Define Connotations

dictionary definition of a wordWhat is connotation?  Recently I was giving a presentation, and I talked about a word’s connotation.  “Traditionally, for many, doubt has a negative connotation.”  Someone interrupted me mid-sentence, in front of everyone, “uh, I think you mean denotation.”  Um, excuse me, but I am a lawyer, and I was an English major before that, and an avid reader and word lover/enthusiast always, and I believe I know the difference between connotation and denotation better than you do, thank you very much.  Also, even if you were right (which you’re not), it’s extremely rude to interrupt someone and try to make them look stupid in front of a group.  And it’s especially obnoxious if you’re also wrong.  But then, of course, I went straight home and looked up both denotation and connotation in the dictionary, and this is what I discovered: Continue reading

Another word for “babysitter”

find a childminderIf you ever really want to upset a mom, particularly a young, overworked, often frazzled stay-at-home mom, and you happen to see her out without her kids, say on an evening or a weekend, ask her something like “if you’re out, who is watching your kids?” or worse “hey, is your husband babysitting?  Isn’t that nice of him?”  I have it on good authority that they HATE this, the thinking being that the children are just as much the husband’s/father’s responsibility as they are the mother’s, and that’s not called babysitting, it’s called parenting.  Period.

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