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Trevor Stone's Journal
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Give and Take 
11th-Jan-2010 12:03 pm
I *kiss* linguists
At a first pass, give and take are reciprocal verbs. But they're involved in some nonreciprocal idioms:

Caregivers and caretakers are the same thing. Shouldn't the patient be the caretaker? Also, "Take care" (as a command or suggestion) means "Be careful," but when someone gives lots of care, the recipient isn't careful or full of care.

Giving a shit and taking a shit have nothing in common. The first is a synonym for caring (but not in a caregiver/caretaker way), the latter is a biological activity.

There are some idioms where the reciprocity is preserved, though. If someone takes up golf, he starts golfing. If someone gives up golf, he stops golfing.

In the middle ground, if you take out an add, you generally give out your phone number or address.

Any more?
Comments 
13th-Jan-2010 04:42 am (UTC)
In most of the pairs I can think of, one of the expressions is transitive and the other is intransitive, so I can't even make an amusing case for what the opposite meanings "should" be.
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