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    discussion of the word 'ept'


    This is the first time I'm submitting something here. Can I ask a question? or suggest something?
    If the answer to this is yes, I'd like to suggest discussion of the word 'ept,' plus its meaning. The dictionaries usually say that it's not a word, that, however, the word 'inept' exists - as we all know.
    One site, though, mentions the word as having been used by reputable writers (e.g., E. B. White) and that the OED defines the word - although I personally haven't found it on (

    Anyway, thanks to everyone in advance for discussing this (if you will, that is).


  1. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: discussion of the word 'ept'

    Once a word is in the OED it stays there forever.

    What the OED says is "Used as a deliberate antonym of ‘inept’: adroit, appropriate, effective."

    Some words that have no current positive sense (like 'couth') did once have a meaning independent of their negative counterpart (in that case, 'uncouth'). OED's findings don't suggest this was ever the case with 'ept'. (OED is a subscription-only service, so no link.)


  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: discussion of the word 'ept'

    E.B. White was a humorist. There are hundreds of words in English that seem like they have prefixes that, removed, would render their opposites, but don't.


    E.B. was just having fun.

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    Re: discussion of the word 'ept'

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