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  1. #11
    psrivas1 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Change in English

    Thanks for your reply. With help I meant to know if someday words might start meaning the opposite of what they mean today. From your reply it looks like that it will not happen anytime. Can you please confirm on this.

  2. #12
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Change in English

    Quote Originally Posted by psrivas1 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. With help I meant want to know if, someday, words might start meaning the opposite of what they mean today. From your reply, it looks like that it will not happen. anytime. Can you please confirm on this?
    I think it's highly unlikely that that will happen. Does it happen (or has it happened) in your native language?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #13
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Change in English

    It was strange and interesting to see how our last US president sometimes used words to mean their opposites. It seemed as though he was doing it on purpose.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. #14
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: Change in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    It was strange and interesting to see how our last US president sometimes used words to mean their opposites. It seemed as though he was doing it on purpose.
    Strange and interesting? I guess so. Watching a train wreck in slow-mo would be strange and interesting too.

  5. #15
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Change in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    It was strange and interesting to see how our last US president sometimes used words to mean their opposites. It seemed as though he was doing it on purpose.
    Yes, it was just that one last guy who abused the language. All politicians before him were straight and above board in their use of language. It's not like they ever questioned what the meaning of "is" is.

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Change in English

    Quote Originally Posted by psrivas1 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. With help I meant to know if someday words might start meaning the opposite of what they mean today. From your reply it looks like that it will not happen anytime. Can you please confirm on this.
    Some do. We have autoantonyms, They're not particularly common as things would get confusing if we had a lot.

  7. #17
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Change in English

    Quote Originally Posted by psrivas1 View Post
    From your reply it looks like that it will not happen anytime. Can you please confirm on this.
    You've misunderstood. We're saying that it can and does happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    We have autoantonyms
    I've always known those as 'contranyms'.

  8. #18
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Change in English

    They're also antogonyms, which I rather like. It sounds more like Mortal Combat- which cleave will be left standing?

  9. #19
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Change in English

    Among words which have changed in meaning or acquired an additional meaning (though not opposite meanings) during my lifetime, the most notable has to be 'gay'.

    Among more recent examples, there's 'tweet', 'woke', and 'smart' (applied to phones, TVs and motorways) and 'husband' and 'wife' are now applied to people of any gender.

    It's hard to keep up sometimes.

  10. #20
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: Change in English

    The meaning of gender too has changed during our lifetimes.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 05-May-2021 at 19:33. Reason: Fixed typo

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