FW: Same sound, opposite meaning

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Wed May 8 19:16:00 UTC 2002

On Wed, 8 May 2002, sagehen wrote:

#>A classic example is "cleave": 'to cut something into separate pieces' and
#>'to cling to tightly'.  Similar is "hew" 'cut' and "hew to" 'adhere to'.
#>Frank Abate
#But "hew to" 'adhere to' is really an extension of the "hew" 'cut'
#meaning: from hew to the line, as in squaring off a log.

Don't matter nohow, the meaning is opposite. And it's hardly a
transparent connection, as witness your felt need to explain it,
justified by (at least) my previous ignorance of it.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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