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Done. Told. Easy.
Undone. Untold. Uneasy.
There’s something in the prefix “un” that takes a very hard, concrete word and softens the edges, releases the borders until it’s more nebulous. Take the first word in that series, “done.”
Feel how compact it is. In that single syllable, there’s completion. Done.
But stick “un” in front of it, and suddenly everything that was sure is now…unsure. Undone. Not a hint of how or how much, just that something that was whole is not anymore. Someone who was whole isn’t anymore. Undone.
“Told” and “easy” do the same. Told is one of those words without equivocation, it even has its when built in. Yet when “un” attaches to it, it morphs into something else entirely. Untold isn’t even the opposite of told, it’s its own independent creature. And when you think about it, makes sense, because “told” is so firm, it cannot be reversed. Untold can contain the universe.
Easy is soft and laid-back, but is still firm about it. There’s no argument with easy. Easy is as it is, and the world is smoother for it.
Uneasy fills the corners full of shadows. Uneasy sends the clouds across the sun on an otherwise bright day. Uneasy twists the fine into something that isn’t.
Just two little letters can turn a word inside out and twist it into something entirely new. That is the mighty power of “un.”
Big news! Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) is $0.99 for a limited time!
In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, “Me Inside Me Presents: Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28. Click here for tickets.
Check out my other full-length novels, Her Cousin Much Removed, The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!