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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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About the nuance of “over”

I am a Japanese student and learning English. I have a question about the nuance of “over.” What is the difference between“I walked him to the classroom”and “I walked him over to the classroom”? What ...
fin's user avatar
  • 31
7 votes
7 answers
5k views

Do "tinker" and "tinkerer" imply "unskillful"?

The Webs of Humankind says In 1400, the biggest ships and perhaps the best navigators were Chinese. Under the Song, the Yuan, and then the Ming (1368–1644) dynasties, the Chinese had rapidly ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 3,841
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

Connotation of "athlete's foot"

Apart from denoting the skin condition affecting the toes, which is naturally undesirable, do you all feel that "athlete's foot" has any (positive) connotations, e.g. to the effect of being ...
wgtwob's user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
2 answers
28 views

FUTURE PERFECT and HOPE

If the future perfect is used to describe an expected or planned event before a time of reference, then how is it possible for us to use the word 'hope'? I need an explanation of the nuance here. I'll ...
Alexander Jorgensen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Does camp carry a negative or positive connotation?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/camp camp noun (2) 1a: something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing This version of the play is ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 3,841
1 vote
1 answer
12 views

How Comparisons Indicate Opinion

In the following two sentences, is there a different opinion being expressed about the father's books and if yes, why? The son's books are worse than the father's. The son's books are not as good as ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Does endearingly magically change the connotation of the word it modifies?

a dad's joke is endearingly corny and unfunny. Does endearingly magically change the connotation of the word it modifies from negative to positive? What are other magic adverbs and adjectives that ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 3,841
9 votes
5 answers
6k views

"I see" versus "oh really"

I read from a blog that Using “I see” Sometimes can be considered negative response in English. It is a curt reply. “My sister is getting married.” “I see.” <- not appropriate response. Indicates ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 3,841
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Nuance of a verb “challenge”; Implications of Using ‘Challenge’ in the Context of Climate Change

I would like to use ‘challenge’ in this sentence: ‘The climate change has been challenging us.’ Does ‘challenge’ as a verb have a positive connotation, such as presenting difficulties in an ...
Mango Gummy's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Exploring the Meaning and Use of the Phrase 'Night Night'

I've recently encountered the phrase "Night Night," which piqued my curiosity. I understand it's used as a form of saying goodnight, but I'm interested in delving deeper into its meaning and ...
Iman Mohammadi's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
52 views

Can 'sway' be used as a synonym to 'swing'?

All dictionaries describe 'sway' as to 'move gently, regularly, from side to side' (I omit other meanings of the word). My, imperfect, impression is that it describes a movement anchored at the bottom:...
Turin's user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Does "resort to various methods" have a negative connotation?

I'm learning IELTS writing. Here is the writing topic: In some countries, more and more people are becoming interested in finding out about the history of the house or building they live in. What are ...
Jesse's user avatar
  • 193
1 vote
3 answers
331 views

Can the word "attaboy" be used in the context of humor or is it just offensive slang?

While watching a movie, I came across the expression "attaboy". A quick search here or on the web gave me the meaning, and roughly, the background. It's slang, it can probably be understood ...
OldPadawan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
26 views

Does the phrase count on carries connotation?

I want to ask whether the phrase count on contains connotations? I'm not a native speaker and determining connotations makes me confused. In the dictionary, the phrase count on means rely on someone/...
Shua's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
79 views

What are the various meanings of the expression "North America"?

My understanding is that anglophones take it to mean any of the following depending on context: Canada and the U.S.: by far the most common usage in most contexts, the default definition. Canada, the ...
Qwokker's user avatar
  • 113
-1 votes
2 answers
150 views

Is 'Twisted' strongly pejorative?

Someone said in a comment at What adjective can be used to describe this kind of behavior?: 'Twisted' is strongly pejorative and comes across like aggrieved complaining. I was wondering how "...
Tim's user avatar
  • 3,841
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

Does the word "luxury" have a negative meaning or nuance?

