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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
I'm a mocker: Cheeseburgereusashead on August 6th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
1. I have the same sense you do of the meaning of "slain," but being a copy editor I had to look it up. Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary agrees with us. Just curious: was this a print or an online headline? I mostly read local news at my local newspaper's online site, and their headlines are the worst and deteriorating daily (not to mention that they apparently rely on snarky commenters to correct their atrocious grammar and spelling screwups).

2. "Left turn lane" is the first thing that comes to mind.

3. Did that happen? I heard it used that way once, in 1997, and I just thought the people using it were ignorant. Around here (Portland) it's mostly "massage therapist."

Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on August 6th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
1. Online -- at www.charter.net

2. I call it a double-left-turn lane, to distinguish from a left turn lane that applies only to one direction.

3. I'm seeing it more and more, even in print.
Buddha Buckblaisepascal on August 6th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
In most places in the US, a "massage therapist" is a licensed profession, whereas a "masseuse/masseur" may be a less regulated term.
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on August 6th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
As such, "masseuse/masseur" may have an implication of borderline prostitution which "massage therapist" doesn't.

I suspect it's a useful distinction, since I figure that people who want to go to a prostitute will be disappointed in getting an actual massage, while people who need actual muscle work won't be satisfied with a prostitute.
Buddha Buckblaisepascal on August 6th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
It can also lead to some unusual situations...

I've been to a large, clothing optional event where licensed massage therapists who were offering their services for free had to require that they and their clients put on clothing in order to get a massage, even though the massages were happening in an area open to children (so no sex really possible) and no money changed hands.