Log in

No account? Create an account
06 August 2010 @ 11:11 am
Connotation / denotation / other stuff  
1. Headline: Missouri families grieve 2 slain in school buses wreck.

Comment: To me, "slain" has a connotation of deliberateness, more like murder, rather than accident. What say you all? Or was it simply a matter, since it's a headline, of choosing a word with five letters rather than six ("killed")?

2. Suppose you are in the USA and are on a road with five lanes: two in one direction, two in the opposite direction, and one in the middle available for left turns from either direction. This middle lane is typically double-striped: solid yellow on the outside and dashed yellow on the inside. What do you call that middle lane?

3. Masseuse: when did this become the word for male or female provider? I thought masseur was male, masseuse was female, and massage therapist was gender-neutral. Or is massage therapist only used for medical contexts, not for spas? Also, can you think of any other cases of the female form of a word subsuming the male form (as opposed to, say, actor/actress which is now commonly actor)?

4. "Gifted me with": when did this overtake "gave me"? And why? Am I wrong to think it sounds somewhat pretentious?
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
starcat_jewelstarcat_jewel on August 10th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
1. I would read "slain" as "killed tragically" in that context. It might not be the phrasing I'd use, but it doesn't jump out at me as wrong.

2. "Turn lane" or "left-turn lane", more or less interchangeably.

3. "Seamstress" seems to have expanded to cover tailors also.

4. No, you're not wrong, and not the only one either. If I use that form at all, it has a very negative, sarcastic connotation: "He came home with the Con Crud and gifted me with it too."