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Ready to Root

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms, which is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Molly with the letter RThere are a lot of R contronyms on the various lists, but I think some of them are practically cheating. Some previous words on the lists have kind of twisted and stretched the definitions in order to make them contronyms, but several of these examples barely qualify as the same word because they are just adding 're' to the front of other words. For example: release (let go) versus re-lease (hold on to) and resign (quit a contract) versus re-sign (sign a contract again). There were a few more like these, and I don't really think they count. So for my featured R contronym, I picked one that truly has opposite meanings: root.
 
Root - to implant or establish deeply
 
~ or ~
 
Root - to pull up or remove completely
 
Diana rooted a cutting from her grandmother's prized rose bush in order to always have a reminder of the woman's gentle soul . . .
Planting a seedling
. . . but tenacious weeds threatened to overwhelm the fragile planting, so Diana rooted out the interlopers in a vicious frenzy of curse words and dripping sweat.
Pulling a weed
 
And with the events of the past week, I thought I'd add one on a more serious note.
 
Sometimes evil roots itself into the hearts and minds of petty people, and that's when brave men and women step forward to help root evil from society, whether it's by heroically putting themselves in the path of danger or performing acts of kindness that remind us of the true human spirit.
Tree with heart roots
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of examples of other ‘R’ contronyms? How Relaxed is Molly with her letter R?
 

Planting seedling image courtesy of domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pulling weed image courtesy of domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tree-heart image courtesy of Archipoch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Quantum Quantity

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Lily with the letter QThe letter Q is often a tough one for many of the A to Z challenge themes, but luckily my list of contronyms has four options. One of the options is quiddity, which was actually the #15tt word the day after contronym was the #15tt word (my first introduction to these weird and wonderful words). How is that for a weird coincidence? But since quiddity is such a rare word, I don’t want to feature it as the contronym of the day.
 
Two of the other Q contronym options are qualified and quite, and like some other words that have been on the list, I think it takes some stretching to really call their definitions opposites. So that leaves me with quantum as today’s featured contronym. I think it’s a solid offering, but since I wrote last year’s Q post on the show Quantum Leap, I do feel a slight sense of déjà vu.
 
Quantum – the smallest quantity of some physical property
 
~ or ~
 
Quantum – a large quantity; significant
 
In order to make quantum advances in our understanding of quantum particles, will we end up turning the world into a quantum pile of quantum dust?
Quantum Mechanics in Space
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any ‘Q’ contronyms that might have escaped the list? How Quaint is Lily with her letter Q

 

Perfect Pitch

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Freya with the letter PBefore I get on with this year’s P post, I just have to say my P post from last year is one of my favorites. It’s so ridiculous, and I love the picture of my naughty girl with her poop face. And now that I’ve managed to use the word poop again on P day, let’s move on to today’s contronym, which is pitch.
 
Pitch – to erect and fix firmly in place
 
~ or ~
 
Pitch – to throw, to discard by throwing
 
“Son, I need you to pitch that tent.”
 
An hour later, the father walks out back to find a ratty tent set up in the grass with the wind whistling through the numerous holes. “Son, why did you put this piece of garbage up in the yard? You were supposed to throw it away.”
 
“Well, Dad, you said to pitch it.”
 
Tent
 
 “Son, I need you to pitch that tent.”
 
An hour later, the father walks out back to find an empty patch of grass. He goes into the garage and discovers the family tent in the trashcan. “Son, why did you throw away this perfectly good tent? You were supposed to put it up in the backyard.”
 
“Well, Dad, you said to pitch it.”
 
Awkward segue alert!
 
Speaking of pitches, the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) is judged on pitches
 
New visitors from the A to Z Challenge: I’ve entered ABNA several times, and if you want more details about my history with the contest, you can read about it here. But the important info for this post is that the first year I made it to the quarterfinals I got a glowing review from Publisher’s Weekly with one minor weakness mentioned. Last year I made the quarterfinals with the EXACT same novel, and the PW review was spirit crushing and made me cry. So this year I rewrote the first third of the novel attempting to fix the weaknesses and entered again.
 
First I made it past the pitch stage, and then I made it past the excerpt stage to the quarterfinals. The semifinal list came out on Tuesday, and sadly my name was not on it. But since the cut went from 100 to 5, I was disappointed, but not surprised. What I really wanted to see was my PW review, and the wait was making me crazy.
 
I know I shouldn’t let the anticipation of one review from one person have so much power over me, but my brain was doing its usual crazy thing. 1. Since I had one good and one bad PW review, I was imbuing this third one with mystical tie-breaking powers – whichever way this one went indicated the way all strangers were going to react to my novel going forward. 2. No one but me had read the significantly rewritten first third of my manuscript, not even my trusted first readers. So this would be my very first reaction to the changes, and if they said my book sucked, then all my changes would have been a colossal waste of time. No pressure.
 