Does the word "luxury" or "luxurious" have a negative meaning or nuance? In dictionary, it is described as follow: something expensive which is pleasant to have but is not really ...
user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
6k views

How to remind and confirm an appointment?

What is the best informal wording to remind someone about an appointment to get an attendance confirmation? imagine you agreed to meet up with your first in two weeks and want to make sure your friend ...
Real Dreams's user avatar
  • 2,235
1 vote
3 answers
878 views

Can anyone tell me the difference in usage of "dominant" and "domineering"?

What are the various situations where we use the word dominant and domineering? I'm aware that both of these are adjectives (dominant is a noun, too), but, I'm not sure if they both can be used as an ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
23 views

Is 'full-grown' only about physical growth?

Is 'full-grown' only about physical growth? Does it have the connotation of mental growth? Say, does saying someone is full-grown imply that he/she is mentally mature by any means?
Michael's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
49 views

mm/hm/um huh/okay - does not tell an opinion but just a sound saying that "ok, I am listening"?

Example 1 A: We don't need some employees at this company. B: mm/hm/um huh/okay. Does this only mean that B is paying attention, like saying "Okay, I am listening"? Example 2 A: We don't ...
vincentlin's user avatar
  • 2,353
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

If someone says "That hair tho", does it have a positive or a negative meaning?

I've seen this many times on social media and I can't decide whether it has good or bad meaning. Here is an example from twitter of a picture of a person with the statement saying BREAKING: CANTOR ...
Marah Elwani's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
730 views

What is the difference between 'ambitions' and 'ambition'?

I found a sentence below: When guided by a sense of moral purpose, they were able to channel their ambitions and summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. (Extract from ...
user464688's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

Explanation of the clause

"Here," I said, "deposit it." The tone of the words seemed to mean, "Let us do this painful thing while the fit is on us." (Reference: MY FINANCIAL CAREER by Stephen ...
Abid's user avatar
  • 415
0 votes
1 answer
17 views

Explanation of the idiom

Both the mother and the father almost turned themselves inside out in embarrassment and apology. Sometimes idioms make great difficulty to understand the text like this 'turned themselves inside out' ...
Abid's user avatar
  • 415
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

Any difference between these sentences: "Buy her THAT THING she won’t buy for herself." vs "Buy her THAT ONE THING she won’t buy for herself."

"Buy her that one thing she won’t buy for herself." I noticed "...that one thing..." is a very special usage here, where as a non-native speaker I would make a sentence almost same ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,411
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

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.
High GPA's user avatar
  • 185
-1 votes
1 answer
90 views

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 &...
Kedar Mhaswade's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
909 views

"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 ...
Thunfer Beat's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

"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 ...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
0 votes
2 answers
150 views

"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. ...
0xF4D3C0D3's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

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 ...
Abid's user avatar
  • 415
0 votes
2 answers
409 views

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. ...
Abid's user avatar
  • 415
0 votes
3 answers
584 views

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, ...
Alex Frt's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
16 views

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 ...
DrDentMBR's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

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 ...
StackThrowaway's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
105 views

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 ...
DrDentMBR's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
286 views

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 ...
Benjamin Grange's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

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 ...
Anait's user avatar
  • 119
0 votes
1 answer
87 views

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?
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

“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 ...
Rosie's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
2 answers
142 views

"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 ...
rfm's user avatar
  • 9
1 vote
1 answer
45 views

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 ...
Static Bounce's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
254 views

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 ...
Al-cameleer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
648 views

"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 ...
Ahuman's user avatar
  • 111
-1 votes
1 answer
86 views

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 ...
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
2 votes
2 answers
226 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 ...
rollsdey_77's user avatar
25 votes
11 answers
6k views

"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", &...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 805
1 vote
1 answer
887 views

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 "...
kinunt's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

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 "...
Xwtek's user avatar
  • 375