Thursday, August 28, 2008
Co-Worker: Let me itch myself.
We: Don't you mean Scratch? You scratch an itch, right? You don't itch an itch or else it'll get itchier.
[Co-Worker stares blankly]
We: It's like when people say Gross when they mean Scary, right?
Co-Worker: Well, maybe they're talking about blood and guts and stuff like that.
We: No, no, when there's no blood or gore--when the emotion they're feeling is clearly Fear, and instead of saying, "Yikes!" or "Ahh!" they say, "Gross!"
We: But substituting Scratch with Itch is even worse, right? Because they have opposite meanings. What sense is it to have the noun mean one thing and the verb its opposite?