--- In email@example.com
, Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
> ... I wonder if there's a name for
> this phenomenon: the confusion of binary categories where
> the two members are of course completely opposite, but
> nothing would really change of we inversed the categories
> (or is it: the names for them). I always confuse left and
> right, east and west, north and south, proterodynamic and
Add in my case: vowels and consonants, or rather, in Dutch, klinkers
and medeklinkers, and also: perfective and imperfective (Slavic
aspects), Glagolitic and Cyrillic (alphabets for writing Old Church
Slavonic). I agree the phenomenon deserves a name, and more. The
words probably must resemble each other more than two randomly chosen
words. At least I don't think I ever use "vowel" for "consonant"
whereas in Dutch I constantly mix up "klinker" and "medeklinker".
(Tosk and Geg would qualify nicely here, and so would, for instance,
Zhemaitian and Aukshtaitian or Gorenjski and Dolenjski.)
> Although I usually have no trouble with
> up and down, yesterday and tomorrow... Maybe because
> physical law (gravity, thermodynamics) is involved in the
> latter cases to help me tell them apart.
OK, but there are two different effects involved. Lots of people find
it difficult to tell left and right apart and have to think about it
consciously to make correct decisions in real-life situations, e.g.
my late father and my wife. But I've differentiated them
unconsciously for as long as I can remember and just switch the names.
There is also the humiliation of errata sheets containing entries
pp. 68, 5 from above for "left" read "right".