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In Oulipian usage, antonymy means the replacement of a designated element by its opposite. Each word is replaced by its opposite, when one exists (black/white), or by an alternative suggesting antonymy (a/the, and/or, glass/wood).
Original: To be or not to be, that is the question.
Antonymy: To not be and to be: this was an answer.
Select a passage from your newspaper source text to complete this exercise.
The original lines are all headlines from the Op-Ed section of the SF Chronicle. I shuffled their order and get more of a kick from the original. I shuffled again in my final piece and played with line breaks and punctuation.
Playing deal or no deal with income inequality
Governments need to stand their ground on stock exchanges
Huge wealth gap caused backlash before and may again
Beware the Republican majority on the Supreme Court
Political parties irrelevant in the age of the super PAC
Business leaders’ double standards on workers’ rights
No dividing line on who cares about the value of work
The idea of nationhood fades, tribalism returns
The result of antonymy:
Disregard a monarchist minority
under a lesser disassembly, stopping
dissension and conception without
spending equality; tiny poverty parity
ended apathy after, or won’t anymore –
anarchists need not be irresolute
under unconventional stagnation.
Independents relevant out of a moment
of ordinary sloth. Unemployment followers’
single extremes under unemployed’s wrongs –
a reality of utopia growing — introversion
disappears, an existence of a uniting circle
which disregards a disadvantage of idleness.
Titles of today’s Op-Ed pieces in the San Francisco Chronicle 22 April 2014