Learn English – “Insignificant” or “unsignificant”


In my job I test different versions of varying degrees on websites. Basically A vs B, and the results of this test determine which version should be developed.

The way a winner is chosen is by looking at the data. We can only take action on statistically significant data. When we talk about results some people say "we can't act on this because the data is insignificant" whereas I think we should say "we can't act on this because the data is unsignificant".

To me, insignificant data means it's not interesting/worth noting whereas unsignificant data means it hasn't reached statistical significance.

Is there any difference between the two?

(Not sure if this is the right board for this one but as it's about difference of wording I thought I'd start here)

Best Answer

Well you are correct in the usage of the word Insignificant in your sentence.

that is, "We can't act on this because the data is insignificant" [sic]

Merriam-Webster describes unsignificant as:

lacking meaning or significance : insignificant

Here, unsignificant has a one particular meaning of insignificant4 i.e. lacking meaning or import

On the other hand,

Merriam Webster describes insignificant as:

: not significant: such as

  1. not worth considering : unimportant
  2. lacking weight, position, or influence : contemptible
  3. small in size, quantity, or number
  4. lacking meaning or import

So, you should go for insignificant3 which in your context means:

not significant because small in size, quantity, or number

Additional information [good to know]: Oxford dictionary does not consider "unsignificant" as word.