Wordsmiths at Play

<p>Here's a question for those of you who need a break from thinking about
college admissions for a day or two.<br>
As son was gathering his laundry tonight he mentioned that the" bath towel was starting to" -then he stopped and asked "is it ravel or unravel?" I told him I thought both were correct but it started me wondering about other "un" words that mean the same as the base word. Anyone?</p>

<p>Ravel is a composer. ;)</p>

<p>There is also "cleave," which has two definitions: one the antonym of the other. Or "regardless" and "irregardless."</p>

<p><a href="http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ravel%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ravel&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>See for explanation. "Ravel" implies a tangling (as things come apart), and you would "unravel," i.e., untangle, that which had been separated (ravelled).</p>

<p>OK---<br>
Is it slim chance or fat chance??
Is bi-weekly every 2 weeks or 2 times a week?
Is not 1/2 bad really a compliment?
Is oversight looking over something or overlooking it?</p>

<p>flammable or inflammable?
Sanction means forbid or allow?</p>

<p>ok-- I am wasting too much time on this.. but...</p>

<p>Is to "look out for" or "watch out for" or to "take care of" something a good or bad thing?
What about a near hit or a near miss??
Is it burned up or burned down?
If it is seeded, does it have or not have seeds?</p>

<p>Aries, the American Heritage Dictionary gives several meanings for ravel, and one of them is: To become separated into its component threads; unravel or fray. It also says unravel is both an antonym and synonym of ravel. That makes my brain hurt.
Are you getting close to finals? Good luck!</p>

<p>Garlad, thanks. I couldn't think of the flammable one.
Jym, you're good at this! I found this explanation (on Learn4good):</p>

<p>Burn down (no object)
MEANING: become destroyed / consumed by fire.
Note: For upright things--trees, buildings, etc.--only.
EXAMPLE: "Lightning struck Mr. Kennedy's barn last night. It burned down before the fire fighters arrived."</p>

<p>Burn up (1. no object)
MEANING: become destroyed / consumed by fire.
Note: For people and non-upright things only.
EXAMPLE: "All of Mr. Kennedy's hay burned up when his barn burned down."</p>

<p>
[quote]
EXAMPLE: "All of Mr. Kennedy's hay burned up when his barn burned down."

[/quote]

This is a gem!
And thanks, over30. I am a bastion of useless information :)
Does this qualify me for one of digmedia's CC writing awards?? Oh please oh please??</p>

<p>Jym, come up with a better award title than "Useless Information" and it's yours!</p>

<p>Over30-
OOPS!!! I wanted to be on the other thread so badly that I accidentally posted these responses there. So now I get the freudian slip award?? :)</p>

<p>how about clever witticisms???
mindbenders?
mental calisthenics?
"anything to keep from doing the laundry?"
and the reality--
not facing that tomorrow is my s's last day of classes-- his freshman year is already over!!! I just can't accept that. Rather think about other things-- I shant think about that today.. I'll think about that tomorrow (thank heavens for Scarlett O'hara!)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Is it slim chance or fat chance??

[/quote]
See: ill/fat/sick/cool/elite. Slang alters words' meanings. There is no difference between the two.

[quote]
Is bi-weekly every 2 weeks or 2 times a week?

[/quote]

Biweekly is every two weeks, semiweekly is multiple times per week.

[quote]
Is not 1/2 bad really a compliment?

[/quote]

This is feint praise. It is considered insulting.

[quote]
Is oversight looking over something or overlooking it?

[/quote]

Oversight is contradictory. You're right. But context resolves the issue.

[quote]
flammable or inflammable?

[/quote]

Both. Flip a coin.

[quote]
Sanction means forbid or allow?

[/quote]

Both. A sanction is any measure taken to encourage a particular course of action.

I do not guarantee accuracy in this post. This post is a service, provided as-is, with no obligation to expand or correct its content. The content of this post is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Any innacuracies are not to be interpreted as a lack of knowledge. Void where prohibited. Five-cent deposit in certain states. Ask your doctor for more information.</p>

<p>hey Nom, you created another one.</p>

<p>Is it "faint praise" or "feint praise?" ;)</p>

<p>The venerable usage is "inflammable." The truncated "flammable" was created to protect those who confused the term with "flame-proof" from injuring themselves.</p>

<p>Jym626, before getting hung up on Freudian slips, I like to see how someone looks in a Jungian negligee.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Is it "faint praise" or "feint praise?"

[/quote]
</p>

<p>One "answer" is here:


</p>

<p>Lady Macbeth: "Sleep, that knits up the raveled sleeve of care"
In this case I believe Shakespeare was talking about a tangled skein of yarn, not a garment sleeve. Thus to unravel is to untangle or in the case of a sweater to un-knit.</p>

<p>My favorite is feckless. Have you ever heard of anyone who's feckful?</p>

<p>Interesting! I never knew that; have always thought it was "faint." </p>

<p>Feint/feigned implies intent, doesn't it? "Faint praise" is polite, anemic praise, not necessarily being tricky. </p>

<p>So someone can "damn with faint praise" without realizing they are damning anything, whereas to "damn with feint praise" means they are deliberate damning or deliberately hiding their true negative opinion?</p>

<p>I like to say that I'm "gruntled" when I'm satisfied with something. It's the opposite of "disgruntled."</p>

<p>Isn't that gruntling?</p>

<p>Hey TheDad-
Actually had a Halloween costume one year with a full length slip on (over a leotard and tights) with a sign safety-pinned on it that said "Freudian". Went as-- yup-- a Freudian Slip. Very geeky for a bunch of psychology grad students, but at least they got it!! The year I went as an oreo cookie with my roommates (way before it was politically incorrect), we got all sorts of slightly inappropriate comments about consuming the creamy center...</p>

<p>Oops-- don't mean to hijack the thread</p>

<p>Back to the thread at hand--
So, to paraphrase, when we say "D-a-m-n that's good", thats a compliment, but faint praise is a diss.....</p>