Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 04, 2008 is:
inalienable • \in-AY-lee-uh-nuh-bul\ • adjective: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred
“Just because I can use my work e-mail for personal correspondence doesn’t mean I have the inalienable right to do so,” Brian explained.
Did you know?
“Alien,” “alienable,” “inalienable” — it’s easy enough to see the Latin word “alius,” meaning “other,” at the root of these three words. “Alien” joined our language in the 14th century, and one of its earliest meanings was “belonging to another.” By the early 1600s that sense of “alien” had led to the development of “alienable,” an adjective describing something you could give away or transfer ownership of, and “unalienable,” its opposite. By about 1645, “inalienable” was also in use as a synonym of “unalienable.” “Inalienable” is the more common variant today, but it was “unalienable” that was used in the “Declaration of Independence” to describe rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
** Blogger’s additions: listen to “Declaration” song. Also, listen to the late President Ronald Reagan—before he was ever President of the United States—during the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign “Cold War” years.