On Sunday, I found out in the ABNA forums that due to a computer glitch (maybe?), some people had started getting their reviews that morning. Of course I wasn’t one of those put out of my misery early despite how many times I hit the refresh button. By the time the semifinal results were announced on Tuesday, I was already a basket case. And still no PW review for me and a block of other writers. And since we’re writers, our imaginations went berserk. Of course we hadn’t gotten ours because they were the worst ones ever. Or maybe the best ones except for the semifinalists? There was even a crazy theory floated that they never got around to reading ours. We all went to bed nervous wrecks. Notice I didn’t say we went to sleep - no chance of that!
 
I was sure when I got up Wednesday my review would be there, but, no, the tortuous waiting was not over yet. Then at about 2:30 in the afternoon, my PW review FINALLY appeared. Fingers trembling so much I could barely open it, heart racing so hard it was basically one long beat, I read my review. And it was good! Really good! And the best part is they positively referenced the thing that was listed as a weakness in the first review, so that means my changes worked! I was so relieved I actually shed a few happy tears as that four day stress build-up finally released.
 
I’m so grateful I received a positive review, but having been on the opposite end last year, my heart goes out to my fellow ABNAers who had a less-than-kind review. Eat some chocolate. Drink some alcohol. Then glean anything you can from the review that could potentially improve things and get right back up on that writing horse!
 
Were you a part of ABNA this year? Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘P’ contronyms? How Pretty is Freya with her letter P

 

Tent image courtesy of juliaf.

Over and Out

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Bailey with the letter OAfter the uninspiring contronym choices for N, I was delighted to see O had so many fun ones to choose from. Now I feel a strong urge to whine about it being too hard to pick just one to feature, but that seems petty after whining about yesterday’s lack of worthwhile offerings. So instead, I’ll close my eyes and randomly stab my finger at one. Okay . . . the lucky winner is out. Out is another word with a page full of various definitions, but for the purpose of contronyms we have:
 
Out – depleted, extinguished, i.e. invisible
 
~ or ~
 
Out – into the open, i.e. visible
 
Stars
“The stars are out! The stars are out!” 
 
Shane didn’t look up from his game of God of War as his younger brother Mark ran inside shouting. He shrugged. “Big whoop, it’s nighttime. The stars are supposed to be out. It’s kind of their thing.”
 
“That’s not it, smartass. They’re out, as in no longer twinkling. There’s nothing there - just a black sky.”
 
That was enough to make Shane glance away from the screen. His eyes flicked to the window. “It’s just clouds, dipshit. A storm must be rolling in.” A grunt from the TV signaled Kratos was being killed by a Gorgon. Mark cursed and turned back to slaying the beast with a series of violent thumb movements.
 
Mark rushed to his brother and yanked the controller from his hands. Shane leaped from the couch. “I’m going to kill you!”
 
Mark ran outside with the controller clutched to his chest. When Shane caught up, Mark pointed to the sky before Shane could hit him. Mark whispered, “No clouds.”
 
Shane’s mouth dropped open as he saw the sky was clear. Completely clear. Not a light to be seen against the velvety darkness. When Shane finally found his voice, it came out as more of a squeak. “We need to tell someone.”
 
A voice behind them rumbled, “Oh, I think they already know.”
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘O’ contronyms? How Outstanding is Bailey with her letter O
 
 
Image courtesy of aopsan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Negligibly Nervy

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.

Chloe with the letter N

Whoo hoo, we've now crossed over into the second half of the A to Z Challenge! I'm excited about that, but I'm less excited about the contronym choices for N. There are only three of them, and there really are no winners in the bunch.

One of the options is nonplussed, which was actually a #15tt word over a year ago. It means surprised, confused or bewildered, but it has come to mean unperturbed in North American English. So similar to inflammable, it is only a contronym because using it incorrectly has become so common, and I really don't want such a poseur contronym to be the featured one for the day.
 
The next option is no question. While I have no objection to the contronym being a phrase rather than a word, the two possible definitions provided on the contronym list are 'definite' or 'not possible.' While I have heard no question used a lot for the 'definite' meaning, I can't think of a single time I've ever heard it used to mean 'not possible.' I've heard out of the question used to mean 'not possible,' but not no question. Am I just becoming forgetful in my old age and overlooking the obvious? If you've heard it used that way, I'd appreciate you leaving me an example sentence in the comments! 
 
That really only left me with the last option to be the featured contronym for N: nervy.
 
