Tag Archive: poem

Analysis of “Gloss”

January 28, 2014 9:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There is a short poem titled “Gloss” by David McCord, written to draw attention to English words that appear to be antonyms of words that don’t exist. It goes like this:

I know a little man both ept and ert.
An intro-? extro-? No, he’s just a vert.
Sheveled and couth and kempt, pecunious, ane,
His image trudes upon the ceptive brain.

When life turns sipid and the mind is traught,
The spirit soars as I would sist it ought.
Chalantly then, like any gainly goof,
My digent self is sertive, choate, loof.

Which of those root words have been simply lost to history, and which never existed? You can have a word that starts with dis- and isn’t an antonym, e.g. “distance”, is that the case with any of these words?

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