FW: Same sound, opposite meaning

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri May 10 15:34:40 UTC 2002

On Fri, 10 May 2002, Robert Fitzke wrote:

#The problem is that "in sloppyXXXXXX common present use it refers to oral
#language only, explicitly opposed to written." is not true. Dictionaries
#give both meanings and I regularly see the word used both ways and in
#contexts in which one can only guess which meaning is intended. The problem
#is further compounded, of course, because one doesn't know how the writer
#views the word because the writer doesn't make his/her usage clear via
#footnotes or explanatory material such as Mark Mandel provides. Whenever I
#see the word verbal used in an ambiguous context I think of Shaw's comment,
#"The greatest problem of communication is the illusion that it has been

Oof! This is a case in point. I meant that *a* present (and not just
present; thanks, Fred) usage is = 'oral language', not that that is the
only one. If the superordinate, broader meaning had been superseded,
there would be no ambiguity.

Here's another contronym/enantionym: arguably.

        Arguably, Sukovich has been called Newhon's greatest

Does this mean that the writer is supporting or opposing the

-- Mark A. Mandel

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