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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
 
 
Lollee: Educator at worklolleeroberts on August 6th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
1. Slain is the past participle of slay - it does imply intent.

2. I call it a turning lane.

3. I've seen it a few times lately online and it's definitely jarring. In Texas we have licensed massage therapists, and I use that term if I'm referring to one of them.

4. It's pretentious. I have heard someone defend it by saying it implies a formal gift-giving occasion as opposed to someone "giving" you the salt shaker or the morning paper, but to me that's two wrongs trying to make a right.