Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Tuesday 31 August, 02004

Exciting news

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:28 am

Today I discovered a second word that can be its own antonym. (The first is ‘cleave’ – ‘cleave from parents, cleave to wife’.) My one is ‘certain’. As in: ‘there is a certain sense of solidarity between us’. Which could mean either ‘there is undoubtadly, definetly a sense of solidarity between us’ or ‘there is a particular, limited sense of solidarity between us’. It’s a technical call, certainly.

5 responses to “Exciting news”

  1. A pair of French words which can be very confusing:
    La symetrie (symmetry) and L’asymetrie (asymmetry).

    Hilarity ensues

  2. Raffin Muffin Shaffin says:

    Methinks the ‘certain’ in the example can mean both a the same time…, so maybe they aint antynyminity, possible’?

    what about ‘summation’ which is both the process of adding something, and the conclusion or end part of a speech where no more new information is added.

  3. face says:

    yeah i’ve oft been intrigued by that ‘certain’ one.

    it all started a long time ago when i was a youngster watching the labyrinth (featuring david bowie). at one point, the protagonist babysitter (played by the girl who was russel crowe’s wife in ‘a beautiful mind’) faced a choice between two or more doors. one of the doors led to ‘certain death’. at the time i mistook which sense of ‘certain’ was intended and thought ‘well, thats not so bad… i mean everyone has to die eventually… what if the certain death featured behind the door in question is a relatively pleasant one, like dying in your sleep in the fullness of time?’

    [much] later on i woke to my foolishness and recanted.

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