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Alright, you iBle-obians are a smart and experienced bunch... Answered

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The other day, in English class, something occurred to me:

raze
(v) : to demolish; to level to the ground; to scrape as if with a razor

Raze. Always loved that word.



Okay, Instructalobians, what is the term for a word that sounds like the opposite of its meaning? As far as I know, such a category of words does not exist.

If no one knows, then I shall name it after Instructables. :D

Also, first person to post another word like "raze" gets a prize. An actual, material prize that I will mail to you. Seriously. It's pretty cool. Go for it. Stop reading this. Now. I mean it, cut it out now. Okay, you know what, if you read this sentence, you are disqualified. Aww, that's too bad, it was a really cool prize.
.
..
....
........
Are you still here? Geeze.

PS- this is what the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.



Pic is not related, just awesome.

26 Replies

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gmoon (author)2008-01-06

Nice problem-- These are homonyms, but to qualify they must have contrary meanings (raze being the opposite of raise.) Here's a couple: Birth -- to 'come out' Berth -- to store or 'go back in' (as in ship's berth) Gait -- walking rhythm Gate -- stops you from walking

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)gmoon2008-01-06

Oh. And for a minute there I thought that I had had an original thought. :P

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gmoon (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-06

Well, these aren't ordinary homonyms, so I think it's a pretty original idea. ;-) Still, I'd be surprised if you're the first to think of it. Anyone here know if this type of homonym has a specific name?

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zachninme (author)gmoon2008-01-06
Yeah, it's* not exactly an auto-antonym, but it's* the closest name for it!

  • *Yay! I didn't make a typo!

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

Yay for Zach! But, I mean, shouldn't there be an exact name for it? We shouldn't tolerate such inaccuracy! Something must be done! I want something named after me! :P

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zachninme (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-06

Homophonal antonym? Raze is a homophonal antonym of raise.

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

Hmm... I was really hoping for a one-word thing. Homophonal antonym doesn't sound right. I don't think homophone can act as an adjective, in proper English.

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zachninme (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-06

Sorry, Homophonous adjective.

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

A homophonous auto antonym? :P

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user

A homoautantonym. Or, if you like, a homocontronym.

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zachninme (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-06

Err... "Homo" means same. So you're saying either "same self opposite onym" or "hame against onym"

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

Sometimes, I don't make a whole lot of sense.

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Goodhart (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-09

I could sense that ( joking ) its a pun

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Patrik (author)2008-01-07

"Inflammable" would fit your "sounds like the opposite of its meaning" requirement. It *sounds* like it should be the opposite of flammable. Turns out it's actually a synonym. Quite annoying word!

It's unfortunately not a homophonous antonym though. Just an antonym-sounding synonym...

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)Patrik2008-01-08

Which detracts from its awesomeness? Perish the thought.

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guyfrom7up (author)2008-01-06

there's a bunch, they just have to sound the same. accept except affect effect advise advice it's its lead led to too two their there they're etc...

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uguy (author)guyfrom7up2008-01-07

two, to, too, I always wondered how to write "There are three tos, (toos, twos) in the English language.

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user

That's close, but not what I'm talking about, actually. Those are homophones, I believe. In my case, we are only concerned about one word, and that the meaning of the word in question is the opposite of what the pronunciation of the word would make you think the meaning was.

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user

Like mine? Mine as in it's mine. Mine as in gold mine.

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user

That's a different thing, too. :P "Mine" is a homonym, a homophone, and a homograph. But we're talking about a word that has the opposite meaning of what its pronunciation sounds like. If you raze a building, you're doing the opposite of raising it. Hard to explain. :P

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zachninme (author)2008-01-06

Auto-antonym? Its not exactly it... but its close...

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

Now, I hate to be that guy... (Read: Love to be that guy)... but it really is "it's" with an apostrophe. The apostrophe denotes a contraction of it and is, and is not present when one is talking about an "it" possessing something. Thanks for the speedy reply. I've been sitting here slapping f5 every 30 seconds, waiting.

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zachninme (author)Takeshi_Kovacs2008-01-06

*thinks of a speedy lie*
This keyboard doesnt have a apostrophe/quotation mark key? Yeah, thats it...
OR
You misunderstood me, by "Its not exactly it", I meant "Its meaning is not exactly it"... but I forgot the "meaning is" for some bizzare reason...

...at least I didn't pull a "They'res"... I've been doing that too much... I've also been forgetting the ' in "there's"... damn my colloquial internet grammar!

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Takeshi_Kovacs (author)zachninme2008-01-06

Well, you get points back for spelling colloquial correctly.

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