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Disgruntled --- gruntled?

Posted by Ward Fredericks on April 18, 2004

In Reply to: Unembarrassed? posted by Lotg on April 18, 2004

: In a recent news headline I read "police unembarrassed by drug tip-off". Technically speaking, is 'unembarrassed' the same as 'not embarrassed'?

: I realise that if someone is 'unlikely' to do something, then they're 'not likely' to do it, but somehow, and I have no idea why, 'unembarrassed' didn't sound right to me. At least, it doesn't sound the same to me as 'not embarrassed'.
: eg. To undo something is to reverse something that's been done, not to 'not' do it.

: Is there some hard and fast rule about the use of 'un' in lieu, or instead of 'not'?

: Thanks to anyone who has a clue.

:::Goddess, you have something here. I have been disgruntled, but never gruntled. Is there a category in this great language of ours that covers the asymetric sets of words that have no dis, or un, or any other modifier? Perhaps one of our mavens will have the answer.