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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2answers
163 views

Does “unfounded” have the connotation of “not fair”? [closed]

Does "unfounded" refer rather to the lack of arguments for a statement or their irrelevantness?
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1answer
57 views

What are some words with the connotation of unreality/numbness/dream? [closed]

Our world is only a reflection. I'm looking for a word that could replace reflection here so that it would be still clear it's supposed to indicate numbness/unreality/fiction - that it's meant to ...
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1answer
77 views

“That be me” in the movie The Hateful Eight

I watched Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and heard the following dialogue between Major Marquis Warren and John Ruth: I know you too. We shared a steak dinner once upon a time in Chattanooga. ...
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3answers
2k views

Is calling someone “creepy” rude?

I learnt "creepy" is feeling unease or scared, but it's not considered rude to say creepy at someone? In my language, when people felt scared about something in horror, we use a word close to "eerie" ...
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2answers
109 views

Connotations—are they to some extent instinctive?

I've noticed that many synonyms are often not very alike. Yes, their core meaning is the same. But there are many differences in mood or tone. Often I understand the kind of meaning it will have by ...
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2answers
399 views

“[…]you'll see them all run for cover”?

Recently in a different context I was presented with something like this: [When something big happens], you'll see them all run for cover. At first I thought this was very idiomatic, but when I ...
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3answers
2k views

Have no problem doing something and have no trouble doing something

What's the difference between the two phrases? I'm interested in nuances. For instance. We had no problem/ trouble finding the stolen item/ finding her a house etc You had no problem/trouble ...
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2answers
72 views

I don’t get the exact nuance of this sentence

I’m an English learner and I saw yesterday tv soap opera ‘Smallville’ season 7 episode 5. From there, I heard an sentence but I don’t get the nuance of that. “After all these years of reading ...
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2answers
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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1answer
43 views

What is the connotation of “up” in phrases like “eat up” and “wait up”?

What do you feel "up" in "eat up" and "wait up" indicates? Does it sound like "be quick" (eat up) or "I'll be quick" (wait up)?
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2answers
3k views

Does ‘Dear [surname]’s family’ sound friendly?

I’m writing a letter to my host family in Australia. They are a family of five and I’d like to write it in a friendly way. So, does the expression ‘Dear [surname]’s family’ sound friendly? I’d like ...
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2answers
82 views

I would like to know nuance of creepy

I hear word "creepy" a lot in many situations but is it always including a scared feeling? For example when people are watching horror movies, or dolls which seems scary, people say creepy! I think ...
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2answers
41k views

whether it be vs whether it is

I brought the sentences from the speech about conversation tips. They don’t just want to know about news and the weather. They want to know about you. So what are three things that you have ...
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1answer
112 views

What does nuance of “should” in this situation

I learn english and have difficult time to understand "should" nuance in english. In my language there is many ways to describe give suggestions and advice and nuance is all different,nice way or ...
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1answer
393 views

Does word “segregate” sound natural?

Does the word "segregate" have any undesired side context to US speakers? These are examples: Segregate configuration from the code. A task is about test segregation.
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2answers
475 views

The nuance of “ample”

In a letter to a university professor, I wrote "as a prominent Japan scholar with an ample knowledge of...." But in retrospect, I wonder if I should have said "vast" or "extensive" instead of "ample." ...
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1answer
2k views

if for no other reason than to do

My understanding of how to use 'if for no other reason to do' is as follows: You'll also want to make your house look presentable, if for no other reason than to jack up your asking price. ([unspoken]...
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1answer
112 views

Why is interior decorating insulting in this context?

This dialog is from the movie The Mexican. This clip on YouTube may help with the context. Samantha: I... know the kind of people in your business, OK? Winston: Yeah? Samantha: And to me,...
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1answer
97 views

The first day of spring/the first spring day

I guess, there is a subtle difference between these expressions: the first day of spring the first spring day Could you help me grasp it?
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1answer
82 views

When is disinformation the better term to use than misinformation?

According to this Wikipedia article, disinformation is misinformation that is purposefully and intentionally disseminated. Does this term qualify for state media controlled by dictators like Hugo ...
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6answers
2k views

How does a native speaker choose one word over its synonym(s)?

In a recent speech, Senator Ted Cruz said: ... And under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. Would it have also been correct to use synonyms such as obtain, secure,...
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1answer
829 views

Difference between “allow” and “let”

It is interesting for me to know how one can distinguish the case in which one should use "allow" from the case in which one should use "let". For example: Jim's parents wouldn't {allow/let} him ...
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2answers
311 views

I want to know the difference of feeling between where and . There

The following two sentences used different expressions. 'where' and '. There'. I want to know the difference of feeling between them. He emigrated to New York City where he started a small trucking ...
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3answers
2k views

what can I say ''when someone shares a good experience/feeling''?

Here's the situation: my friend got accepted in a job interview and described his feelings and how happy he was. I wanted to say that I've had the same experience/feeling as he does when I got my ...
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1answer
44 views

Use of abbreviations in travel descriptions

How would you construct the following sentence? I wanted to express that these cards are rarely accepted and typically at shops and services for tourists. Is it clear? If it is not how would you ...
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1answer
2k views

Indulge/gratify my curiosity?

