Questions tagged [connotations]

This tag is for questions regarding the associated or underlying meaning of a word, in addition to its primary definition.

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Is the phrase "hand-picked" associated with positive connotation or negative? [closed]

What is the general way to find the "connotative meanings" of a phrase? I am guessing that some voting website will do the work.
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What does juvenile taste mean (and why)? [closed]

I read the following in Stephen Budiansky's "Journey to the Edge of Reason": ... his perpetually juvenile tastes in art, music, and decorations, ... What connotation does juvenile have in &...
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"real funny" vs "really funny"

I was wondering why "real funny" is usually used sarcastically (to my experience, almost exclusively so) while the related phrase, "really funny" doesn't carry the connotation. [A ...
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1 answer
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"Not to me, I wasn't married to her!" in Memento (1999)

In Memento, there is a scene where Lenny and Natalie argue with each other. N: Kill him. I'll pay you. L: What do you think I am? I'm not gonna kill someone for money. N: What, then? Love? What would ...
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"From which to" how should I interpret this?

The full sentence is this: Instead of creating a mathematical model from which to predict performance, the workload can be characterized, simulated, and then tested on clouds of different scales. ...
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Sentence simple explanation [closed]

He crosses to pose with wife and daughter. In my native language, this sentence is translated as, He turns to impress his wife and daughter. which seems quite odd. The denotations of the words cross ...
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Which one is more negative connotation?

I didn't like smirk on jester's face. Or I didn't like grin on jester's face. Smirk means to smile in a way that annoys, and grin means to smile widely that all teeth are shown in an amusing way. ...
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3 answers
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Do "neat" and "tidy" also mean "clean"?

On this site, the first two definitions of "neat" and "tidy" from Oxford Learner's Dictionary seem to mean the same thing: (for things and people) orderly and organized. However, ...
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linking two sentences with a connoctor or integrating them into one sentence for calrity

In the below example, can anyone give suggestions on how to connect the two or integrate them into one sentence? I wrote my thesis on The Effectiveness of Health Education. I evaluated the evidence ...
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Synonym for "utilize" with a positive connotation?

I have the sentence below: "I want to work with this professor and utilize his expertise to resolve my problem." The connotation of "utilize" in the sentence above feels like I am ...
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1 answer
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Connecting two sentences with comma and without a connector

In the below sentence, why there was comma without a connector or transition? What rule allows separation of two sentences with comma and without connector? Is this phrase (the fulfillment of ...
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imperative + will you?

What effect does the "will you?" tag at the end of a question have? To my ear, it sounds a little rude, adds emphasis. "Be quiet, will you?" As compared with the bare imperative ...
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Does "peer down on somebody" include the meaning of contempt?

Does "to peer down on somebody" mean "to look at somebody with contempt, as if you think you are better"? The context is this: The sculptures peer down on visitors to America's ...
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Is it offensive to say "utilize workers"?

Is it offensive to say "utilize someone"? Automated factories perform better than those that utilize human workers. If it is, could you please give me a polite and positive alternative?
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What is the difference between the two expression below in meaning?

I don't know the difference between the two sentences in meaning. I saw him swim in the river. I saw him swimming in the river. Please, tell me the difference between the two sentences in meaning.
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“stop off” vs. “stop in” vs. “stop by”

According to Cambridge Dictionary, I found that "stop off", "stop in", "stop by" all mean "stop to visit someone/ somewhere for a short time while you are going to ...
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"Before God...." versus "In the presence of God..."

I am writing my wedding vow. For brevity I am considering replacing "XX, in the presence of God, our family and our friends I take you to be my wife..." with "XX, before God, our family ...
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1 answer
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Is this the right connotation for the word across in this context?

This is the context, from an English translation of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. A very poor-looking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candle-end; the whole of it was visible from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Connotation of the verb 'to attack'

In my experience, the verb 'to attack' or the noun 'attack', more specifically in the context of criticism / a verbal attack, usually has a positive connotation, in that the person doing the attacking ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"Get Groomed" Is it safe to use without negative connotation?

Can I ask someone to "Get Groomed" without any negative connotation? Recently I came across a post on hinative.com which said: The second meaning is that it's an expression which means ...
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1 answer
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Is "ill employee" offensive?

In the following sentence I would like to mention employees who suffer from a disease. Ill employees are terminated in some developing countries, but I believe that under fair-trade rules, workers ...
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2 votes
2 answers
113 views

what does "painted" mean in these contexts, exactly?

Aren't you bitter about Amy? I thought she was the one who ditched you. All women are painted satans. So why should I even care? What does "painted" mean in this context? Is the speaker ...
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25 votes
11 answers
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"must" vs "shall" - are they the same, or is one a softened version of the other?

In Information Technology, the "RFC2119 standard" (not exactly standard, but it does not matter here) provides guidance for the use of some words: "must", "must not", &...
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1 answer
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Is using ", right?" at the end of a question aggressive or could be read as such?

Is using ", right?" at the end of a sentence aggressive or could be read as such? For example: What you say is that the project should be finished tomorrow**, right**? Could this "...
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1 vote
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How to ask for a clarification for some word

For example, someone said: The dm said its our call I'm new to D&D, so I don't understand what does it mean by "our call". How do you ask for that? I tried: What do you mean by "...
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How good is it, "decent"?

