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What is the word for something that is two opposite things in the same form

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ShadeZ, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Maester

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    I have a race that refer to their state as both a blessing and a curse. My original thought for what they would call this is a paradox. But paradox refers to two wholly opposite things not two opposite things existing in the same form.
     
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  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Dichotomy?
     
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  3. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    Maybe use the phrase "Two sides of the same coin."
     
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  4. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Janus-faced.
     
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  5. hungry bird

    hungry bird New Member

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    Oxymoron?
     
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  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Contronym

    Auto-antonym - Wikipedia
    "An auto-antonym or autantonym, also called a contronym, contranym[1] or Janus word, is a word with multiple meanings (senses) of which one is the reverse of another."
     
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  7. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    Ying-Yang?
     
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  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    The common expression is that it's a double-edged sword. You could probably twist that to whatever weapon some old hero of theirs once used, like a double-bladed axe or a spear with two points. Or a snake with two heads. Or maybe a fish against a current. Anything that kind of suggests the dichotomy or struggle of two directions at once.
     
  9. Mia

    Mia Troubadour

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    i like Devor's take on it
     
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  10. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

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    For new concepts, a fave hack of mine is turning existing words into nouns. So I would go for "their double-edge" or maybe "their ambivalent".
     
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  11. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    In Christianity, they would call that a mystery. I would call it the burden of our blessing.
     
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  12. Electric Bone Flute

    Electric Bone Flute Minstrel

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    I reject the premise that an existing word (in the capacity that you're thinking of, that is) will do.
    I'd imagine they'd have a bespoke word for the affliction, since it's so central to them, and so captivating of their focus. Describe the affliction itself. The name for what they have will be the word.
    For example: if the race were all shapeshifters, they would be blessed with kewl shapeshifting powers, but cursed with inability to be sure of who is their fellow man. So they'll call the good problem, the terrible boon, "mutability," "slipperiness," or perhaps "inconstancy."
     
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