Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We tell falsehoods. We tell truths. True and false, like right and wrong, set the boundaries of our being—of who are, who we were and who we will become.

We sit here on this beautiful spring day—in the cool breeze, under the spell of clouds, the blue sky, and the scent of flowers as we grope like moles driven from their burrows by a hard unrelenting rain. We grope for stability—the stability truth affords. But we also grope for the openness of change and thrill of the unknowable where imagination, fiction, and falsehood have free play.

But somewhere between what’s true, what’s imagined, and what’s false is what we believe—what seems probable and seems plausible: the site of opinion: of faith, charity, chances, and wagers.

For example, the neat oppositions between true and false, right and wrong, and all the binaries we consume in our endless search for the end of our search to know and to conquer, places our trust in the sexes’ extremes. Man vs. Woman. At the site of “versus” between the extremes there is a startling array of variations in the markers traditionally used to map biological sex. There is no perfect manifestation of the categories of Man and Woman.

Nevertheless, the drive for categorization is endless. It provides us with vexing anomalies: man, woman, other. It has political implications, surgical implications, and legal implications. I guess we need think in degrees, where the different degrees are not hierarchically arrayed, and the extremes never achieve 100%.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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