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November 18, 2017


I can't explain these inversions, but Wikipedia has a good example of how "gay" meant "carefree, joyful" for 800 years but then during the 20th century changed to meaning "homosexual". You'd need to talk to a a linguist / etymologist.

Stu--Quibble: I don't consider the use of gay to indicate homosexuality as an inversion of the original meaning but rather an cooption of the word for a completely unrelated meaning. I have no clue why the gay community adopted the term. Nor do I know how the term used when I was in high school, fairy, came to be applied to the gay community.

As a young teen, I was told by other girls (with a titter, I must relate) that only a fairy wore green and yellow on Thursdays. Did they have a clue what the term meant? I doubt it, but don't really recall the state of our sophistication in those days (early 1950s). As an adult, I don't recall having negative feelings toward homosexuals of either sex; although, I was probably well into my 40s before having friends who were open about their status.

Did fairyies wear those colors because that is what Peter Pan wore?

Ingineer--Beats me.

It beats me that "flammable" and "inflammable" appear to have the same meaning in English!

Sanction can be good or bad.

Words matter. Fascinating how meanings evolve, also how new words are created. Overstated in the original sentence would have carried more meaning to me. On the other hand, transparency to me does indicate seeing through, revealing all.

So many problems occur because of the nuanced word differences in any one language and only moreso with translations to and from other languages.

Joared--OTOH: Something that is truly transparent can't be seen - it's the stuff beyond the transparency that one sees.

Thus the invisible man would be blind ;-)

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