Autoantonymic idioms?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 27 17:47:57 UTC 2012

The recently terminated Canadian sit-com "Corner Gas" ended each show
with the phrase "Time well wasted."


On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM, Martin Kaminer
<martin.kaminer at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Martin Kaminer <martin.kaminer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Autoantonymic idioms?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> (likely discussed at some prior date but nonetheless)
> I found this headline took several passes to parse:   _Box Doesn't
> Waste Time With New App for Windows 8_
> I should note that this particular phrase seems to lend itself to
> meaning inversion.  The Hebrew equivalent 'Chaval al HaZman"
> (literally 'A waste of time') is now used more frequently to indicate
> worthiness than unworthiness, though this is a different sort of
> inversion than in the headline above.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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