Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Word of the Day ‘Cleave’

How useful is a word than can mean both one thing and the exact opposite of that thing?  Such a word is the verb ‘cleave’.  You can quite correctly ‘cleave together’ and ‘cleave apart’.  Cleave can mean either to split or sever something into pieces or it can mean to stick together or adhere to.  Just to make matters even more confusing, it can also mean to be faithful to.

So, when someone suggests you ‘cleave unto your wife’, make sure you get clarification on what exactly they are suggesting.

Oh, ‘cleave’ is also a noun, meaning a flat surface formed through ‘cleavage’, that is the act of splitting something, not sticking things together, or being faithful to them.  I think.

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