Saturday, January 30, 2010

UNglish

I recently saw an ad on TV, for an insurance company that spoke of how complicated, confusing and jargonized our world has become and that is was time to uncomplicate!

not simplify - which i always thought of as the opposite of complicate, but UNcomplicate!

I pretty much accept undo : ctrl-Z, as the savior of many a disaster, while working with the computer. without that, life would have been a lot more difficult. the power to change one's mind and pretty much retract something that was done is really awesome.

i guess this could be a case of peer pressure. with facebook being so popular, the conversion of a noun - friend - to a verb to mean make friends, rather than befriend - that wren and martin taught us, paved the way for, what else - UNfriend! so, many people might think that Un-ning something makes it the opposite.

i am used to some words only in their un-form - such as uncouth or ungainly, though the non-un forms [un-un form?] couth or gainly are popular among scrabble players and are valid words.

i also found a site for unwords, though it is not really about words that could have been back-worded using un. these are more words that have been 'created' to mean some concept or thing.

a quick search of some dictionaries returned close to 4000 words that began with un.

maybe this is what makes english easy to adapt and adopt across the world.
is post-paid also a back word?

p.s. btw, this is my 'UNdred-and-first post on this blog! 

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