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Sharply pointed

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (1 of 10), Read 93 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, September 09, 1999 09:42 AM

Aaron Fleisher, of Normal, Illinois, writes: "What is the antonym of 'pointless'"?

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (2 of 10), Read 87 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, September 09, 1999 05:02 PM

An exact antonym might be "necessary," simply because a pointless endeavor is one in which there is no reason for it to occur, while a necessary endeavor is the exact opposite. Contrasting examples of these might be moshing at a rock concert (pointless, really), and having to have your head stitched up after falling to the concrete floor while moshing at a rock concert (necessary, unless one enjoys concussions).
Of course, if one wants to be silly, one could say that the antonym of "pointless" is "sharpened"--as in pencils.

Aaron

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (3 of 10), Read 75 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Friday, September 10, 1999 08:59 PM

How about "purposeful"?

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (4 of 10), Read 75 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Matt Swift (swift@alum.mit.edu)
Date: Saturday, September 11, 1999 06:14 AM

As the two previous respondents have illustrated, "pointless" is used in distinct ways. The first respondent suggested the antonym "necessary"; in this case, "pointless" is a synonym for "accidental" or "random". The second respondent suggested an antonym of "purposeful"; in this case, "pointless" is a synonym for "random" again, but with reference to human motivations rather than philosophical necessity. A third antonym might be "meaningful".

A general thought strikes me that to find antonyms, start with synonyms.

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (5 of 10), Read 82 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, September 11, 1999 07:31 AM

Matt,

Your insights seem very pointful to me.

Rus

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (6 of 10), Read 52 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Wer Immer (werimmer@whoever.com)
Date: Monday, September 20, 1999 09:17 AM

Depending on the connotations in the use of "pointless" appropriate antonyms could be:
relevant, incisive, forceful, or brilliant.

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (7 of 10), Read 50 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Monday, September 20, 1999 12:14 PM

just to add a little Scottish flair to this discussion, I will suggest feckful.

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (8 of 10), Read 48 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: David Kaatz (dkaatz@home.com)
Date: Monday, September 20, 1999 05:06 PM

It strikes me that the opposite of pointless, when used as in "pointless question", is "pointed". Which makes perfect sense.

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (9 of 10), Read 36 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 09:21 AM

In belated recognition of Michael Fischer's yeoman service to the language over the summer (not to mention his continuing presence in this conference, and his forbearance from dragging in any more poems by Robert Bly), I'd like to present him with the Word Fugitives Bureau of Investigation Special Agent of the Week award. Michael, a choice of splendiferous prizes will be offered you privately, by e-mail, in order to preserve the sense of mystery surrounding this august award. Three cheers for Michael! Hip hip hooray!

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Topic: 8) Sharply pointed (10 of 10), Read 30 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 02:22 PM

Barbara,

I was going to post some smart-aleck remark about ending up with two t-shirts and what I might do with the second one but I think I should stifle....

instead, I will offer up a sharply pointed thank you.

today's wwftd is...


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