Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | November 4, 2013

Rescue Word of the Week #22 – 2013: Illegal

The rescue word of the week is illegal.

Please help save this word from the endangered-word list by adopting it and using it in your thoughts, your speech, your writing, and your deeds.

What does this word mean to you?

My two cents (but please share yours):

An illegal act is one that is done in violation of existing law. This rescue word is not a value judgment, merely a statement of fact. Some people view this word as having a negative connotation and have tried to eliminate it from usage. I think it would be better to drop the bad connotation and use the word without emotion. It’s a precise word. It serves a useful purpose. It deserves to be rescued.


  1. We have already lost so many words–I do think this is a precise word and ought to be retained in the lexicon. Thanks for bringing it to the rescue ring. :)TX

    • Thank you so much, Texanne. Love your avatar picture. Cheers, Ashley

  2. I agree. Rescue it!

    • Absolutely, Patti! Thank you very much. Cheers, Ashley

  3. If we’re going to live among other people, we either live under the law or else by guns. Laws are the foundation of any society, and if something violates the law, it’s illegal – whether it involves robbing a bank or sneaking across a border.

    • So true, David. The hard part is getting the right balance of laws. To my mind, the U. S. Constitution got it just right. Cheers, Ashley

      • Yes, Ashley, if we could just find judges who could read the Constitution.

      • I suspect they know what’s in the document, David. They just prefer shortcuts. Cheers, Ashley

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