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The English Language


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Initial post: 8 Jan 2014 13:00:09 GMT
For instance, how about words that seem to exist only in their "opposite" form? (e.g. dis- or un-)
Try "After donning a new suit, I was both hevelled and gruntled"

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2014 09:12:54 GMT
Toeknibe says:
Edna, love the way you think. Often wondered about this subject. Take solve and absolve. two totally different meanings, the same with solution and absolution.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2014 10:32:30 GMT
gille liath says:
Well, not *totally* different - you can see the connection between them. And the OP, presumably words like that must have been used in their 'basic' form at some point: cf. ruth / ruthless.

Another oddity: flammable / inflammable - exactly the same meaning.

Posted on 28 Feb 2014 20:20:30 GMT
I've often wondered about "occasional" tables.
I mean, what are they the rest of the time?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2014 18:28:34 GMT
Ian Stewart says:
In this instance the Latin 'in-' prefix does not mean 'not' (as in, for example, 'intolerant') but is a variant of French 'en-' suggesting 'into ' as in'encourage', 'enable', 'enliven', 'empower' (the 'en-' changes to 'em-' before certain consonants (cf 'embarrass', 'empanel' etc.); so 'inflammable' means 'able to burst into flames'

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2014 10:22:12 GMT
gille liath says:
Thanks for that. It's tautologous in that case, isn't it, since 'able' serves the same purpose as 'en/in' - so still an oddity. Like placenames such as 'River Avon' 'Camus Stianabhaig' in Skye or, local to me, 'Langdendale'.

Posted on 3 Mar 2014 11:35:56 GMT
Luddite Joe says:
Completely and utterly tautologous.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2014 18:31:22 GMT
Ian Stewart says:
Not a tautology, as 'enflame' does not mean the same as 'inflammable'.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 09:04:52 GMT
gille liath says:
No, but - to return to my original point - the 'in' prefix doesn't add anything to the meaning.

Hmm, if we renamed this thread 'Pedants Corner', where - if anywhere - should we stick the apostrophe?

And while we're thinking about that one, did anything other than bagpipes ever 'skirl'?

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 12:38:49 GMT
Lez Lee says:
Why is control always 'spiralled' out of?

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 16:40:21 GMT
nocheese says:
Catholics are 'devout', whereas Protestants are 'staunch'.

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 18:14:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Mar 2014 18:14:17 GMT
nocheese says:
And (from today's news) - are anything other than screams ever described as 'blood -curdling'?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 20:04:15 GMT
china cat says:
Stornoway black pudden?

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 20:12:00 GMT
gille liath says:
And the least likely timeframe for something to happen is 'anytime soon'

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 20:41:47 GMT
Lez Lee says:
Is 'centred around' geometrically possible?

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 21:10:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Mar 2014 21:11:07 GMT
nocheese says:
Oh, and suburbs are always 'leafy'. (And not the sort of place they eat black pudding).

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 10:28:40 GMT
Colin says:
they are occasional "use" . Not everything is a linguistic anachronism or mystery.

Posted on 9 Mar 2014 10:43:50 GMT
nocheese says:
Thanks for clearing that up Colin.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 15:09:04 GMT
I -Spy that you ended a sentence a preposition with! ;-)

Posted on 14 Mar 2014 00:49:50 GMT
SusanR says:
Not sure what's more annoying "You have, have you not . . ", or "My learned friend . . ". Can't help but miss the court twaddle. Ex-Plod so I'll say no more about it . . .

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2014 18:51:26 BDT
nikky g says:
What about pocket calculators? Surely, everyone knows how many pockets they have!

Posted on 8 Jul 2014 18:52:18 BDT
nikky g says:
POLISH REMOVER, THAT IS SO RACIST!
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Discussion in:  fun discussion forum
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Initial post:  8 Jan 2014
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