What is the opposite word of "not"?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Syzygys, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That's not its only justification. Splitting infinitives often muddles matters, and clarity is a good.

    You can break the rule, like any rule, if you know what you are doing - but this example is of a bad breaking. It's likely that "not skating", in the apparent sense of active refusal or prevention, is not what the writer used to do. Notice how adopting either of PJ's alternatives clarifies the problem of negating the statement.
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Indeed it is. Even the venerable Elements of Style by Strunk & White, which according to its detractors has not been updated since Latin was a living language, admonishes us not to campaign against the split infinitive in English.

    In the early days of public schooling in England, Latin was a required course and most of the instructional material was in Latin. This was of course due to the fact that in the previous era virtually all scholarship was performed in Latin. The material was dutifully translated into English, and this worked tolerably well--except when it came to instructing people in the use of English.

    Latin grammars were translated verbatim and all of the paradigms were carried forward. Some of the results were so laughable that they are still remembered, such as the "declension" of an English noun:

    Nominative: the boy
    Genitive: of the boy
    Dative: to the boy
    Accusative: the boy
    Vocative: O boy!

    Latin is a hopelessly inflected language with the infinitive form expressed in a suffix: "to love" = amare. Therefore it is physically impossible to "split" a Latin infinitive. Therefore it must be illegal to split infinitives in English.

    So we end up with awkward constructions like, "This publication has been revised, better to express our dedication to serving our clients."

    You are all encouraged to split infinitives whenever it pleases you. English must break free from the constraints of Latin-based education!
     
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  5. krasi Registered Member

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    The opposite of 'not' is 'indeed'.

    The opposite of 'not' is not 'not', as the meaning may change.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  7. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

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    988
    No, it's not.
    Indeed merely emphasises a response.
    Indeed not.

    As was mentioned over 10 years ago, the opposite of "not" is its absence.

    But thanks for the thread necromancy.

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  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You might need a ladder.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Some quarrels:

    defenestrate - fenestration, fenestrate, fenestrated, are all "positive" words, adjectives and nouns. The lack of a common word for "throw in through a window" seems to reflect a circumstance - the deed is uncommon. That doesn't seem central.

    dejected - jocular is immediate.
    disconsolate - consoled is immediate.
    impromptu - prompted is immediate
    incessant - ceasing, ceased
    incognito - recognized

    et al.

    More quarrels:
    Incognito/recognized mentioned, and disconsolate/consoled, and incessant/ceasing
    also: "What lovely Shrinky Dinks! I'm going to fenestrate them so the sun can shine through them." Describing anything as "fenestrated" or even (more technically) as "fenestrate" is standard in some circles (biology, architecture)

    "deprive -- to take away from (de "away" + privare "belonging to oneself")"
    The word he's looking for is "privileged".
    Dismantled - maintained is immediate.
    Impoverished - provisioned

    or reaching a bit:
    incorrigible - corraled
    indelible - delicate, deliquescent
    misnomer - denomination
    nondescript - described, describable
    nonpareil - paralleled, par
    unkempt - kept
    unswerving - swerving, swerved
    untold - tallied
    unruly - ruled

    And so forth. That is, we get it, but c'mon.

    The commonality in the camouflaged opposites seems to be idiosyncrasy of spelling, or sometimes a vowel shift in the history.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Granted, the list is only half-serious. Many examples apply a naive rule of what it means to be opposite - eg. misnomer obviously has nom as its root, so its opposite doesn't literally have to be nomer.

    but...

    This would only be true for those that do come from the same root, and that it is simply a corruption of spelling.
    eg:
    incorrigible - corraled
    Dismantled - maintained
    Are these the same words?
     
  13. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    988
    No.

    Incorrigible is an almost direct copy of the Latin and meant "not to be corrected".
    Corraled seems to be from the Latin word "currus" meaning a two-wheeled vehicle (presumably carts as they didn't have mopeds in those days!

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    ).
    From this they derived "currale" as a slang word for where you stored these carts, like a garage I suppose.
    And from there you get to the Spanish word corral meaning ring, or pen, for animals etc.
    So when you get corraled you get herded into this metaphorical pen etc.

    Dismantle is from the French meaning to shed off a cloak ("des" meaning away, "manteler" meaning to cloak).
    Maintain is originally from the Latin "manu tenere" meaning to hold in the hand.
     
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    It does not make her logical either.

    <>
     
  15. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    As a child, I often skated on the lake in winter.
    As a child, I sometimes (or rarely) skated on the lake in winter.
    As a child, I didn't skate on the lake.

    Used to does not say anything you are not saying without it.

    <>
     
  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    12,378
    ^^^
    Fenestrate - having small window-like perforations or transparent areas

    Ploy - maneuver or stratagem. utilize.

    <>
     
  17. river Valued Senior Member

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    I disagree

    IQ test is about knowledge and logic and speed of grasping concept(s) .

    What the IQ test does not do is allow for creativity.
     
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  19. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,035

    I have taken the test , 25 yrs ago .
     
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    12,378
    ^^^
    So you know how unreliable it is?

    <>
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    and how is that the opposite of deploy?
     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    12,378
    ^^^
    I didn't mean that it is but I was not clear enough.

    <>
     
  23. Xelor Registered Member

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    40
    "Not" is a function adverb, and that function doesn't need to have an opposite word. If I just had to identify a word that is roughly the opposite of "not," I'd say "extant" (though that's an adjective) or "existentially" be opposite words for "not."
     

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