Contronyms and 2020

By M-Power

I was told a long time ago that words have meaning. I have always loved words whose meanings contradict one another. These are called contronyms or Janus words. Janus is the two-faced Roman God and these auto-antonyms are named after him. Here are a few: Fast: It can mean to stay put or to go quickly Sanction: Can mean approval of something, or to restrict Strike: Can mean to hit something (like knock down all the pins in bowling), or totally miss something, (like the ball in baseball) And, one of my favorites: Cleave: You can be bound together or divide Now, when I give you the next contronym just register how it feels to you: Anxious Did you jump to feeling nervous or hesitant? Or did you go to wanting something very much, determinedly wishing for something? Most often, I hear the term anxious used as in anxiety, someone…

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