Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

SANCTION

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

SANCTION

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:54 pm

• sanction •

Pronunciation: sængk-shên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb & Noun

Meaning: 1. [Verb] To permit, encourage, officially approve. 2. [Verb] To penalize, to forbid or discourage by exacting penalties.

Notes: Richard Lederer has called words that themselves have two contradictory meanings "contronyms", as good a name as we need. Today's contronym, when used as a noun, distinguishes its contradictory meanings by the use of discrete prepositions. A sanction to usually indicates permission while a sanction against indicates penalization. That distinction does not carry over to the verb: "The principal sanctioned short skirts," could mean that she approved them or that she forbade them.

In Play: Using a contronym requires the listener's knowing which of its meanings applies: "Iran was sanctioned for producing weapons of mass destruction by the UN long ago." We must deduce from the negative connotations of 'weapons of mass destruction' that here the verb means "penalize". "I hope using the BMW to pull the stump out of the back yard was sanctioned by Mom or Dad," however, sounds more like approval.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin sanctio(n) "consecration, confirmation" from sancire "to make holy". The past participle of this verb is sanctus, which French inherited and converted to saint. The Proto-Indo-European root, *sa[n]k- "holy, sacred", contains a Fickle N which comes and goes as it pleases historically. In sancire it is present but in sacer "holy", which was borrowed as English sacred, it is not. An interesting relative of all these words is sacrosanct, which contains this root both ways: with and without the N. (We were delighted to sanction the use of this word, sent to us by Thel Casper, in our Good Word series.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3342
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Postby Perry » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:52 pm

I'm Perry Dror, and I sanctioned this message. 8)
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby skinem » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:56 pm

No, Perry, I disagree. I sanction this message! :lol:
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

"Contranyms"

Postby Don » Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:44 am

"Sanction" and "sanction" are, we're told, contranyms -- i.e., one word with two opposite meanings. Fine. Interesting. Makes sense. But other words, we're told, are homonyms -- two differing words, each with its own meaning, which sound the same. My question is: how do we decide whether we've got a case of contranyms or homonyms? That is: why wouldn't "sanction" and "sanction" be homonyms? Is there some rule, or is this just a matter of arbitrary convention?

Don
Don
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:10 am

Postby Perry » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:07 am

HOMONYM: One of two or more words having the same sound and often the same spelling but different meanings. Examples: quail (cower), and quail (bird) fair (appearance), fair (county fair), and fair (reasonable).

HOMOPHONE: One of two or more words pronounced the same but different in meaning, origin, and sometimes spelling. Examples: cite, sight, and site; sea and see; your and you're; bow and bough.

HOMOGRAPH: One of two or more words spelled alike but different in origin, meaning, and sometimes pronunciation. Examples: bow of a ship, a bow and arrow, and a bow (deference/manners).

HETERONYM: One of two or more words that are spelled the same but that differ in pronunciation and meaning. Examples: bass (voice) and bass (fish); polish (shine) and Polish (from Poland); tear (rip) and tear (from eye).


I would say that a contranym is a sub-class of homonyms, singled out for having opposite, rather than merely different, meanings.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby Bailey » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:40 am

Thank you[ and Welcome to you Don] for the information, and to you too Perry for the elaboration.

mark being-polite? Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

CONTRANYM | HOMONYM

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:36 am

There is usually historical evidence that homonymous pairs are discrete words: fair and fair are pronounced the same as a result of historical coincidence.

A contranym is a single word with two meanings that contradict each other and the historical evidence indicates some quirk in usuage that led to their state.
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3342
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Contranyms

Postby Don » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:01 am

Thanks.

Just to be clear, am I right that Dr. G disagrees with Perry? Perry says that contranyms are "a sub-class of homonyms" -- i.e., that they are two words, each with its own (opposite) meaning, which sound the same. Dr. G says that contranyms are one word with two (opposite) meanings, adding that historical evidence as to how our words developed ususally can indicate to us whether we've got a case of homonym or contranym. I would be inclined to go with Dr. G's response, agreeing with him (so far as my poor powers allow) that there is historical evidence in many cases.

Don
Don
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:10 am

Postby Perry » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:17 am

My assertion was contextual, whereas Dr. Goodword (aka Dr. Richard Beard), actually possesses facts and specific etymological knowledge regarding this. I will just take it as a complement that you wondered (if only for a moment) which of us to believe.

IOW, what he said! :?
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby gailr » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:18 pm

In other words, Perry sanctions Dr. Goodword's message.

-gailr :wink:
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Stargzer » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:45 pm

Perry wrote:My assertion was contextual, whereas Dr. Goodword (aka Dr. Richard Beard),...


Robert, Perry, Robert!

Or Bob, as he signs himself in Email.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2545
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby gailr » Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:16 am

In other words, Stargzer sanctions Perry's message.
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby Perry » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:01 am

OOPS! :oops:

What to do when there are two Beards that I admire? One is our own Dr. Robert Beard and the other is Richard Beard, host of Celtic Winds Sundays 12:00 - 3:00 on WNCW (98.7 from Spindale, NC or http://www.wncw.org for listening from anywhere via the web).

Gail, it's wonderful the way you jumped on the two sides of sanction!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby sluggo » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm

Perry wrote:OOPS! :oops:

What to do when there are two Beards that I admire? One is our own Dr. Robert Beard and the other is Richard Beard, host of Celtic Winds Sundays 12:00 - 3:00 on WNCW (98.7 from Spindale, NC or http://www.wncw.org for listening from anywhere via the web).

Gail, it's wonderful the way you jumped on the two sides of sanction!


Kewl, I didn't know that!
But just for the record it's 88.7 -not to be picky or anything....

IOW I sanction Perry's sanction of Gailr's sanction of Stargzer's sanction of Perry's sanction of Dr. Rufolf Beard's sanction of sanction.

Sankew, sank yew vurra much.

PS - speaking of picky, contranym or contronym? One of you even did it both ways! Are they homanyms?
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Re: CONTRANYM | HOMONYM

Postby sluggo » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:47 pm

I thought homonyms were words pronounced alike but spelt differently.
When Dr. Goodword wrote:

Dr. Goodword wrote:There is usually historical evidence that homonymous pairs are discrete words: fair and fair are pronounced the same as a result of historical coincidence.


- did he mean fair and fare?
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Next

Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot] and 2 guests