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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What is the connotation of the word “Lightninged” when using it as a name of a product for education?

I chose the word Lightninged (not lightning) to name a product. It means literally be struck by a lightning, and it is a real word as discussed in ELU: What is the past tense of “lightning”?. The name ...
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1answer
3k views

Work on (doing) something and work at (doing) something

What's the difference between work on and work at, and what's the right way to use them? We're working on/ at our relationship. I need to work on/at my German- it's getting rusty. We're working on/...
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2answers
266 views

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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1answer
40 views

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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2answers
59 views

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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3answers
11k views

Does “the likes of” usually have a pejorative connotation?

Does the sentence I admire heroes the likes of Batman and Superman. sound wrong? Because I usually hear the likes of in sentences such as Don't compare me to the like(s) of you! But according to ...
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2answers
168 views

Is “any of … + not” wrong?

I think it's "any of them + ... not" to say what everyone did, which happened to be not doing something: I wonder why any of them have not addressed the issue. And the nuance differs if it's ...
5
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2answers
795 views

The connotation of the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none”

A recent thread in the Portuguese Language SE are intending to find a Portuguese version for the expression "Jack of all trades, master of none". The question is: The original expression could have ...
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1answer
20 views

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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11answers
37k views

When do people say 'Be well'?

It sounds a lot more nuanced than a simple 'goodbye'. What subtle feelings or emotions does it encapsulate?
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2answers
1k views

without this and/or that

With negation, or is motly used. He doesn't like this or that. But with without, I see both forms. When I searched CCAE, it returned result with both or and and. Like this: I was there ...
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1answer
88 views

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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1answer
35 views

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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0answers
22 views

Do “showing emphasis” and “giving emphasis” mean the same thing?

The definition of emphatic on lexico is Showing or giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly. Do "showing emphasis" and "giving emphasis" mean the same thing? If not, could ...
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3answers
547 views

Is the use of the adjective “pedantic” always derogatory?

The adjective "pedantic" is sometimes used derogatorily. Can it be used in a neutral or positive context? In other words, if person A refers person B as pedantic, can it sometimes be used as a ...
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1answer
87 views

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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1answer
17 views

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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2answers
11k views

Care to elaborate?

I have faced a lot of times at a chat or some Q&A site a reply: Care to elaborate? As far as I understand, the poster is asking for more details or explanations. However, in this case, I'd ...
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1answer
16 views

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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1answer
16 views

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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2answers
288 views

Begin vs beginning

What different nuance is it between 'it begins to verb' and 'it is beginning to verb'? the same problem is in case of 'start'.
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5answers
8k views

Difference between “pardoned” and “forgiven”

What is the difference between words "pardoned" and "forgiven"? For instance: After ten years in prison, Stephen was {pardoned/forgiven} and set free. I found the definitions of both: Pardoned -...
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4answers
17k views

Usage of “mad” and “crazy” in conversational english?

From English movies, I have got an impression to signify that a person is mentally ill, it is said "He is crazy" and that a person is angry upon somebody is signified by "He is mad on her". Although ...
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1answer
26 views

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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0answers
25 views

nuances at expressing composition

I would be very grateful if somebody could say whether there are any nuances among the 3 forms below when expressing composition (as in the tail is part of the dog - not ownership as in the tail ...
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3answers
335 views

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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1answer
40 views

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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2answers
33k views

Which one is better?: Do you need a/any/some help?

How is the nuance of each one? Do you need help? Do you need a help? Do you need any help? Do you need some help? May I help you? And which one should I use to offer some strangers ...
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0answers
33 views

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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3answers
5k views

'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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8answers
13k views

Could the word “interesting” have negative meaning?

Example: Joe's presentation about the techniques of sharing code between the web and native version of an app was interesting. Can the word "interesting" have a negative meaning in this context? ...
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1answer
133 views

Does the phrase “bizarrely specific” carry a negative connotation?

