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Wordsmith.org Forums General Topics Wordplay and fun antonymic homophones aka homophonic antonyms
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OP A fascintaing though very small class of paired words is "homophonic antonyms" or "antonymic homophones." (These are both my own coinages as far as I know.) That is, words that sound alike but mean exactly opposite things. My classic example is To "raise" (build) a building and then "raze" (destroy) it to the ground. then there's another one that comes close without being perfect: All credit cards "accepted" "except".... Can anyone add to this list?
I saw an entire crossword puzzle once with the "cleave/cleave, sanction/sanction" theme - but this is slightly different: homophones rather than homonyms, i.e. different spellings and opposite meanings, rather than same spelling/divergent meanings. We'll need a slightly different set of instances, then...
All credit cards "accepted" "except"....
Although very, very slight, I caught myself making a bit more of a stressed "ack" (acc...) than the "eck" (exc...) when I read those to my mind the first time, yet speaking them out produced much more similar sounds.
When your contract expires you could either re-sign or resign.
Last edited by Alex Williams; 11/02/05 12:14 AM.
Another category of homophonic antonymns would be phrases, clauses or sentences that sound alike but have quite different or even opposite meanings. One that my wife used the other day without realising it was: "my back's seizing up" which sounds almost the same as "my back's easing up"
----please, draw me a sheep----
...that would be a subset of Mondegreens, a kind of ambiguous phrase deriving its name from a misunderstanding:
A poem read
"...they took the Lord and laid him on the green..."
but it was mis-heard as
"...they took the Lord and Lady Mondegreen..."
Hypertension/hypotension (in some British pronunciations).Originally Posted By: DavidLaurenceAnother category of homophonic antonymns would be phrases, clauses or sentences that sound alike but have quite different or even opposite meanings. One that my wife used the other day without realising it was: "my back's seizing up" which sounds almost the same as "my back's easing up"
The cricket captain expected his batsmen to be bold/The cricket captain expected his batsmen to be bowled.
She likes being chaste/She likes being chased.
I know some strong people throughout the government/I know some strong people threw out the government.
Innumerable (too many to be counted) and enumerable (able to be counted) is my personal favorite.
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