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The Bridge is Open but Closed

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Chelsea says that after moving from the Midwest to Norfolk, Virginia, she was confused by traffic reports indicating that a local bridge was open. Turns out the bridge is a drawbridge, and by open, the announcers were saying that the bridge was lifted for boats and barges, and therefore not open to cars. This is an example of polysemy, or the fact that words have more than one meaning. It’s also an example of a Janus word, also known as an antagonym or an enantiodrome, such as cleave, which can mean either to stick together or to split. This is part of a complete episode.

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