Writing Tip: Autoanonyms

Words that can take two (or more) opposite meanings are known as autoanonyms. (They are also known as contranyms, antilogies, and Janus words.) If there is another word that is just as descriptive but only has one meaning, using that would be a better choice. After all, we rarely want to create confusion when we write.
Autoanonym Examples
Fast – moving quickly or fixed firmly in place
Overlook – watch over carefully or fail to notice
Aught – anything or nothing
Trim – to reduce or to add to; ornament
As we’ve all heard or even learned the hard way, spell check is a great tool, but it can’t catch everything. These tricky little –nyms often sneak past your standard spell check. The English language has many tiny jewels that can trip up even the most proficient writer.

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