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>

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>

EXAMPLE: "All of Mr. Kennedy's hay burned up when his barn burned down."


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>

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???
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>

Is it slim chance or fat chance??

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

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


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

Is not 1/2 bad really a compliment?


This is feint praise. It is considered insulting.

Is oversight looking over something or overlooking it?


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

flammable or inflammable?


Both. Flip a coin.

Sanction means forbid or allow?


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>

Is it "faint praise" or "feint praise?"


<p>One "answer" is here:


<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>