JS Tip 48: From the Communication Workshops: Finding the Lost Positives

In the last weeks, our Tips have been serious: “The Power of Recognition.” “Demanding Bosses.” We thought we’d lighten it up a tad. ”Hey, Tad. How ya doin’?”

The English language sports an interesting phenomenon called “the lost positive.”

When you got up this morning, your hair may have been unruly. But after you combed it, was it ruly?

At first, the new mail clerk may have been inept, but, after the training, was he ept?

In Private Benjamin, Sergeant Ross warns his soldiers: “Beware. There are mine fields out there. Most of them are inert. However, some of them are . . . um . . . ert.”

Consider some others: ruth, couth, kempt, and sheveled. Wow. Words that have completely left the building. Only their negative remains.

Come up with your own list. Send it to us. The best list wins a prize.

This language stuff, it’s fun.