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a strange little word
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  1. #1
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    a strange little word

    รื้อ - apparently means both "to resurrect, bring back, revive" and "dismantle, demolish, pull down"... two meanings which seem to be exact opposites. How odd. So you can imagine the pause it gave me when I came across the sentence:
    คำสั่งย้ายดังกล่าวแท้ที่จริงแล้วคือการตัดตอนคดีที่ เกี่ยวโยงกับ พ.ต.ท.ทักษิณ ชินวัตร และเครือข่าย และต้องการนำบุคคลที่ใกล้ชิด พ.ต.ท.ทักษิณ และพรรคพลังประชาชนมาทำหน้าที่แทนเพื่อรื้อสำนวนสอบส วนในคดีซุกหุ้นภาค 2 และคดีอื่นๆ

    "The order to reassign the Director of Special Investigations is, in reality, an attempt to remove him from the cases involving Thaksin and his network, and replace him with someone who is closer to Thaksin and the People Power Party in order to รื้อ the 'concealed shares' case and others."

    In this case, it clearly means "dismantle," but you could imagine cases where either meaning would work (because the sentence is less specific, say) and the sentence could have two exactly opposite meanings.

    Have any Thai people come across cases like this? Is the dictionary not quite right about the definitions?

  2. #2
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    Re: a strange little word

    you're right, roni. that is quite strange, and something i hadn't noticed before. initially i would have said that you normally see รื้อฟื้น when the meaning is 'to resurrect', but after having a look at my Royal Institute dictionary I see that there are exceptions. here are the example sentences from the RID:

    รื้อเรื่องราวที่ระงับไว้ขึ้นมาพิจารณาใหม่
    to revive an issue that had been put on hold
    รื้อเรื่องเดิมขึ้นมาเขียนใหม่
    to revisit the same story in a new written work

    looking at these, the ขึ้นมา and ใหม่ do help to point to the appropriate interpretation of รื้อ.
    it's a bit like our distinction between 'pull down' and 'drag up'.

    this reminds me of a similar conundrum in english:

    can you please spare me a few dollars?
    =please give me a few dollars
    can you please spare me the lecture?
    =please don't give me a lecture

    all the best.

  3. #3
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    Re: a strange little word

    good english example!
    I suppose these things really must rely on context, even when the context is the tone of the sentence, and not specific words that alter the meaning...

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    Re: a strange little word

    These types of words are called contronyms, among other names..

    More from English:
    fast: 'run fast' vs. 'stuck fast'
    sanction: 'approve' vs. 'boycott'
    transparent: 'invisible' vs. 'obvious'

    Fun with words! Now we just need some more Thai contronyms...

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    Re: a strange little word

    Quote Originally Posted by Rikker View Post
    More from English:
    sanction: 'approve' vs. 'boycott'
    This came up in a topic of conversation recently and it would appear to be a postive as a singular and a negative as a plural - you never seem to hear of the UN issuing in single sanction against a country, it's always sanctions.

    David
    My new travel blog: https://www.weekender.blog/

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    Re: a strange little word

    I thought of another Thai contronym.

    ป้องกัน, means either to protect or to protect against:

    ป้องกันโรค 'protect against disease'
    ป้องกันตัว 'protect yourself'

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    Re: a strange little word

    Can someone explain the use of พ.ต.ท. in the above sentence? The only interpretation I've found is Pol. Lt. Col., but that doesn't make sense to me in this context.

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    Re: a strange little word

    Quote Originally Posted by jaibaan View Post
    Can someone explain the use of พ.ต.ท. in the above sentence? The only interpretation I've found is Pol. Lt. Col., but that doesn't make sense to me in this context.
    It is right. Thaksin was formerly a policeman, and so his police rank is given before his name.

    all the best.

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    Re: a strange little word

    Aanon, that clears it up...thanks.

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