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Sunday, January 7, 2024

Welcome back to Lyrical Pens in 2024

cj Sez: I hope your December holiday celebrations were wonderful, and you made many lovely memories. Now, as Draft2Digital told me in a recent email: “It’s time to soar in 2024!”

  I want to continue my last contronym post with just a few more examples from the article “40 Words and Phrases That Are Their Own Opposites” by Judith Herman. 

14. Clip  Clip can mean “to bind together” or “to separate.” You clip sheets of paper to together or separate part of a page by clipping something out. Clip is a pair of homographs, words with different origins spelled the same. Old English clyppan, which means “to clasp with the arms, embrace, hug,” led to our current meaning, “to hold together with a clasp.” The other clip, “to cut or snip (a part) away,” is from Old Norse klippa, which may come from the sound of a shears.

15. Continue usually means “to persist in doing something,” but as a legal term it means “to stop a proceeding temporarily.”

16. Fight with can be interpreted three ways. “He fought with his mother-in-law” could mean “They argued,” “They served together in the war,” or “He used the old battle-ax as a weapon.” (Thanks to linguistics professor Robert Hertz for this idea.)

17. Flog, meaning “to punish by caning or whipping,” showed up in school slang of the 17th century, but now it can have the contrary meaning, “to promote persistently,” as in “flogging a new book.” Perhaps that meaning arose from the sense “to urge (a horse, etc.) forward by whipping,” which grew out of the earliest meaning.

18. Go means “to proceed,” but also “give out or fail,” i.e., “This car could really go until it started to go.”

19. Hold up can mean “to support” or “to hinder”: “What a friend! When I’m struggling to get on my feet, he’s always there to hold me up.”

20. Out can mean “visible” or “invisible.” For example, “It’s a good thing the full moon was out when the lights went out.”

21. Out Of  Out of means “outside” or “inside”: “I hardly get out of the house because I work out of my home.”

22. Toss Out   Toss out could be either “to suggest” or “to discard”: “I decided to toss out the idea.”

23. Peer   Peer is a person of equal status (as in a jury of one’s peers), but some peers are more equal than others, like the members of the peerage, the British or Irish nobility.

24. Original  According to, original can mean either “belonging to the beginning of something” or “new, fresh, inventive.” 

That’s it for this thread on Lyrical Pens. To read the rest of the article, click on this link and enjoy:


  For writers and readers: The link below is to a recent article on Jane Friedman’s blog directed to writers, but I think there are some clues in there that would serve any parent of a teen well:


  Okay, that’s the post for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you and yours.


Now some words from my sponsors: 
Available! Two Mobile Writers Guild anthologies with a variety of wonderful short stories and poems to celebrate upcoming special days. (P.S The city of Mobile, Al, has already started Mardi Gras celebrations.)

  My novels, THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a smidgen of romance. The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my paperback books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  If the shop happens to be sold out, shoot me an email. I have a small stash (with a discounted price plus shipping).

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