Nehama (med_cat) wrote in 1word1day,
Nehama
med_cat
1word1day

Friday word: Sanction

Here’s an ambiguous sentence for you: “Because of the agency’s oversight, the corporation’s behavior was sanctioned.” Does that mean, 'Because the agency oversaw the company’s behavior, they imposed a penalty for some transgression' or does it mean, 'Because the agency was inattentive, they overlooked the misbehavior and gave it their approval by default'? We’ve stumbled into the looking-glass world of “contronyms”—words that are their own antonyms.

1. Sanction (via French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify,’) can mean ‘give official permission or approval for (an action)’ or conversely, ‘impose a penalty on.’

Read about 24 more such words here: 25 words that are their own opposites, from Mental Floss
Tags: latin, noun, s, wordsmith: med_cat
Subscribe

  • Wednesday Word: Nîcîwâkan

    Nîcîwâkan - noun. Nîcîwâkan is a Cree word for friend. To hear the pronunciation along with four other Cree words, watch the video below!

  • Tuesday word: Intrepid

    Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 Intrepid (adjective) in·trep·id [in-trep-id] adjective 1. resolutely fearless; dauntless: an intrepid explorer. WORDS…

  • Sunday Word: Copacetic

    Sunday Word: Copacetic copacetic [koh-p uh- set-ik, - see-tik] adjective: (informal) fine, OK, agreeable, totally satisfactory, in excellent…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 2 comments