Negative Onlies

There are certain words and phrases that have accumulated in cultural parlance for which the positive use is vestigial, but the negatory enjoys widespread use.

For example, whenever somebody retains their faculties through a surprising, or violent occurrence they are referred to as “unfazed.” But rarely do you hear somebody relate: “I was completely fazed!” Faced maybe, depending on their vices, but never fazed.

When was the last time you heard someone telling you how great requited love feels? Or described their composite mixture as adulterated? If irregardless is an incorrect version of regardless, what is the form one should use when they want to admit that someone’s point is valid, regardful?

Also there are words referencing a thing’s opposite that are never really applied to that opposite. People refer to old people as “Spry” to indicate that they aren’t bunched up or gnarled or stiff, but you never hear young people, commonly thought of as vigorous/flexible/gymnastic, referred to as spry.

What other ‘Uns’ or negative onlies can you think of?

5 thoughts on “Negative Onlies

  1. Mr. Rock, I beg to differ. I use faze all the time. For example:

    When I was younger, I went through a faze where I used a piece of rope as a belt.

    Actually, this made me think of how words could be applied in ways other than their original meanings. For example:

    disinform: giving information in an insulting way
    carpet: a animal companion for the automobile
    fingernail: analogous to pushpin

    This has nothing to do with your original post. I will shut up now.

  2. No…I think it would be unfazered. Seriously, I think you’ve just stumbled upon a new bit of lexicon for the Star Trek world.

    Next, you should copyright this, put it on 10000 t-shirts, and travel the Star Trek convention circut and sell said shirts for $10 apiece.

  3. Nick, when I read your first comment about homonymical phoneme meanings I can’t help but focus on your use of ‘analogous’ and I am presented with scatological connotations.

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