LINGUIST List 6.139

Thu 02 Feb 1995

Disc: Words that are their own opposites

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  1. benji wald, Re: 6.108 Sum: Words that are their own opposites (part 2)

Message 1: Re: 6.108 Sum: Words that are their own opposites (part 2)

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 20:27 PST
From: benji wald <IBENAWJMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.108 Sum: Words that are their own opposites (part 2)

I've been enjoying the discussion of words that are their own antonyms.
At first I thought the classic example of Latin altus "high" or "deep"
might fit in, but as I thought about it I figured it was just unmarked
for point of view (say when cleaning out an empty swimming pool then
"deep" becomes "high") so I just looked to see if it was on the list and
 got a comment. No. Good. But one that I have long wondered about is
"risk" as in "he risked winning the game". I was shocked (as a teenager)
 the first time I saw "he risked losing the game" (or something like that)
 in print, because I previously thought (and am still inclined toward)
 the complement of risk being the desirable result, not the undesirable
 one. Whether or not this fits into this discussion, I wonder if anyone
 else has had a similar (or opposite) reaction or any thoughts
about what's going on in the case of "risk". Benji
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