So, if you reform shredded cheese back into a solid block, does it become de-grated?

2 thoughts on “Pun-tific”

  1. Well, to reform suggests an improvement to the form or condition from which you started. This would indicate that the grated state is less than optimal. Additionally, de-grated has the connotation of being lowered or reduced in value or quality. Thus, in this situation reform cannot be equated to de-grated. As such, it would be more appropriate, or logical, to say that “… at becomes inte-grated” .. .. .. hmmmmmm!

  2. Oh, you’re going to make me break into a semantics discussion now, aren’t you, Javaman? A’ight, here goes…

    In this context, ‘reform’ literally means ‘to form again,’ indicating a return to a prior condition, in this case, a return of grated cheese to its original state, that being a solid block of cheese. The prefix ‘de-‘ comes from the Latin, meaning ‘away, off,’ generally indicating a reversal or removal in English. So, the use of ‘degrate’ here literally means ‘a reversal of grating.’ So, I believe that the original use of these two words in my pun stands – reforming the cheese into a solid block means that the cheese has been degrated. :)

    Your option works, as well, though; I just had to be a pain in the rear about this, since the word definitions you cited are those used in popular culture, rather than the literal ones _I_ was using. ;-)

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