[Ads-l] NYimes.com: "non(-)plused"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 15:59:33 UTC 2015


On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 7:32 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>
> The sometimes reliable Wikipedia has an article on auto-antonyms, the
> most dangerous words in the English language:
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-antonym
[...]
> [Begin excerpt]
> "Nonplussed" can mean "baffled" or "perplexed", but in North America
> can also mean "not disconcerted" or "unperturbed".
> [End excerpt]

For more on "nonplussed" and "bemused" (which both started off meaning
"perplexed" before diverging semantically) see my 2008 column:

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/perplexed-by-nonplussed-and-bemused/

--bgz

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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