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Monday, July 22, 2002

OK, Let the Dogs Out On This

Lynn likes grammar puzzles. Well, I have been plagued for several days by a word problem, to wit, "canny" and "uncanny". No fair using a dictionary: I think "canny" is crafty, shrewd, knowledgeable. "Uncanny" is crafty or capable in a way that surpassses the understanding of us mere mortals. However, the two words are clearly not opposites, and a casual writer might use them interchangeably, as in "The uncanny Mickey Kaus today salutes the canny Andrew Sullivan...".

So, my question. Regardless of "irregardless", are there other "word - unword" pairings with a comparable "near-synonym" status? I have been bugged by this for several days, and need help. Thanks.

UPDATE: Valuable, invaluable; estimable, inestimable. OK.

UPDATE 2: Lynn (Un)Leashed offers flammable / inflammable. And what's this about "uncouth"? I lose my couth all the time.

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