This is one of my all-time favorite paradoxes, because it’s contained in a single word: heterological.

No? You need a little more than that? Okay, fine.

Let’s start with a different word- autological. If a word is autological, it describes itself. For example, ‘short’ is short, ‘English’ is in English, ‘gradiouse’ is gradiouse, and ‘noun’ is a noun. All of those words are autological. Got it. Simple enough. Now, as it so happens, autological has an antonym, a word that means the opposite. Heterological. If a word is heterological, then it does NOT describe itself. For example, ‘big’ is not a big word, ‘Ingl├ęs’ is in Spanish, not English, ‘fancy’ is not fancy, and ‘verb’ is not a verb. Now, here’s the kicker. Is heterological… heterological? Because if it is, then it describes itself, and it’s autological. But if it’s autological, then it isn’t heterological, so it’s heterological. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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