Careful, writers! 10 common words with opposite meanings
The English language is full of words with uncommon properties. There are backronyms, metaplasms, and neologisms. My favorite words of unusual properties are contranyms, or words that are spelled the same, but have two opposite meanings. These words are also known as Janus words, named after the Roman god of gates and doorways and of beginnings and endings. Janus words teach us the importance of context and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “use it in a sentence.” Here are a few examples: Oversight. Cleave. Garnish. Refrain. Root. Sanction. Weather. Bolt. Trim. Resign. Readers, any others to add to the list? Laura Hale Brockway writes about writing and edits about editing at Impertinent Remarks.
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