The Society for the Restoration of Lost Positives

There is clearly not enough information about this important group on the web, so I will do my duty as a content provider.

The organization predates my birth, but they do not seem to be getting the press their important efforts to improve our language deserve.

And besides, I need a header article for the tidbits I’m expecting to tag as “lost positive”.

I presume, in this crowd, that we’ve all encountered “kempt”, “sheveled”, and “ept”, the (lost) positive forms of “unkempt”, “dissheveled”, and “inept”. But don’t worry, mostly I won’t mention the common negative form; half the fun is figuring it out.

“Flammable” is a rather more complicated case.

Usage Annoyances

“take another tact” — it’s tack, from sailing ships

“baited breath” — nope, it’s bated, meaning roughly “held back”

“must of” — it’s “must have“. And a huge collection of related phonetic spellings of mumbling passed through a spellchecker.

I, of course, find myself making some of these now and then myself; that’s the most annoying thing.  I say they’re just typos when I make them, and you can’t prove I’m wrong.  Nyaaah.