Words: syzygy, n.
Tuesday 16 November 1999
It was in The Lady, in 1891, that Lewis Carroll first published a syzygy after it had been rejected by Vanity Fair. The idea came to him 12 years earlier, from the Greek for yoke, which, in this case, are the adjacent letters shared, or made to share, by opposite words, as in dog and cat: dog; endogen; gentry; intricate; cat.
It can get far more complicated, and deserves a place in the OED amid the mathematical, biological, astronomical, prosodical and religious senses, from which Carroll's syzygy is a fortifying diversion.
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