Black’s Law Dictionary 4th edition: published in 1968
Black’s Law Dictionary 5th edition: published in 1979
Black’s Law Dictionary 6th edition: published in 1990
Black’s Law Dictionary 7th edition: published in 1999
Black’s Law Dictionary 8th edition: published in 2004
Black’s Law Dictionary 9th edition: published in 2009

1st, 2nd and 3rd edition
PUBLISH: St. Paul, Minn, West Publishing Co, (1910)
Henry Campbell Black was born 1860, died 1927, The 1st and 2nd edition was Authored and Edited by him, the 3rd edition was published in 1933 so it’s quite possible the 3rd edition was not edited by him.

4th edition
REVISED: The Publisher’s Editorial Staff
The 4th edition was published in (1968) with Henry Campbell Black’s name 40 years after he died, also, ST, PAUL, MINN. WEST PUBLISHING CO, (1968)
The 4th edition cover was “weird.”

5th edition
PUBLISH: The Publisher’s Editorial Staff
The two coauthors in the 5th edition were,
JOSEPH R. NOLAN, “Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and
M.J. CONNOLLY, ‘Associate Professor of Linguistics and Eastern Languages, Boston College.

6th edition
PUBLISH: The Publisher’s Editorial Staff
The two major coauthors in the 6th edition were,
JOSEPH R. NOLAN, “Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and
JACQUELINE M. NOLAN-HALEY, ‘Associate Clinical Professor, Fordham University School of Law.

7th, 8th and 9th edition
PUBLISH: The Thomas Reuters Business
Bryan A. Garner (born November 17,1958, is the Editor and Chief of all 7th, 8th and 9th editions.

Should our definition of Unalienable and Inalienable be contingent on the ideology of a man published in “1891?” Nevertheless, this articles is to explore the inconsistencies between the 1st to 9th edition of the most cited dictionary used by the Supreme Court.

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Share your views and opinion, please leave a comment below Article Written By: Atelston Fitzgerald Holder 1st
Academic Writer – Journalist – Lecturer
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Copyright 2016

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