When you say "a decent meal" or "a decent job", how good is it usually, on a scale of one to ten? 5 or 6? or 8? or above that?
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Meaning and nuance of "The art of those commercials is not to be mean, but it’s actually for the guys to like each other."

I love this part of the interview of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates because they, have been long-time rival to each other, exchanged positive emotions between them, on Steve's explaining about Apple's ...
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1 answer
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Nuance of “Why” which has comma after it

On Twitter, a phrase in an advertising was mentioned as a mistake by a native English speaker. Why, Subaru? I think the advertising tries to say “Why don’t you choose Subaru?” However, this sentence ...
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1 answer
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Is it normal to feel rude if someone tells me “you might appreciate” in certain context?

There was a meeting that I did not attend due to my schedule. I made prior notification to my colleagues and they have accepted it. My colleague said he will give me a “full” update of the work and ...
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1 answer
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Does petite have a sexual connotation?

Is there a synonym that doesn't convey the sexual connotation? Also, could you list words that contain sexual connotations because I don't want to say them and get in trouble?
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3 votes
2 answers
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Does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."?

When I want to make some suggestions to others, does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."? I feel like it contains the implications that I am bossing people around. If so, what are some ...
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How is it (that) Subject Verb ~~~

Do "How is it that...?" and "How...?" mean the same thing? Hi I've looked at the above post. Now I want to know the nuance of "how is it (that) S V~~?". Tᴚoɯɐuo said, ...
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1 answer
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<My understanding> You know what probably happened? and others

I have learned more about conjecture. Link: You know what probably happened? So, my understanding is as follows. First 1. You know what probably happened? 2. You know what I think probably happened? ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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You know what probably happened?

You know what probably happened? Somebody must have stolen my credit card. I have seen the above sentences from a textbook. Question 1 According to a textbook, "You know what probably happened?&...
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9 votes
7 answers
5k views

Is "beyond your comprehension" an offensive phrase?

In the following sentence does "beyond your comprehension" have an offensive connotation? When a large population of tourists swarm the city during the tourism season, it's beyond your ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does stickler have a negative connotation?

Does "stickler" in the following sentence have a negative connotation? My wife is stickler for detail. If it is negative could you please give me an alternative which has a positive ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does “prevalent” have a negative connotation?

Here is the definition of prevalent from Cambridge: Prevalent: existing a lot in a particular group, area, or at a particular time: It doesn't tell anything about the connotation of the word. But in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Set limits vs set up limits vs set out limits

In the following sentence, should I use "set", "set out" or "set up"? The government has set/set up/set out strict limits on public spending this year. Do the 3 of them ...
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Connotation meant by "B of A" and "A's B". What would be the differences?

Do you agree with the interpretation of the following three example sentences? I don't want to be involved in the problems of my boss.The boss probably deals with some problems. e.g. slow sales, ...
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Is this an order or a suggestion?

So, I have been with a friend shopping. After we bought almost everything, I have seen some shoes and I wanted to suggest him nicely then he can get some this shoes. He answered me rudely that he is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Connotation of word shrewd

I did a lot of research on internet regarding the connotation of word shrewd. It can have negative as well as positive connotation.It depends on the context of the passage. For instance, A shrewd ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does "exploit" (verb) inherently carry a negative connotation?

I want to use it to mean "thoroughly make use of ... without pushing it/them over its/their limit" but I am worried it does not mean that.
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1 vote
2 answers
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Do a demonstrative and a possessive pronoun make it offensive (if so, what is the alternative)?

In a Japanese Language question, I was informed that English construction such as That son of yours These cats of hers would have an extra offensive connotation outside of a neutral combination of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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tone: the sick man of . .

I'd like to know whether the phrase the sick man of . . . has a tone of ridicule to it in the following: Today, Europe again looks like the sick man of the global economy.’ ‘Many is the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can "headfirst" be used in a positive sense?

Can I use head first, head-first or headfirst in a positive sense in a sentence like: He's not affraid of anything. He delved head first into his own bussiness. Thanks!
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1 vote
1 answer
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Word for someone who speaks less but has positive connotation

I understand there are words like Taciturn that have same meaning but can be used to compliment someone. Taciturn seems to have negative connotation.
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3 answers
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Could you help me getting the exact meaning of the highlighted sentence in following english para?

(This is a story of a child who had always been reckless about his french language learning. Now, his city has been conquered by enemy forces. In the following scene, the child is in his classroom, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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The different nuance between "I think~"/"I don't think~"

Is the sentence 2. sounds more..rude-ish?? They convey the same point but the way how the speaker delivers it could change the nuance and I wonder if that is applied to these two sentances~! I don'...
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How to numerate pictures or diagrams when writing a book or paper?

This is shown in the diagram 1 / diagram no.1 / diagram number 1. ... The statistics can be seen in diagram 2 / diagram no.2 / diagram number 2. What is a common way to numerate pictures or ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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'provocative' vs 'sexy'

Are there any differences in meaning between 'provocative' and 'sexy' when they are used to describe clothes? It seems to me that 'provocative' is almost always disapproving, while 'sexy' can even be ...
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