Nervy - showing or expressive of calm courage
 
~ or ~
 
Nervy - excitable, jumpy, nervous (chiefly British)
 
So even this one is a stretch since the opposing definition is primarily used on the other side of the pond. I prefer my contronyms to have opposite meanings where both are in wide-spread regular use, but it looks like nervy is the 'best' of the lot. 
 
Kurt walks back and forth past Timmy's house, his dog snarling and barking at the end of its leash. With each pass, he lets the dog pull him closer to the driveway. He laughs as Timmy gets more and more nervy, backing up and refusing to make eye contact.
 
Hearing the commotion, Timmy's sister Emma hurries outside and marches to the end of the driveway. She stares at Kurt until he looks down pretending to adjust the leash in his hand. Then she stares at the dog until the only noise it makes is a slight whimper. Kurt and his dog slink away, looking for a new target . . . one without a nervy big sister.
Nervy Kids
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any ‘N’ contronyms that aren't on the list? How Nifty is Chloe with her letter N?
 

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Majorly Mad

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Molly with the letter MWe've arrived at the start of the third week of the A to Z Challenge with the letter M. Are you starting to feel the burn? But we have to keep pushing through the pain, so the contronym for today is mad.
 
Mad – carried away by intense anger or hatred
 
~ or ~
 
Mad – carried away by enthusiasm or desire
 
Similar to hysterical, at its core mad is about intense emotion – it’s just that one is positive and the other is negative. Mad has various meanings, and besides these two opposite emotions, many of the other definitions also contained a range of emotional words: gaiety, merriment, resentful, excitement, confusion, agitation, frantic, hilarious, impetuous, irrational, and so on. So people who are mad are definitely worked up in some way about something.
 
I’m mad about my dogs . . .
Chloe birthday
 
. . . but sometimes I’m mad at my dogs.
Bad Chloe
 
And then there was Mad About You . . .
Mad About You
 
. . . which was a show about a recently wed couple who were mad about each other, but got into plenty of sitcom squabbles that left them mad at each other.
 
Lisa was mad about the portrait Leonardo painted of her.
 
Is Lisa pissed off because she wanted him to show off her pearly whites or is she thrilled because she knows the way he painted her smile will ensure her fame for at least 500 years?
Mona Lisa
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘M’ contronyms? How Marvelous does Molly look with her letter M?

Leaving Left

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Lily with the letter LAfter yesterday's hiccup with having no contronyms for K, I was happy to have several to choose from for the letter L. I decided to go with left, but as I was poking around in several dictionaries, I realized that the present tense of left (leave) is also a contronym, even though only the past tense version is on any of the lists. I figured we might as well go for the twofer and feature both left and leave.
 
Left/Leave - to go out or away from; depart
 
~ or ~
 
Left/Leave - to remain; stay in the same position
 
Please don't leave me behind. I will be very sad.
Sweet puppy
 
Poor mama dogs have to watch their babies leave, never to be seen again.
Dog Family
 
Frank left in a huff at my refusal to cook dinner, but he left his wallet behind. I ordered pizza.
Empty Wallet
 
Diana is overwhelmed with emotion when she comes home after a long day to a surprise birthday party. She's touched by her friends' thoughtfulness, but she really wanted to soak in a hot bath and go to bed. The party rages for hours. Now, of all the revelers, only Trevor's left.
Birthday Party
 
So, does Diana need to call the cops on her own party to get all of her overzealous friends (except for Trevor who already went home) to leave? Or has everyone else gone home, leaving her to receive an unexpected birthday gift from Trevor? With a contronym involved, a simple story gets an ambiguous ending. 
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? There are other ‘L’ contronyms out there, can you think of any? How Lovely is Lily with her letter L

 

Puppy image courtesy of stock.xchng

Dog family image courtesy of adzica

Wallet image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Party image courtesy of foobean01

Kooky Keratin

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Freya with the letter KRemember yesterday when I was whining about having only one contronym option for the letter J? Well, it turns out the language gods have a sense of humor. That’s because after scouring all the lists of contronyms I could google up, I was unable to find a single K contronym. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I never would have guessed K would be the one to give me trouble. I mean Q and X are the usual troublemakers, but even they managed to show up for the contronym convention. Come on, K, get it together!
 
We’ll just have to muddle through with the next best thing – a contronym where the second letter is K: sKin. Plus, Keratin makes up the outer layer of skin, and as a K word that has to count for something, right?
 
Skin – to remove or strip off outer covering or skin
 
~ or ~
 
Skin – to cover with or as with skin
 
Like joint yesterday, skin is one of those words where verb versions are used to describe actions involving the noun version. In this case of opposite meanings, one is ‘taking off’ and the other is ‘putting on.’
 
