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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
 
 
The Broad Majestic Shannonms_interpret on August 6th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'll agree with everyone on 1).
2) Center turn lane or Double turn lane or Two-way turn lane. But I'm Canadian, so YMMV.
3) Massage therapist is a licensed profession in most places, I think. So someone who does massages who isn't a LMT is a masseur or masseuse. But I think that you're right and masseuse is used more often.
4) My feeling on 'gifted' is that it is pretentious to some extent, but that it sort of emphasizes that what was given was a gift, not a cast off. Like, "My mother gave me some clothes" vs. "My mother gifted me with clothes". In the first, it could be hand-me-downs. Not so much in the second. I'm not explaining it as well as I'd like. "Gifted me with..." seems to be emphasizing that it was something special, a good gift. Where as 'gave' could be either, and in some cases could even mean 'lent'. "Dad gave me his car for the weekend". "Dad gifted me with his car for the weekend" doesn't really mean anything to me, except that maybe his car is REALLY expensive and he'd never generally lend it to anyone.
And I would not use the word 'gifted' myself unless it was sarcastic. "My brother gifted me with his chicken pox".