Words You Didn’t Know Had Opposites

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.
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 vu describes 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.

See the full list at the source: 11 Words and Phrases You Didn’t Know Had Opposites | Mental Floss

What do you Think About Gratuity Free?


The image comes from a restaurant owner in Brooklyn, NY, US.  The idea is older. Tips for service aren’t a new idea but the feeling that a tip is owed for service is still fairly new. I don’t like a tip being expected and I really don’t like (and won’t return to) places which automatically include the tip on the bill. Tips began as appreciation for good service. A way to show gratitude. When tips become expected they lose that meaning. I strongly feel I am not offering to pay anyone’s wages each time I use a service. The business owner is responsible for the wages for their employees, not me as the customer or client.

How do you feel about tipping and a restaurant which bans tipping?

In Canada, a restaurant tried to go gratuity free but customers did not like it. The restaurant went back to the old way of paying staff less due to expected gratuities/ tips from customers.

Would you tip for poor service? I know people will do so. Tipping is so expected that people fear a backlash if they don’t tip and tip well, no matter what kind of service they get. Gratuities has become a very socialist thing – everyone gets paid whether they work or not. Funny how turned around the concept of leaving a gratuity has gotten.

I worked as a cashier for years and did not get tipped. The only difference was in the wages paid to a cashier versus a waitress/ waiter. The job itself is quite similar. If wages were paid – which was the idea of having a minimum wage – the service people would be making the same money. Tips extra. Would you tip all the service people, cashiers included? Or do you tip out of obligation to pay wages to restaurant staff?

If you haven’t guessed… I only leave a small tip. I used to leave none, unless I really wanted to. Peer pressure about tipping got to me though and now I almost always leave a tip. I begrudge leaving a tip for average, standard service. As a customer and someone who has worked in the service industry it feels very unfair for restaurant staff to expect customers to pay them and for businesses to be not pay them the minimum wage due to expected tips.

I do not tip for poor service. I may or may not complain about poor service but I will not thank them for it.

Complain in the Right Way

14. Complain.But do it the right way. Present your beef with an idea for improvement. “Framing things in terms of solutions lessens the focus on the problem and who might be at fault,” says management professor Russell Johnson, coauthor of a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. “It evokes pleasant emotions instead of negative ones that cause mental fatigue.”

Source: 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Just another form of constructive criticism. We want others to give us that kind of critique… so do others. I especially like not focusing on blame. That puts people in defensive mode and very little gets accomplished once they start putting up a wall and can’t hear you any more.

Firefox Isn’t in Canadian English, Yet

Dear Firefox,

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.



Too Far Past No Return

I’ve never watched Whale Wars before. It’s about anti whalers as they try to prevent whaling ships from taking their catch home to be sold/ eaten. Although I don’t agree with whale catching I do wonder at the point of saving a whale already dead.

Also, today I watched one of the whaling ships turn on a smaller boat and ram it. No one was really hurt but the boat is now slowly sinking. The anti whaling protestors are up in arms about the whole thing. Cursing the bigger ship and it’s crew. It seems a bit silly and unfair. How is it ok for the protesters to hassle and cause harm to the whaling ships (they twice tried to scuttle another ship) and yet it is a big deal when things are turned around onto their own ship and crew?

Very often the people who protest and complain the loudest are also those the most surprised and angry when things are turned around back onto themselves. The harpoon/ whaling ship stopped after the crash. They offered to send out a boat to help, but the protestors were sure they were going to cause violence rather than help. To me this just seemed their own attitude biting them in the butt, yet again.

The protestors have another ship which has picked up the people from the sinking boat. They are going to lose the smaller boat however. It is going to be left to sink into the Antarctic ocean, causing pollution, but they don’t feel able to tow the floating wreck for some reason.

I’ve seen other protests over abortion and animal rights become very one sided, judgmental and self righteous. One of the anti whaling people says their mission is to harrass and eventually bankrupt the whalers by any means necessary. Then he complains about them using the very same tactics. It’s as if he can not hear himself.

How far is too far? Consider a cause you care about, how far would you go to bring about a change or give support to the cause? What would your limits be and what would be over the limit? Would you lie to show your cause in a better light? Would you steal or cheat? Would you put your life at risk?

Describe a character (of your creation) who chooses his or her cause over his or her own life. What would that person be life, how would they dress, walk, talk and treat other people? Ignore the why of them – the tragic past that brought about their passion for the case – show the results of their passion, their drive and their single mindedness.