Does the phrase "bizarrely specific" carry a negative connotation, opposed to really just about any other way of putting it? Also as a side note, would you consider it associated with advertising and ...
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1answer
52 views

Does the expression “taking a cut” imply some sort of grift? If so, what's a neutral equivalent expression?

Does the expression "taking a cut" (to mean taking some financial commission) imply some sort of grift, or is it neutral? If it implies some sort of grift, what would be a neutral equivalent ...
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1answer
7k views

Meaning difference between insinuate and imply

I looked up the meanings of the insinuate and imply. Insinuate, as shown on the site vocabulary.com, means suggest in an indirect or covert way, and imply means to express or state indirectly. I ...
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2answers
37 views

What does 'SEE' mean this sentence?

'It is sad to see a man so corrupted by the desire for money and power.' 'see' is mean that by using speaker's eyes? o_O
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3answers
2k views

Is the word 'expensive' negative or neutral?

I'm not a native speaker of English. I'm trying to teach English learners positive and negative words. I found this word in students' textbook, which only gives me the choice between positive and ...
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2answers
86 views

Connotation behind “forking possibilites”

"Every time you make a choice, a decision, the reality forks off into a new possibility. " - The OA What would you imagine under those words? Does "forking" connote rather with the process of [a ...
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4answers
101 views

can “what have you done” be asked in a neutral way?

I'd like to know if "what have you done?" can be used as a neutral question, since it is often used to express anger, shock or sadness. For example: I want to close a window that has been opened by ...
13
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2answers
17k views

Living by himself vs Living on his own

What is the difference between these sentences below in terms of meaning? He lives by himself. He lives on his own If you ask me, the first sentence connotes that he doesn't have a ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Difference between adjective+noun and noun+adjective

It was a speech calculated to appeal to the unions. I encountered this sentense on the internet and got a question that how the sentence will change its meaning or nuance if the noun and adjective ...
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0answers
219 views

What's the difference between ''be going to'' and ''will'' in conditional sentences?

Please tell me the differences. Do they connote different points? You will get into trouble if you don't wear your uniform You are going to get into trouble if you don't wear your uniform ...
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1answer
39 views

What are the connotations of the word “pedantry”?

This is a request of help for the connotations of a word If native speakers hear the word, pedantry, does it assume an air of showy, academically pompous, impudent impression to them? Would this ...
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3answers
30k views

Sorry, I didn't recognize “you”, or “your voice”?

Someone calls you on the phone, but you don't know who they are. The conversation goes like: Caller: "GIBBERISH... GIBBERISH... GIBBERISH..." You: "Um.. Who am I speaking with, please?" Caller: "...
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1answer
107 views

persist in V-ing

Does "persist in V-ing" convey negative connotation? Does the following sound odd? The detective persisted in searching for the truth. I'd appreciate your help.
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1answer
40 views

Please let me know the nuance and teach me which is correct [closed]

This new sports complex is _________, so people can enjoy the games whatever the season is. (A) encased (B) enclosed (C) encircled (D) enveloped
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2answers
11k views

Does the phrase “voice an opinion” have some negative connotations?

Does the phrase voice an opinion have some negative connotations? For example let us take this sentence: User123456 in several comments on meta recently voiced the opinion that creation of a tag ...
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2answers
7k views

Connotations of “in any capacity”

What would you hear in this sentence? Thank you for your contribution, in any capacity. a) Thank you for your contribution, no matter the size ("for both big and small donations"). b) Thank you ...
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1answer
59 views

Other word for “financial help”. Can charity be a financial “contribution”?

Thank you for your donations. How to change donations in this sentence? Financial help? Contribution? What if I wanted to generalize my thanks for all kinds of helping? Could I say gifts?
2
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1answer
38 views

(all) that, too, so

Is there a difference between (all) that, too, and so when used in a negative sentence? For instance: It's not all that/ too/ so difficult once you get the hang of it. He's not that/ too/ so crazy ...
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1answer
648 views

have p.p vs past tense

I know similar questions were asked by many others before but I am still not sure. They are already getting what they wanted They are already getting what they have wanted If I understood ...