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TerzaRima
04-10-2015, 05:46 AM
New Yorker article on how we sometimes contradict ourselves with a word, and I thought you linguistic types might enjoy. I love the idea of Janus words or contranyms. (http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-part-of-no-totally-dont-you-understand)

RichardGarfinkle
04-10-2015, 02:35 PM
That is in "no" way interesting. I.e. I'm quite intrigued. I had no idea about the yes/no/yea/nay thing. And I wonder if the author is correct about the slippage from know into no. 'Cause I don't know. But I know, right? No, totally.

CoffeeBeans
04-10-2015, 08:17 PM
A friend of mine called this (both of us say it) to my attention a few years ago, but it's strange to see that it's so new.

Also, I got sent this today as well How to Say ‘Yes’ (by Not Saying ‘Yes’) (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/04/how-to-say-yes-by-not-saying-yes/390129/), so I guess it's a Yes and No kind of day!

Sage
04-10-2015, 08:24 PM
I say, "No, yeah" and "Yeah, no" all the time.

veinglory
04-10-2015, 09:25 PM
"No, definitely", seems common in the US, and "yes, nah" or "yeah, no" are routine in the UK and NZ. So it must serve a pretty universal function.

TerzaRima
04-11-2015, 12:41 AM
I was trying to think of other contranymic words or figures of speech, and then I thought of, "(Astounding/joyous/scandalous item here), really?! Shut up!" IOW, go on and don't leave anything out.

chaneyk06
04-30-2015, 11:04 AM
Does "classy" count? In its current usage, it almost always means the opposite. Does a permanent case of sarcasm change the meaning of the word?

mirandashell
04-30-2015, 12:32 PM
I think a lot of the time it's down to the tone of voice. So the meaning of classy hasn't changed in itself, just the way it's used.

chaneyk06
05-01-2015, 09:30 AM
My favorite examples of 'no, totally' and its relatives are on the BBC shows Twenty Twelve and W1A. Absolutely epic levels of usage, until you want to smack your TV screen in the face.

mirandashell
05-01-2015, 12:10 PM
There it's used more as a sign of a brain in idle whilst the mouth is still moving.

Maxx
05-01-2015, 10:29 PM
Does "classy" count? In its current usage, it almost always means the opposite. Does a permanent case of sarcasm change the meaning of the word?

Wow! Classy is kind of a classic case of a word so dripping with sarcasm that it becomes an indicator of just plain final complete judgment on the part of the speaker and its meaning is sort of vaporized by its use.

rugcat
05-01-2015, 10:45 PM
I was trying to think of other contranymic words or figures of speech, and then I thought of, "(Astounding/joyous/scandalous item here), really?! Shut up!" IOW, go on and don't leave anything out.Akin to "Don't tell me he did that," no?

I mean, yes?

chaneyk06
05-02-2015, 09:50 AM
Or "oh no you didn't!"

Celia Cyanide
05-14-2015, 06:44 AM
Does "classy" count? In its current usage, it almost always means the opposite. Does a permanent case of sarcasm change the meaning of the word?

Like the word "winner." The only time anyone "sounds like a real winner" is when they sound like a loser.

chaneyk06
05-14-2015, 10:06 AM
There must be a linguistic term for when a word or phrase is so completely taken over by sarcasm that it comes to mean its opposite. There is a term for a word going from a positive meaning to a negative one (like "awful") but specifically through a mode of behavior like sarcasm... wouldn't that be fascinating! (Not sarcastic)

Maxx
05-15-2015, 10:25 PM
There must be a linguistic term for when a word or phrase is so completely taken over by sarcasm that it comes to mean its opposite. There is a term for a word going from a positive meaning to a negative one (like "awful") but specifically through a mode of behavior like sarcasm... wouldn't that be fascinating! (Not sarcastic)

It would probably be described something like an in-group marker (idiom, idiomatic, idiolect), but what's interesting is that some things that are supposedly oh-so-in simply explode so that everyone is instantly in the in-group. And there's no avoiding it. You can't pretend you don't know what such things mean (I mean you can't make your self seem exclusive by pretending you don't understand sarcasm).

Liosse de Velishaf
08-01-2015, 10:51 PM
I think the article is kinda confusing the lexical meaning with the meaning in context. "No, totally" at least, seems a pretty clear example of cutting words, rather than changing meaning. It's really more of a shortening of "I know it seems impossibly, but no it's not. It totally happened." "No, totally." Or like: "Bobby killed Ms. Sadoval!" "No, I'm not. He totally did."

BubbleGumBG
10-19-2015, 07:17 PM
I've heard combinations like "shut up! So what did he say after that?"
and "ya, I don't think so". I'm sure there are tons more.