Contronyms: Words That Are Their Own Opposites (Daily Writing Tips)

Dictionary English256

When you dust are you applying or removing it? Depends on whether you’re working the crops or the furniture.

It’s just one example of the contronym, or auto-antonym, or antagonym, or Janus word (from the Roman god of beginnings and endings; you know—the one with two faces looking in opposite directions).

Check out this list of 75—and be clear about your intention when using them.


Shaun Leonardo ’01 Makes ‘Most Memorable Artworks’ List (Artnet News)

Shaun El C. Leonardo ’01

Shaun El C. Leonardo ’01

The critics at artnet say Shaun Leonardo’s I Can’t Breathe is one of 2016’s “most memorable artworks,” joining works by such artists as Christo,Vito Acconci, and Ai Weiwei.

Leonardo’s performance piece evokes the last minutes of Eric Garner, who died in Staten Island in 2014 after being put in a police chokehold. In the performance, Leonardo teaches participants how to use the blocks and evasive moves that Garner attempted to resist the police. “These techniques…qualify as resisting arrest,” and can unfortunately escalate a situation, according to Artnet. During the workshop, Leonardo repeats Garner’s final words, “I can’t breathe.” Read more.

Faludi’s ‘In the Darkroom’ Recognized as One of New York Times 10 Best Books of 2016

Susan Faludi

The New York Times has recognized Susan Faludi’s In the Dark Room as one of the 10 Best Books of 2016. In her book, Faludi—research associate, former Tallman Scholar in Gender and Women’s Studies, and winner of 2016 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction—describes her relationship with her father as he undergoes gender reassignment surgery. Read more.

‘Christmas Bells’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of the Class of 1825

One of the best known American poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, of the Class of 1825, contributed to the wealth of carols sung each holiday season when he wrote “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” on December 25, 1864.

The carol was originally a poem with seven stanzas. Two stanzas containing references to the American Civil War were omitted, giving us the carol we know in its present form. Read the original seven-stanza composition.