Friday, June 18, 2010
The Opposite of Mother is not Father, Dammit.
One of Caroline's activity books asserts that the opposite of "mother" is "father." Actually, a lot of children's books and toys make mistakes like that. If two things are commonly paired, the designer of the product thinks they are opposites. So salt and pepper are opposites. I've emphasized to Caroline that these people are simply wrong. To be opposites, the member of a pair must cancel each other out. Still, I'm particularly galled by idea that the *opposite* of "mother" is "father."