I understand that indulge and gratify have similar meanings but what are the differnces in connotations of these words in this sentences? Indulge my curiosity Or gratify my curiosity
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2answers
50 views

Usage of verb drag

Is this sentence valid usage of verb drag? "my persistence dragged me to solve it" I want to say that I solved challenges due to my persistence which "encouraged" me.
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1answer
311 views

What's the difference between meaning of 'A happy new year' and 'Happy new year'?

Their appearance different is the sentence has 'A' whether or not, but I have heard both... What's their difference? or no difference?
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1answer
968 views

Can the word “exposure” be used to mean something positive?

I want to say something along the lines of: "I believe that the exposure I would gain through being involved in such a wide range of tasks would enable me to..." (that's not the exact sentence, so ...
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1answer
315 views

Does “polemic” always have a negative connotation?

I have seen a political discussion on live tv in germany. After attacking a member of the discussion made some solid arguments the attacked person responded by saying what he is saying is pure polemic....
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2answers
4k views

What could be a plan status higher than “pro”? [closed]

I am developing a web application that currently has a pro plan for users. What could be the appropriate word for the next level plan? I do not want to use the word ultimate because the word can ...
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3answers
368 views

Difference between “abolish” and “rescind”

I have attempted an English test, where a question was given as Following the students’ ______, the authorities have finally_______ the rule of having CCTV’s in the classroom. And the options were ...
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4answers
38k views

What is the difference between “within” and “inside”?

Here is the definition of the word within from Oxford Dictionary: inside (something) So does that mean the two words have no difference, and can be used exchangingly? Is there any connotation that ...
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1answer
168 views

difference between the and a in this context with relative clause

What is the difference between those sentences? He is the person I needed for the job. He is a person I needed for the job. And... This is not a place I wanted to go. This is ...
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1answer
178 views

What is the nuance difference between “yourself” and “your way”?

What is the nuance difference between "Eat yourself healthy" and "Eat your way healthy"? (I tried first searching on Google, but I cannot find a similar question, and comparing "yourself" and "your ...
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2answers
5k views

Which one is more idiomatic - “Occurs to me” or “Occurred to me”?

When you're trying to simplify a complex concept and say "Well, looking at this equation, the first thing that occurs to me/ comes to my mind is..." or is it idiomatic and perfectly fine to ...
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1answer
5k views

“In such environment” vs “In such an environment”

I'd like to ask if there is any difference between In such environment, we... and In such an environment, we... If yes, then what does each phrase mean? If anyone happens to know the ...
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2answers
7k views

“I was leaving” vs “I left”

I'm curious of the meaning of the usage of the past tense in this example: I was the last to leave the office last night. The first option: Everybody else had gone home when I left The second: ...
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1answer
3k views

Are reluctant and hesitant interchangeable?

I kind of have an idea that "reluctant" and "hesitant" both have similar meanings, but I do not know the actual difference in the nuances they have. Could someone please teach me?
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2answers
2k views

How come “oblivion” means “void”?

Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition (2004) says: oblivion, n. 2. a. The state or condition of being forgotten; (also, more generally) obscurity, nothingness, void, death. However, what ...
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1answer
69 views

Can I row this boat to the water's edge?

Can a person in a rowboat, while he is in the middle of a lake, say "I am now going to row the boat to the water's edge"? I can imagine a man in a boat, in the middle of a lake, looking towards the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is emotional a negative word?

I have learned English from TV shows, movies, CNN, Discovery channel, and NGC for years. One of my USA friend told me emotional is a negative word such as " Do not be emotional! Yelling and being ...
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2answers
9k views

Meaning and connotation of “_______ your heart out”

What does _____ your heart out mean? Does it carry a positive connotation or a negative one? For example: work your heart out. Does this mean that you like working, so you should do it to your ...
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1answer
687 views

This earring “menaces with spikes of…”: is the earring just dangerous or menacing?

This is a native aluminum earring. All craftsmanship is of the highest quality. It is studded with bismuth bronze and decorated with water buffalo leather. This object is adorned with hanging ...
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1answer
587 views

Chips vs Fries: was this a tongue-in-cheek joke in “A Fish Called Wanda”? [closed]

Here's a familiar sight: We call them French fries, or just fries, in the States, as well as in Canada. They're often referred to as chips over in England. In France they are, of course, good old ...
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2answers
2k views

How to politely explain to someone that their lack of clarity is due to their ignorance?

I've been in an inconvenient situation where I ask a question and there's a comment suggestion that it's unclear, vague, off-topic, pointless, etc. Usually, I try to apprehend that by a disclaimer ...
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2answers
8k views

Does “cleverly” have a negative, positive or neutral meaning?

I wrote this sentence and I would like to know whether the word "cleverly" is positive, negative (like e.g. cunningly) or neutral. Lose weight cleverly in the privacy and comfort of your home!
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3answers
1k views

Does gorgeous carry a sexual connotation?

From dictionaries, gorgeous means very beautiful (macmillan) Beautiful; very attractive (Oxford) But I wonder if calling someone gorgeous, as in she is gorgeous, means beautiful in a sexual way....
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1answer
763 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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6answers
3k views

May I use “naive” to mean “inexperienced”?

Sometimes I may use "naive" in sentences like I am naive in writing this type of articles To say "inexperienced" I would like to know how common this word is among native speakers of English, or ...