Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Lesson From A Friend

Last year sometime a friend of mine posted something on his blog on the spur of the moment and was sorry he did. He has since passed on and his blog is gone but he always reminded me of his lesson learned. Here is the post -

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

A comment was posted...

What about the word "clip"?
1. To fasten with or as if with a clip; hold tightly
2. To cut, cut off, or cut out

That was followed by...

Patronize is the same as clip and cleave.

If you patronize someone, you are either supporting him or berating him.

Someone else chimed in...

Also "to sanction" in the senses of "to allow" and "to prohibit".

I decided to see if I could find more and was amazed to find the following. I have no doubt that there are more examples but these will suffice for now.

bolt - secure, run away

by - multiplication (e.g.,multiplying three by five), division (e.g., dividing eight by four)

custom - usual, special

dust - add fine particles, remove fine particles

enjoin - prescribe, prohibit

fast - quick, unmoving

first degree - most severe (e.g., murder), least severe (e.g., burn)

garnish - enhance (e.g., food), curtail (e.g., wages)

left - remaining, departed from

off - off, on (e.g., "the alarm went off")

out - visible (e.g., stars are out), invisible (e.g., lights out)

put out - extinguish, generate (e.g., something putting out light)

sanction - approve, boycott

screen - show, hide

strike - hit, miss (in baseball)

table - propose (in the United Kingdom), set aside (in the United States)

transparent - invisible, obvious

wear - endure through use, decay through use

weather - withstand, wear away

wind up - end, start up (e.g., a watch)

And that winds up this post.


  1. Your friend's "error" caused a lot of people to he should have been proud of himself! I'm glad your memory of him weathers the years.

  2. Whoa that made me think so much but i couldn't come up with a different one. English is so crazy but very very interesting.