Grappling with the finer points of English

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From: Mr S B Oliver, Churchill Grove, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

DICK Appleyard (The Yorkshire Post, October 4) told of his puzzlement when English 
words are used which betray the logical meaning and imply the opposite.

His amusing examples were correct but his suggested alternatives were also “opposites” to the actual.

He said that dates with stones removed are not “stoned” but should be “unstoned”.

I would suggest that “de-stoned” is more accurate.

Similarly he said a fish with bones removed is not “boned” but should be “unboned”.

Again I suggest that “de-boned” is closer to the truth.

Still with that fish, he suggests that removing the skin should be termed “unskinned” not “skinned”.

Once again “de-skinned” is my preference.

Many words that start with “un” usually mean “not” as in unexploded, undiscovered, unbroken, unclean etc. To me, an unstoned date still has its stone; the unboned fish still has its bones and it still has its skin if it is unskinned.

Mr Appleyard prefers his alarm to “go on” rather than “go off”.

Yesterday a bottle of my milk had gone off – what’s the logical answer to that?