Tmesis

Mary Anne wrote that Emerson "stuck another word in the midst of 'whatsoever' -- i.e., 'what difficulty soever' or 'what pleasure soever' -- I didn't know you could do that!" Not only can you do it, there's a name for it: tmesis. I mentioned it briefly in my column on rhetorical devices; the most common example is fan-fucking-tastic!

And Zak pointed out that words like cleave and sanction, words that have two opposite meanings, are known as Janus words. Made me want to write a column about that too. "I'm my own antonym."

I miss that column. Maybe someday I'll still finish up the missing five installments from the end of last year. Maybe.

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