Thursday, October 30, 2014

Amazing Words: Quantum

Each week, I’m going to present an amazing word. A word that has a double meaning either directly or perhaps through origin, where is has evolved into a new meaning, or carries a wonderful Onomatopoeic effect.

This week my amazing word is:


  1. Quantum as we all know refers to something immensely small. The smallest amount of many forms of energy.
  2. Quantum as we all know refers to something rather large.  A significant quantum improvement.

Which of these statements is true?

    A. Statement 1
    B. Statement 2
    C. Both
    D. Neither

Well, the answer is C. both of them are true. This seems contradictory and it is! 

You see, Quantum falls in to a category of words called Contronyms--terms that, depending on context, can have opposite or contradictory meanings.

Try this sentence for size:

The quantum leap in human knowledge over the past 100 years has been so immense that even a highly educated person can hope to absorb only a tiny quantum of it.