Yesterday I came pretty close to breaking my commitment of writing and posting every day. I was nearly asleep after staying up to watch the big game. And I forced myself to write something as minimal as possible.
So here’s to making up for yesterday. Sorry about that. It’s probably good to realize the focus is quantity not necessarily quality. That will come as I practice, but there are bound to be days like that. 😉
Today I learned what a Janus word, or contronym is. It’s a word that means the opposite of itself. It’s pretty funny when you stop to realize how bizarre the English language truly is.
Words like left, overlook, dust, cleave, and so many others. Here’s the article that gives more explanation.
How did I stumble upon this? Well, it started yesterday with a last minute trip to Publix (it was almost kickoff so it was a ghost town), I had the most pleasant conversation with the young cashier. She started by saying, “Good evening Miss.”
I was startled, paused a moment, and told her how much I appreciated not being called Ma’am for once. We agreed that it’s supposed to be a sign of respect but it somehow offends.
When someone calls me Ma’am, it feels like I am an old woman. I’m not putting myself in that category quite yet. The cashier shared her boyfriend’s mom feels the same, so I’m not alone here.
I mentioned that I’m kind of a words person and I liked to read and write and stuff. She smiled and continued chatting.
She shared that it’s a thing, when words culturally begin to take on their opposite meaning. Literally is a word that is used all the time, but it is actually used in place of figuratively. Here is another article that dives a bit deeper into the history behind contronyms.
When you like to play with words, things like these are fascinating. There’s nothing quite like stumbling upon good conversation. Words people, book people, we tend to recognize one another pretty easily.
It was also pretty cool that I was grumbling about going to the store and that the Buffalo chicken dip was delayed even more due to a forgotten ingredient. When I walked out of Publix, I had everything I needed and a spark of curiosity. As well as a great connection with that young lady who called me miss as I departed. ☺️
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’ll be writing something non-mushy in solidarity with all of my single friends out there.
Thanks for reading, until tomorrow.