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scathed

August 19, 2015

There’s a whole bunch of quite well-known words with negative prefixes or suffixes which are never heard in their positive versions: eg you can be disgruntled but not gruntled, and ruthless but not ruthful, and so on. Everyone knows about those: but a little-noted member of this group is the word unscathed. No one is ever scathed, are they? Although, funnily enough, you can be scathing.

“How did you feel about that scathing review of your book?”

“I was badly scathed by it.”

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