Questions tagged [contradiction]

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2answers
126 views

Can you use “adequately” and “well”?

I ran across this clause and I’m wondering if it’s okay to use "adequately" and "well" together. I think of "well" as being more than adequate, so does "adequate" contradict or seriously undermine the ...
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4answers
87 views

the use of “can be” in passive voice

I'm not a native English speaker and I see a sort of striking contradiction in the use of the expression in the passive voice something can/can not be + past participle e.g the ...
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3answers
935 views

What is the contradictory proverb to “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? [closed]

Sweet lemons and sour grapes tend to be used by people who have a reactionary outlook on life. They reason that things are just the way they are and we are bound to our circumstance. They will often ...
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2answers
1k views

Does 'all but useless' mean useless or useful?

I saw a product review that was complaining about the built-in microphone of the camera, and in one paragraph stated it was 'all but useless'. I have seen 'all but [negative word]' in different places ...
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4answers
370 views

Hyphenation (end-of-line division) of “Germany” and some other common words

I am currently trying to build a database of English words and their hyphenations (end-of-line divisions) (en-US, if it matters), and thereby have come across some words which I have found ...
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2answers
799 views

What is it called when something is described as something completely opposite from the truth?

What is it called when something is described as something but the something is in fact anything but that something? For example : a strong man who calls himself a weakling a purple man who calls ...
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2answers
204 views

Regarding Trump's “being, like, really smart” statement. What is it called when the content of statement is contradicted by its composition?

Trump's recent tweet about his mental stability and genius like intelligence, made me wonder. What's it called when someone makes a statement that appears to be a contradiction like this: .......
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1answer
1k views

is there any word to describe a person (or a phenomenon) that can accomplish contradictory things?

For example, if someone is given to finish two contradictory things (or we can say task) and he/she would accomplish all at the same time. It's like oxymoron, but somebody can handle those kind of ...
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2answers
1k views

A phrase or word that is like “on the other hand” but for opposite ideas supporting the same argument [closed]

A sentence such as "I should go cycling because my head says it is good for my longevity and on the other hand in my heart I am passionate about it" does not make much sense. On the one hand the ...
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1answer
2k views

Does the word “youthism” have contradictory meanings?

I am a bit confused about the word "youthism." I was given the meaning "cult of/obsession with youth" by two English-German online dictionaries and Google Books, but wiktionary gives the meaning "...
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1answer
102 views

Can't understand two contradicting sentences in popular book

The following excerpted paragraph, from the original 1930s public domain version of the popular Think & Grow Rich book, reads as a contradiction that I'm having difficulty reconciling in my mind: ...
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0answers
76 views

Is there any place that I can find words whose spelling looks opposite to its own meaning? [closed]

I am preparing for GRE exam and I found there are words that looks opposite to its meaning. For example, the word "restive" actually means "unrest" and the word "factitious" actually means "not actual ...
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2answers
315 views

Is virtual reality a contradiction?

When you consider the word "virtual" you would usually picture something that is simulated or exists in a computational manner. Does this mean that virtual reality is actually contradictory? After ...
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1answer
281 views

Words with a property that is contradictory to their meaning

I've always been amused by words like "monosyllabic" which are self-contradictory in the sense that the word itself is not, in fact, one syllable. "Palindrome" is another example. (Palindrome, ...
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0answers
84 views

What does “sanction” actually mean? [duplicate]

I have read this word quite often and always tried to elicit its meaning from the context and circumstances in which it was said.. More often than not I took it as a word for official ban or penalty.. ...
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5answers
716 views

“This page intentionally blank” … but it isn't!

We are all familiar with user manuals or documents with pages printed with "intentionally blank" ... but with those words on them, they are no longer blank! I'm pretty sure I saw a user manual once ...
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4answers
1k views

How did 'drone' come to mean both 'one who does no work' and 'one who spends most of his or her time doing menial work'?

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) gives the following definitions for drone in senses derived from the word for male honeybee: drone \drōn\ n {ME fr. OE drān; akin to OHG ...
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4answers
923 views

On the duplicity of “peruse” [duplicate]

The following are the two main definitions of the verb peruse that the editors at Merriam-Webster.com have put forward: : to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way : to ...
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2answers
3k views

“in control of their own destiny”: a contradiction?

It's almost NFL playoff time, which means every two-bit sports reporter and analyst [sic] is talking about teams "in control of their own destiny," by which they normally mean: if they play well, they ...