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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

flammable, inflammable, non-flammable, non-inflammable

Use flammable to mean “capable of catching fire” and non-flammable as its opposite.

  • Flammable fabrics have been banned for use in children’s nightwear.
  • Christmas trees should be decorated with non-flammable materials.

For the sake of clarity, avoid inflammable (and its opposite, non-inflammable).

  • Inflammable is actually a synonym for flammable. However, the prefix in-may be interpreted as a negative and thus lead people to believe mistakenly that a product is safe from catching fire when it is not.