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I'm having fun with paradoxes, and I'm trying to come up with a catchy word for non-self-descriptive. Maybe "autosemantic" fits the bill for self-descriptive (definitely open to other suggestions!), but I'm having a hard time negating it in a natural way.

For an example of the sentence I'm trying to construct:

Is "inautosemantic" inautosemantic?

It just isn't flowing.


1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I believe you're looking for "autological"/"homological" and their antonym "heterological".

+1 Looks right to me. These aren't words to be used in every-day speech though. In formal writing however, they're great. :) –  Noldorin Feb 5 '11 at 1:05
If I remember right, heterological was coined exactly for the sake of the paradox you describe :-) –  PLL Feb 5 '11 at 1:05
@Noldorin: You clearly are not engaging in everyday speech with the right people. –  chaos Feb 5 '11 at 2:31
@PLL It's called the Grelling-Nelson paradox, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grelling%E2%80%93Nelson_paradox –  Mark McDonald Feb 5 '11 at 7:39
I hope that's irony, else you've just made me very sad by a gross assumption. –  Noldorin Feb 5 '11 at 23:37

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