Friday, June 24, 2016

Sound and Sense, 20

Our English dictionary has in it many words whose sounds and meanings can … confuse. In this next series of doggerel, I’ll be writing about several sorts of such words.
The first—the contronym: a word, says the Oxford English Dictionary, that has “two opposite or contradictory meanings.”
Earliest published use: 1962.

oversight noun
1. monitoring
2. failing to oversee

She was in charge of oversight
Throughout the company.
But she messed up—and her excuse?
“An oversight, you see?”

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