Is Inadmissible Unacceptable?
Sometimes a word strikes
us as slightly out of focus, a bit fuzzy and inappropriate. I encountered such
a word yesterday while watching CNN. Wesley Clark was being interviewed, and
the topic was Syria crossing President Obama’s red line, thus finally
triggering direct aid to the rebels. The General said, “Using chemical weapons
is totally inadmissible.”
Perhaps it’s just my
dialect, but I found his use of “inadmissible” mildly jarring. I associate
inadmissible with trials and courts of law. Evidence may be inadmissible
because it was obtained without a warrant, and testimony may be inadmissible
because it is based on hearsay. But in my neighborhood, using WMD’s is
unacceptable, not inadmissible.
inadmissible, most online dictionaries make a reference to court, evidence, or
testimony, thereby confirming my assessment. I found only one that gave a
secondary definition: “not to be allowed or tolerated.” I found it on the Oxford
Our brethren to the
north have their own take on the word inadmissible. Some people are not allowed
to enter Canada. They are known as “inadmissible” under Canada’s Immigration
and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). You might not be admitted for any of the
following reasons: security considerations, human or international rights
violations, criminality, contagious diseases, financial reasons,
misrepresentation, or having an inadmissible family member.
I did find one other
site that used inadmissible as a synonym for unacceptable—The Voice of
Russia site. It contained this
quote: "We are extremely concerned with media reports [about the capture
of sarin gas by Turkish forces]. Russia believes that the use of any chemical
weapons is absolutely inadmissible,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Alexander Lukashevich is quoted by a Russian TV channel as saying on Thursday.
So, whether it’s
actually off base or just foreign to my ear, the word inadmissible is out there
at least occasionally as a synonym for unacceptable.
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