Since I wrote that supremely awesomely spectacular story yesterday showcasing the horrors of joint, I fear any attempt to do the same for skin will end up extremely derivative of my earlier masterpiece. Instead, I’ll leave you with a picture of a character from a truly talented horror writer, Thomas Harris.
Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs
 
Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs skins his female victims so he can skin himself in a woman suit.
 
If the picture puts you in the mood to watch the entire Buffalo Bill dancing scene, then you can find it here, but remember it’s not safe for work since it has salty language and, uh, interesting dancing.
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Even though I couldn’t find any ‘K’ contronyms that doesn’t mean there isn’t one hiding out there - can you think of any? How Kissable is Freya with her letter K?

 

Jammin' Joints

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Lily with the letter LWe've arrived at day J of the A to Z challenge, which should be my favorite day because J is for Jocelyn. Unfortunately, the contronym options have put a damper on my alphabet enthusiasm because there is only one, lonely choice for J: joint. And it’s not even a fun contronym – it certainly didn’t inspire me to make a movie.
 
I do have to hand it to joint in that it has an unexpectedly long list of definitions. In sticking with the contronym theme, these are the two key meanings:
 
 
 
Joint – to combine or attach with a joint or joints
 
~ or ~
 
Joint – to separate (meat) at the joints
 
Both of these verb definitions deal with activity at the primary noun version of joint (a place at which two or more things are joined); it's just that one is about dividing and one is about uniting. 
 
While I'm no vegetarian (mmmm... hamburgers!), I don't really want to post a picture of bloody meat being butchered, so I think I'll go with story time instead.
 
Mary met several men through an online dating site, and despite her initial fears, they were all lovely people - not a single serial killer among them. Unfortunately, even though they each had wonderful attributes, none of them were Mr. Right. But Mary was ready to settle down and realized her pickiness was going to result in her being forever alone.
 
So she invited all the men over for a party. As they made awkward small talk with each other, she watched, eyes roaming over each one, weighing their strengths and weakness.
 
One by one, they dropped to the floor, victims of the sedatives in their drinks. She dragged them to the basement.
 
Blake had amazing arms. They gave hugs that made her feel warm and safe. She jointed his arms at the shoulder and set them aside. 
 
Steve had wonderfully toned legs. He'd taken her dancing several times and whirled her around the floor making her feel like a professional ballroom dancer. She jointed his legs at the hip and set them aside.
 
Randy had elegant fingers. They produced beautiful music on several instruments. She jointed his hands at the wrists and set them aside.
 
skeletonTrevor had a joint that made her blush and swoon. She removed it and set it aside.
 
Jonathan had a handsome face and washboard abs that were delightful viewing. She jointed off the extra appendages and tossed them in the trash.
 
Then she jointed Blake's arms, Steve's legs, Randy's fingers, and Trevor's joint on to Jonathan's torso. A little electricity. A black magic chant. And presto! Mary no longer had to wait for the perfect man - she'd created her own.
 
So in summary: a picture of bloody meat = yucky; a story about chopping up several people = totally fine. Yep, I'm a weirdo.
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Even though I could only find one ‘J’ contronym doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there - can you think of any? How Jovial is Lily with her letter J?
 
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Impossibly Impregnable

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Molly with the letter IThere weren’t many contronyms to choose from for the letter I. The options were so limited that one list even included this: “Inflammable: Burns easily ~~~ Does not burn (Only the first definition is correct; many wrongly assume that the prefix in- gives it the second meaning)” So basically it’s only on the list because the wrong definition is so commonly accepted that it kinda sorta makes inflammable a contronym. To be fair, it is weird that flammable and inflammable mean exactly the same thing even though they sound like opposites. I wonder if there’s a term for that.
 
Since inflammable is not technically a contronym, instead I’m featuring impregnable
 
Impregnable – strong enough to resist or withstand attack
 
~ or ~
 
Impregnable – susceptible to impregnation, fertile
 
I was a bit uneasy presenting this as the contronym because of all the recent unpleasantness with ignorant people making ridiculous proclamations about legitimate rape. I don’t want these posts to turn political; I just want to have some fun with quirky words. So my frame of reference is those films we had to watch in health class where the sperm struggled to break through the egg. And that leads me to make this mind-boggling statement: 
 
An egg that is impregnable is not impregnable.
 
And it works using the definitions in either order! Whoa, I think my brain might be leaking out of my ears. Since I can no longer form coherent words, how about some pictures? 
 
This is impregnable:
Castle
 
This is also impregnable:
Michelle Dugar ===>Duggar family
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘I’ contronyms out there? How Intriguing does Molly look with her letter I?
 
 

Castle image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Duggar images courtesy of TLC