It has never occurred to me that the word "nonsense" can be a polite one, until I watch the British TV show Downton Abbey. I.e., to me, the word "nonsense" always associates with negative connotations, e.g., "I knew it...What a nonsense they made.", "Nonsense, that's a sheer lie." or, "Er... ignore me, it was rubbish, nonsense."
However, in the "Downton Abbey" TV show of early 20th century British life, it can be quite a polite one, e.g.:
- ~ We must have out-stayed your hospitality.
- ~ Nonsense. You're always welcome.
or at least it can be used in normal conversation:
- ~ If I make it across the finishing line at all it's a miracle, as far as I'm concerned.
- ~ Nonsense.
However, I never heard people talking like that these days.
Has its usage been changed?
To reply "Sorry to bother you" with "Nonsense", is it still appropriate nowadays, or it is only appropriate for his lordship or her ladyship to say so?