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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Opposites? Naw!
By Allison Egley
06/10/09


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Have you ever stopped to think just how strange the English language is? I mean, really stop to think about it? Take the words "empty" and "full," for example. If you think they are opposites, than I give you the following to ponder.

*If "full of it" means we're a bit on the crazy side, than why doesn't "empty of it" mean we're perfectly sane?

*We might say someone's "playing with a full deck of cards." Does that means there's an empty deck of cards?

*If we're "full of hot air," why can't we be "empty of hot air?" Or, perhaps "full of cold air?"

*We say we're "running on empty." So why can't we be "running on full?" Or even just "running full?" One can be a running fool, but that, my friends, is a whole new ballgame.

*Why aren't "My hands are full" and "Empty handed" opposites? Don't they, in fact, almost mean the same thing? That we can't offer anything?

*If someone is full of themselves, why can't we just empty him to bring him back to earth?

*Boy, I think we've got this going in full swing! I hope we don't fall off.

*We're going full throttle! But what if someone empties it?

*If parents have "empty nest syndrome" when their kids leave, do they get "full nest syndrome" when their kids run out of money and come back?

*Should "seeing the glass as half empty" and "seeing the glass as half full" really be opposites? I mean, mathematically speaking, they're the same thing, right?

*Why isn't the opposite of "full up" "empty up," or perhaps "full down," or maybe even "empty down?"

*When driving, we are instructed to "come to a full stop." So does that mean the person who just rolled through the stop sign and cut me off came to an "empty stop?" Or a "full go?"

*If we know something for sure, we can say we know it "full well." So if we're not sure do we know it "empty well?" Now this begs the question.... When Timmy fell down the well, was it empty or full?

I fear I'd better wrap this travesty up before you think my logic is full of holes. And to end this, I feel that I should bring it full circle. So let me ask you one more time. Have you ever thought about just how strange the English language is? I mean really thought about it?


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Member Comments
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Brenda Rice 06/13/09
Yes, I have actually thought about our language and how strange it is. You had a difference approach however, so now I have more to think about. This is very interesting.
Sharon Kane06/14/09
A fun read. I've got as far as wondering how we can 'sit down' or we can 'sit up', but they are not opposites at all. Now look, I've given you a whole new topic to write on!
Gregory Kane06/15/09
Delightful. My favourite was the observation that the glass half way and the glass half empty are mathematically equal. What a wit!
Lollie Hofer 06/16/09
Great read, this left me full of laughter. I'll be pondering your ponderings for the next couple days. Thanks for sharing.