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#14290 - 01/01/01 01:01 AM Words better known in their negative forms
Wordsmith Offline


member

Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 123
Why do we have so much negativity around us? Open a newspaper, watch the TV,
listen to the radio and you find nothing but negative words. Ever wonder why
some words almost always appear in their negative forms? It is completely
evitable, as the words for the next five days prove. This week's AWAD
presents words that are scrutable and a quick peek in the dictionary shows
that these are licit formations. Use these words in your writing for a gainly
touch, a couth appearance. I hope you feel gruntled with this week's theme.



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#14291 - 01/03/01 12:55 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
funkbunny Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I had this very strange feeling at the first AWAD this week. That sort of "is someone reading my mind" feeling. OVer the last couple weeks my friends and I have been swapping humourous non-negative forms of words. We have become very 'gruntled' about the whole affair. So this week's topic is immensely timely and entertaining. I shall be very 'chalant' in my appreciation of the coming words.

Matthew Clarke
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Matthew Clarke

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#14292 - 01/03/01 02:08 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
here's some from a list I've been dragging around for a while:
nocent, effable, gruntle, peccable, scrutable, delible, ciplinary, defatigible*, gainly, sipid, couth, consolate, ertia, eptitude, pensible, parage...

NB - enigma has a suggestion for every one of these, which makes me feel good about the list.
*defatigible = fatigible

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#14293 - 01/03/01 04:38 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
OH tsuwm--
In reply to:

here's some from a list I've been dragging around for a while:


I see you as a first cousin to father time..laden with words strung together on a gossimer lines of ink: some all neatly bundleds, other escaping, spilling down trailing behind you-- at first glance, you look burdened by the words--disorderly with your bundles, but look again, you are so light, you step from cloud to cloud...and the words have neatly sorted themselves into nouns, or verbs, in alphabetical order...

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#14294 - 01/06/01 12:12 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
neatly bundleds, other escaping, spilling down trailing behind you-- at first glance, you look burdened by the words--disorderly with your bundles, but look again, you are so light,

Good heavens--Tsuwm is Santa Claus??


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#14295 - 01/08/01 08:51 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Oh no, Santa Claus is "Thomas Nast"-- round, red cheeked and cheery!–and not unknown for drinking coke–Tsuwm I see as more a gaunt, wiry figure-- and solomn- but not stern. (His words would betray him... tucked into the folds of his robes {a black professor's gown} and just peaking out, would be words like ‘merkin'– ‘nuf said..)

It was the idea of "dragging around a list of words.."

I sometimes feel like a bag lady– with a treasure trove of words– stashed, here and there, some look worthless, and like junk, but I refuse to abandon them.. So I keep hauling the about...

I might not be rich, but I have these treasures....

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#14296 - 01/08/01 10:14 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
FMD Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 1
Loc: New York, NY
Microsoft Office doesn't recognize vincible as a valid word...Freudian slip?

And neither does the spell checker of this board!!!!


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#14297 - 01/08/01 12:30 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Welcome, FMD. I got curious after your post: Gurunet
brought up vincible, just fine. If you haven't read very far back, you may not know that our spell-checker's name is
Enigma. Very appropriate, in all meanings of the term.


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#14298 - 01/09/01 09:10 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
LauraBean Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 2
When I was 10 or 11, I used the word "ruly" in a school paper and got into an argument with the teacher, who claimed it was not a valid word. I still like the word, however, and wonder, if "gruntled" and "vincible" pass as valid, why not "ruly"?

Laura in CT
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#14299 - 01/09/01 10:02 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
ruly is really a word, although archaic. W3 claims it is a back-formation from unruly and not the root though (which is pretty interesting, given their etymology for unruly!).


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#14300 - 01/09/01 06:28 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Laura, your profile tells us that your full name is Laura Bush. Are you excited to be moving into the White House?


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#14301 - 01/10/01 03:17 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
LauraBean Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 2
Thrilled! ;-)

Laura in CT
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Laura in CT

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#14302 - 01/12/01 04:13 PM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
Dickins Offline
stranger

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1
You've reminded me of a hobby I pursued a few years ago. Here are some messy notes, distinguishing between
positive neglected positives and negative neglected positives. If I succeed in Copying.

POSITIVE POSITIVES
'Requited love,' for example. Surely that is the best kind, and yet we only hear about the opposite, UNrequited love--just as we only hear about CONTRAception, at the expense of attention to PROception. REQUITED love is the sort of thing that comes--as Joan Wilder says, in the movie "Romancing the Stone"--to 'hopeFUL romantics'.

