What the damn is an Oxycretin I hear you quiver.

While oxymorons are figures of speech in which contradictory terms
appear conjoined into a single phrase (Pretty ugly, halfway done, good
grief, old news and all the others in this list) Oxycretins are
two opposite words which can be housed within the same word. By
removing a single letter, the whole word switches to the opposite
meaning. The term is obviously less than technical, being mostly an
escalated derivative of the word “oxymoron” (would “escalated
derivative” also be an oxymoron then?)

There are precious few examples of these online, at the trime of
writing, Google produces something like 4 pages out of a possible (and
probably duplicated) 28 pages on the subject of “Oxycretins”, not all
of them to do with this phenomenon, but rather the term itself. It
seems a common username. The greatest number of them can be found in a
new book by Teresa Monachino called Words Fail Me, published by Phaidon.

Here are some cool examples. If you remove the bolded letter, you see the revealed opposite word.

None

Seven

Charm

Slaughter

Covert

Whole

Twit

Flute (if one considers string and wind instruments as opposites.

Resign

Friend

Tanker (ok that’s a homophone of anchor but it’s pretty good anyway…)

Why not try and think of your own? You’ll find that their discovery
is pretty much by accident every time (it’s nice, as each discovery
comes with that “Ah-Ha!” factor that makes word games so much fun.)

It’s a great way to spend the day not working.

technorati tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Advertisements