This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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12 April 2013

Brain gym - contranyms are synonym-antonyms

Did your alarm go 'off' this morning before you turned it 'off'? And is anyone 'left' at your party after the others have 'left' the party?

If you love language, you probably know about synonyms and antonyms - words that are similar and words that are opposite. Did you know that words can be synonyms and antonyms at the same time? Have a look at these contranyms  in mental_floss.


  1. Ah, I'd always wondered about 'sanctioned'...

  2. And I'd always wondered about the two meanings of 'oversight'. And 'critical' – which can be associated with criticism, but now seems to be used instead of 'crucial' more often?