Perhaps it is the reward one reaps from being an active, or LISTFUL, sort while being imbued with a ruthFUL drive to succeed--that is, by RELENTING ambition to get ahead; by a SWERVING DEVOTION to duty; by a ceaseFUL QUEST. People of that sort are imbued with a SHAKABLE DETERMINATION to succeed. They try to make sure that their daily conduct is marked by mostly CONSCIONABLE acts.

Now I'm going to have the MITIGATED GALL to make a CALLED FOR REMARK. It is that, in spite of what we read on the sports pages, there has never been an UNDISPUTED CHAMPION of anything. To credit somebody with being the UNDISPUTED champion is to deal in VARNISHED TRUTH.

Some people, to be sure, are top of the heap. But their position as Number One is almost constantly under challenge. Champions are DISPUTED champions.

But perhaps the phrase "DISputed champion" really is a negative phrase, whose positive counterpart is "puted champion."

By the same token, so to speak, it is more than conceivable that some ALLEGATIONS are baseFUL allegations; that some ORIENTALS are SCRUTABLE; that PROGRESS on more than a few occasions is FETTERED PROGRESS; that some news is good news--is not DISTRESSING or DISTURBING but, on the contrary, is TRESSING or TURBING; and that some DUPES are WITTING dupes.

PECCABLE …some drug traffickers deal in LICIT drugs.

I also venture to suggest that some MOBS of people--or sheep or horses, for that matter--are RULY MOBS. But perhaps I'm wrong there. Maybe the phrase 'unruly mob' is redundant. Maybe a 'mob' is a crowd whose members are distinctive for their lack of 'ruliness.'

What is more, it's high time we devoted more attention to hypothetical encounters between RESISTIBLE forces and MOVABLE objects. Even if we only give that subject our DIVIDED ATTENTION.
And while being heretical, let's go all the way. Let us entertain the possibility that some BUREAUCRATS are mindFUL bureaucrats, performing their 'thankFUL tasks' diligently. They are worthy of PRO-DEM-NATION, even if their reputations are 'spotFUL reputations.'


NEGATIVE POSITIVES

It is possible that the RECORDS achieved by some people are BLEMISHED RECORDS; that some STYLES are IMITABLE; that some TASTES and MANNERS are PECCABLE.
The adjective in these phrases is formally positive--the opposite of IMpeccable and so on--but it gives a negative or derogatory spin to the thing it modifies. PECCABLE manners are off-putting. If our manners are peccable, in all probability our CHARMS are EFFABLE. We'd be lucky to inspire even BLUSHING admiration or SWERVING devotion. We may acquire a positively negative SPOTFUL REPUTATION.
Some of us are positively wimpish people. We are readily CURABLE optimists. FLAPPABLE, dogged by NAMEFUL FEARS, heedFUL of consequences, managing only a RUFFLED CALM, we go about things with SHAKABLE FAITH, with FLINCHING GAZE, with PARALLELLED FEROCITY, with ruthFUL determination; with wills more than a bit DOMITABLE.
As explorers we'd be TREPID, fearing encounters with such creatures as TOOTHFUL TIGERS, and expecting to be all too easily SCATHED. In any pursuit we'd be DEFATIGABLE, or perhaps FATIGABLE: our activities, CESSANT; our hopes and expectations, BOUNDFUL; our progress, consequently, FETTERED and EXORABLE. On history we leave only marks that are DELIBLE.
But even FearFUL Fosdicks can be PERVIOUS to Temptation. Even with our BRIDLED PASSIONS and SATIABLE APPETITES we can be lured into participating in MACULATE CONCEPTIONS. The results may be AWE-LESS.
And that's the varnished truth.




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#14303 - 01/13/01 09:53 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
...varnished truth

Welcome aboard, Dickins. As a sidelight on your licit contribution, does anyone have any idea whence comes 'varnished truth' as a concept?


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#14304 - 01/19/01 03:20 AM Re: Words better known in their negative forms
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Hi Dickins,
What a great collection! The corresponding German virus also caught me occasionally.
The word unwirsch means "in a bad mood". Only much later I discovered that "wirsch" also exists - and far from the contrary, it is used in much the same sense as "unwirsch". So much for the Logic of language.


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