Word Game II
The following prefixes mean "not." They work like the negative sign in mathematics.
- in (conspicuous/inconspicuous, evitable/inevitable)
- im (possible/impossible, movable/immovable)
- un (acceptable/unacceptable, interesting/uninteresting )
- dis (engaged/disengaged, connect/disconnect)
- non (smoking/non-smoking)
These are the ones off the top of my head right now.
So we know that the prefix in means "not," but how would you explain the following pairs?
When you see a warning sign that says, "inflammable", it means it is flammable, not not flammable. If it says, "flammable", it means inflammable, not not inflammable.
Can you think of more words where adding a prefix which usually means not does not not not create the opposite meaning and the prefix does not mean not?
I love what Galvanize Choas says in her inaugural posting about words.
Have you ever noticed that words are astonishingly like people? Every person is so different and unique; just like words. Words have characters, almost like personalities. They shift (as people do) their conduct with their company.
Our minds are trying to give word-form to the world surrounding us. We are endlessly studying, seeking for just the right word to use. We judge people, as we do words. They may not be the right shape or size. They may say too much or too little. They are too bold or too weak, too cruel or too kind. Acquiring a vocabulary can help us find the missing pieces to the puzzle.