A chance to learn some new words. I like the opposite of deja vu, jamais vu. When would you ever use it in conversation? But, it is interesting to know.
What’s the opposite of disgruntled? Chances are you’re thinking the answer should rightly be gruntled—but is that really a word you recognize? The problem here is that disgruntled, alongside the likes of uncouth, disheveled, distraught, inert, and intrepid, is an example of an unpaired word, namely one that looks like it should have an apparently straightforward opposite, but in practice really doesn’t.
Words like these tend to come about either when a prefixed or suffixed form of a word is adopted into the language while its root is not, or when the inflected or affixed form of a word survives, while its uninflected root form falls out of use. This was the case with disgruntled, which derives from an ancient Middle English word, gruntel, meaning “to grumble” or “complain,” which has long since fallen from use—although the gap left by disgruntled has led some dictionaries to list gruntled as a modern-day back-formation.
Anonymous literally means “without a name.” Its opposite is onymous, which is typically used to refer to books, legal papers, artworks, musical compositions, and similar documents the authorship of which is known without doubt.
If an automaton is a machine capable of moving itself, then the opposite is called a heteromaton—a device that relies solely on external forces for movement.
If a catastrophe is a sudden, unpredictable, and devastating event, then an equally sudden or unexpected event of sheer joy or good fortune is a eucatastrophe. This term was coined by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien in 1944, who originally used it to describe a sudden or fortuitous event in the plot of a story that turns around the protagonist’s chances or prospects, and brings about the resolution of the narrative.
5. DÉJÀ VU
Over the years, psychologists have identified a number of different phenomena similar to déjà vu (literally “already seen” in French). Among them is presque vu (“almost seen”), the tip-of-the-tongue feeling that you’re about to remember something you’ve forgotten; déjà vécu (“already experienced”), a particularly intense form of déjà vu that makes it almost impossible to discern the present from the past; and déjà visité (“already visited”), which describes a person’s surprising foreknowledge of a place they’ve never actually been to before—like unthinkingly knowing your way around a foreign town or city while on holiday. The opposite of déjà vu, however, is usually said to be jamais vu (“never seen”): so if déjà vudescribes the eerie sensation that something new has actually taken place before, in the case of jamais vu a person believes that a situation that is actually very familiar and has happened before is entirely new.
If a euphemism involves the use of a politer word or phrase in place of a more distasteful or objectionable one, a dysphemism is the deliberate use of an impolite or unpleasant term in place of a perfectly inoffensive one. Dysphemism is often used for rhetorical effect, in order to shock or shake up an audience, or simply for comic effect.
To bring a date forward in time rather than postponing it is to prepone it.
My Mom forwarded this to me in email:
Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.
A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.
You think English is easy? I think a retired English teacher was bored…THIS IS GREAT!
Read all the way to the end…
This took a lot of work to put together!
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the base of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes..
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong for me to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France .. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible..
PS. – Why doesn’t Buick’; rhyme with quick’?
You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.
There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP’.
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special..
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for a while, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP,
for now my time is UP,
so…….it is time to shut UP!
Now it’s UP to you what you do with this email.
The current dmoz Tip of the Fortnight
It is considered bad form to use slang or abbreviations like “info”, “pics”, “etc” and “bio”. Using the full form of the word is not only more professional but is also easier for our users, whose native language may not be English, to understand or translate.
A very good tip. Every writer should remember not to use slang and abbreviations, unless they are very well known by the general public. Some sites or publications may have a very narrow readership they can focus on. But, even those sites could have a glossary or some way to understand their abbreviations.
Why send your readers to some other site to look up the words, slang or short forms you use?
Commas, semicolons and question marks are so commonplace it seems as if they were always there – but that’s not the case. Keith Houston explains their history.
BBC – Culture – The mysterious origins of punctuation.
Why is Canadian English neither US or UK English? Even the Canadian language version of WordPress seems to be just a modified UK English – it gets Canadian English wrong.
Canadians understand not being included in many versions of languages but… it does seem sloppy to create a Canadian version as if we spell words the same as people in the UK. We don’t.
BBC – Culture – Why is Canadian English unique?.
Thank you for an update to the Firefox web browser. I am downloading it even as I type, actually it just finished. When I first went to the link I was offered to see the page in my language. That’s nice, I thought. Only… you skipped my language. I can understand having English (US version) and it is nice to offer English (UK or British version). What happened to English, the Canadian version? Why offer my language when it’s been skipped over?
I’m not complaining so much as just asking. Canadians, we politely protest and moderately complain. No all out war, I’m not having an 1812 about it. There’s no need to stock up on white paint and I’m not going to make cold tea in your harbours. But, you did make a point of offering my language and left me disappointed.
Bill Casselman researches and writes about Canadian language and words. What words, sayings and language are unique or often heard where you are? You can even listen to what your own family tends to say.
Toponymy is, by definition, the place names of a particular region and the study of those place names. It is derived, in fact, from the two Greek words topos – meaning place and onoma – meaning name. A toponymist will look at not only the surface meaning of the name in question, but also at the history of the area.
via h2g2 – Canadian Toponymy.
Toponymy is a new word to me. I like the idea behind it. What writer doesn’t love words and word lore and history?
This was a word sent out in a newsletter by a writer, for writers: who’re.
I had to look twice. I thought it was whore for a spilt second. But that didn’t use the punctuation and it made no sense in the sentence.
Who’re, on the other hand, is not a word. Not a real word. It is a mangled word which should be who are. I don’t think even who are was used right. But, it was better than who’re.
Which sounds to you?:
Who are you?
Who are coming?
Who are reading?
Who are writing?
I do not promise to be a great or perfect writer, especially when it comes to grammar. But, I try to keep up the standards as I have risen to thus far. Meaning, I try not to sink any lower than I already am. Lets all try to do the same, if not better.
Flickr: Pareidolia – Pareidolia is when a vague or random image is perceived as recognizable. This group is for those pictures that look just like real life objects, but it’s all in your head.
Flickr: Apophenia – Do you see hidden patterns, textures, and images within other images.