Monday, October 03, 2005



Languagehat draws our attention to a neat auto-antonym in Urdu, the noun lāg, which means both enmity and love. An auto-antonym is a word that can mean the opposite of itself. The clever title of Languagehat's post is Odi et Amo, the opening words of Catullus' famous couplet (85):
Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
  nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
In the translation of F.W. Cornish:
I hate and love. Why I do so, perhaps you ask. I know not, but I feel it, and I am in torment.
I discussed auto-antonyms here.

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