Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Double Meaning Can Confuse…

March 12, 2013

Dilettante – definition: 1) an admirer or lover of the arts 2) a person who has a shallow interest in an art or area of knowledge.


Now I know that ‘English’ is a complicated language and it’s use around the world has altered it drastically but how can the same word mean completely opposing views?   I could describe someone as a dilettante meaning the first version and get sort shrift from them thinking I am being spiteful. Thus I began searching out more antagonyms.

Here are just a few to get your grey matter thinking.


Buckle – fasten securely or fall apart

Impregnable – able to be impregnated or incapable of being entered.

Weather -to endure or to erode.

Buckle- to hold together or collapse.

Fast – move rapidly or fix in position or starve.

Bound – to travel to or unable to move.

This creates a predicament for the writer. How to use the word and ensure the correct meaning is realized by the reader. We don’t want to expound too much as that negates using the word in the first place but some hint as to the specified meaning is required. As writers we play with words and this is an example of how we can excel at our art. Using the location or company of our character can be a good way of ensuring the correct meaning is known or how the dilettante actually responds to the circumstances.

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