Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meanings can be opposites

If you are expecting some philosophical content here, no, that's not what I want to say.

Languages have always interested me, but I have not really taken efforts to analyze them more than needed.

Today, at work, I had this doubt on usage of the words Oversee and Overlook.

Look means See

Now, append the word look to both these words.

Overlook means to neglect. In effect, not bothered.
Oversee means to supervise. In effect, too bothered.

Logically,

Look and see are meanings. Look = See
Overlook and Oversee are opposites. Overlook X Oversee

But why?

Note: If you are wondering about the time I have at work, to wonder so much about the words usage, let me clarify, that being a technical writer involves bothering about such word issues also, apart from other logical and practical language issues.

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