## How many groups of opposite words are there?

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### How many groups of opposite words are there?

For example:

0/1
positive/negative
hot/cold
man/woman
inside/outside
up/down
space/time (opposites in computational complexity theory)
privacy/security
time/accuracy (approximation algorithms)

Also how are these groups of opposite words related. For example are the words "space" or "time" more related to 0 or 1. The last 3 in the list are considered tradeoffs so how many tradeoffs in general exist in the world. In general how similar are groups of opposite words to one another.
scratch123

Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

I'd like to say their number is infinity, although that can't really be. The thing is, there is no point whatsoever in trying to denumerate them, because the human brain is extremely good at creatively finding patterns and analogy.
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Makri

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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:57 pm UTC

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that this is impossible to quantify. And even if it were possible, it would be pointless.
There was also a large horse in the room, taking up most of it.
Lazar

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Location: Massachusetts

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

Man and woman aren't actually opposites, although many dyadic, binary cisgender people would like to believe they are.

xkcdfan

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Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:10 am UTC

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

Neither are privacy and security.

Shivahn

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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 am UTC

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

This is kind of the insoluble problem that brought down the attempts at 'philosophical languages', no?

Iulus Cofield
WINNING

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### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

And also, "opposites" depends too much on the context..
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gaurwraith

Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:56 pm UTC

### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

How about narrowing the inquiry to words that have more that one meaning and so have more than one opposite. Though, as someone stated, whether something is truly an opposite is debatable. Also not really quantifiable, but funner!

pro - con
pro - amateur

blows - sucks
blows(is terrible) - rocks(is awesome)

straight - gay
straight - crooked

up(direction) - down
up(operational) - down
Disclaimer: I am not a scientist.

wannabe

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### Re: How many groups of opposite words are there?

Finding all the pairs is either possible or impossible, but I'm not sure which one.
The Mockingbird

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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

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