Monday, February 7, 2011

Word of the Week - Cleave

I maintain that "cleave" is one of the most bizarre words in the English language. Why? Because it means two exactly opposite things.

Cleave, definition 1 - to stick, cling, adhere to something closely.

Cleave, definition 2 - to divide, to split, to cut

Um . . . riiiiiiight. Isn't that just bizarre? Yes, they're listed as separate entries. But still. When I realized that "to cleave to someone" and "to cleave something" were so very, well, opposite, I sat and stared at these words for a good long while and laughed.

See, my hubby had a game back in school. He would open a digital thesaurus and click on synonyms for words until they led him to an antonym for the original word. (Oh yes, he's a nerd after my own heart!) Sometimes he could manage it with one or two transition words. But this one . . . sheesh, no clicking is even required to find its antonym!

This dichotomy brought to you by the glories of Monday morning, and a writer who needs to get seriously into revision mode on her Annapolis story, which has just been officially moved from the Work in Progress folder to the Completes Manuscripts folder. =)

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