Language Structure and Usage


  • Antonyms are words which have almost the opposite meaning for the given context.
  • Since some words have multiple meanings, one must be careful of the meaning associated with an antonym.
  • For example, Love and Hate are antonyms.
  • In Pali, the antonyms of Lobha (Greed), Dosa (Anger or Hatred) and Moha (Ignorance of Delusion) are Alobha (Non-greed), Adosa (Non-hatred) and Amoha (Non-ignorance or Wisdom).


  • Homonyms are words which sound the same.
  • Examples
    air, heir
    rain, rein, reign
    throne, thrown
  • A puzzle based on homonyms :
    “What is the difference between the Prince of Wales and a cricket ball?”
    The Prince of Wales is heir to the throne.
    A cricket ball is thrown to the air.


  • is usually a phrase whose meaning is not obvious
  • gets the meaning accepted due to usage over time
  • is a linguistic device
  • During my middle school days, one of my uncles gave me books (including “A Book of Idioms”) .
    From the book, I learned that “the hand that rocks the cradle” stands for “a mother”.
  • Rain cats and dogs” is an idiom which means “Rain heavily”.
    In this example, the idiom uses a metaphor.
  • No one knows the root of the idiom “kick the bucket” meaning “dies”.
    Someone guessed that a man being hanged by a rope might kick a bucket.
  • Idioms should be used sparingly.
    If you combine two idioms mentioned above and say “The hand that rocked the cradle kicked the bucket” you might receive LOL (Laughing Out Loud).


  • Synonyms are words which have almost the same meaning for the given context.
  • Since some words have multiple meanings, one must specify the meaning associated with a synonym.
  • Dictionary, Thesaurus, Lexicon and Vocabulary are synonyms.
    Their usage depends on the context.
    In general, Lexicon is a body of knowledge (or dictionary) of Latin and Greek.
    At one time, Lexicon is a card game where players create words and score points. It was superseded by Scrabble.

Categories: Notes

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