m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

The Language of Independence

You can read about my fourth of July elsewhere. I didn’t have any deep political thoughts about the reading of the Declaration of Independence; my deep thought was that unalienable is not a word.

Apparently, unalienable vs. inalienable is still a matter of controversy, or at least confusion. Some blame John Adams, but others say the printer acted alone. Some chalk unalienable up to the lax spelling standards of the time, while others claim that unalienable has an archaic meaning all its own. And some say these problems could be cleared up if the Declaration were translated into modern English.