The Spirit of the Wind

I’m writing with the wind today for Blog Action Day.

This year the theme is climate change. When I think about the climate I think about the wind and weather in general. The wind is part of every kind of weather. When it rains there is wind, not always gale force winds, something  little wind to help blow the rain around. When it snows there is almost always wind. I can’t think of a snowy day that didn’t feel that much colder cause the wind was blowing the cold air around. On a sunny day the wind makes the heat a little easier to take.  (So does ice cream!). I’ve seen photos of sand being blown by the wind, making gentle waving patterns like a Japanese garden nature made.

I love walking in the wind (if there’s rain too that just makes it better). There is so much power in the wind. No wonder wind farms are popping up all over Ontario, my province. Some people complain about the wind farms saying they make a lot of noise. We have parked right beside an actively spinning wind turbine and could hardly hear a sound. We had to turn off the car cause it was making far more noise than the turbine. Is turbine the right word? I’m mostly guessing on that.

One of the old sayings I picked up from someone, probably my Aunt Emma who lived in British Columbia, was about getting outside and having the cobwebs blown off of you. Wind has been a big part of our lives from the first creatures to drag themselves out of the water, before that even. The fish and underwater creatures feel the power of the wind at times too. I can watch the fish in our backyard pond for an hour. The fish themselves, the water plants, the bugs skimming the surface, the light bouncing on the water and the wind that comes along and moves them all.

Let the spirit of the wind move you!

Did you write for Blog Action Day? Leave your link in the comments and I will visit you too.

20 Years Late (From a Friend’s FaceBook).

Hey mom I know that it’s late, hope I didn’t wake you
Yeah, everything is O.K., just needed to talk to you
Today I had one of those days
But I didn’t call to complain
Just to say everything that I didn’t for all of those years
You were a taxicab driver, a nurse and a maid
A waitress, a cook and a shoulder to lay
My head on to cry on, when nothing was going my way
You knew every answer without cracking a book
And I took for granted that I had it so good
And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say
Thank you I love you
Twenty years late

It’s funny how time passing by can change your perspective
A little while out on your own can sure make you think
I don’t know how you did it
No I can’t find one spare minute
The days run together but I don’t remember you
Ever letting us down

You were the judge and the jury when I did wrong
Been my biggest fan from my very first song
The gas in the engine that always kept me moving on
A seamstress a counselor and the one referee
That could cold stop a fight between my brothers and me
And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say
Thank you I love you
Twenty years late

I’ll let you go now
But I hope that you know now how I feel
Thank you for making me the woman I’ve become
I love you and I will always be your daughter
Mom that’s all I called to say
20 years late…

In twenty years what would you like to tell someone that you can’t say now? Why does time sometimes make it easier?

Traffic Through Blog Commenting

The best way to build blog traffic is not through link exchanges or begging and demanding other bloggers become your instant friends and link back to you.

Instead be sincere, take some time and post comments to the blogs you like to read. Choose blogs based on how readable they are, not just on things like PageRank and Technorati ratings. Don’t make the mistake of judging a blog by social site rankings. It is phony and if you put out phoniness you won’t get back the genuine readership you are looking for.

It takes time to make real comments but they don’t have to be thunderously long. If you do have a story to share go ahead and type it in. More is better. But, if you just want to leave a stray thought in passing that is ok. The key is to come up with something that has some meaning. Something more than “me too”. It isn’t a huge stretch to type “I’ve felt that way, hope you have a better day tomorrow” instead. Pick your words to suit the post, of course.

Don’t forget spelling, punctuation and grammar. Perfection isn’t necessary but aim high. Sloppy looking comments aren’t going to impress anyone.

An extra plus from leaving a comment is that you get to add your link to the blog too. But an insincere comment or spammy comment can be deleted at the discretion of the blogger. If that happens don’t complain about it. Read another post and leave another comment. Try again.

Green in a Wild Way

Make a list of flowers and plants you especially like and design your own garden. Is it something on a rooftop of a high building in the city? Maybe a meadow in the middle of nowhere, tons of space and no neighbours to complain about your wildflowers/ weeds. Maybe your ideal garden isn’t outside at all but something fancy and luxurious in a shopping mall. So many options and so many great flowers. Go green in a wild and crazy way.