Negative Connotations

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In the English language, there are words or phrases that the majority of us have collectively decided are positive or negative, despite them having similar meanings. Conventionally, we have assigned them a good or bad connotation. For example, if I'm taking to a stranger and I proclaim that I want to be a housewife, I'm suddenly the picture of delicate, submissive femininity who can't handle the pressures of the workforce, and looked at like I'm a step back for the female equality movement. If instead I state that I want to be a stay at home mother, it implies that I'm pompous and still very capable of having a job; I'm just concerned with raising my kids the way I want them to be raised. These terms are synonyms, but the connotations reveal…show more content…
A housewife or stay at home mother is by no means required to be an unemployed white, suburban, and middle-aged woman, but the connotations of the two are too closely tied to not be equivalent in the minds of some people. Of course not everybody embraces these extreme underlying meanings, but that doesn't mean they can be ignored. In being conscious of these hidden norms, we will often tend to liberally use words with a positive connotation, which typically only serves to promote ignorance. In case you're wondering exactly what that entails, let's bring up what I consider a tragic case of miseducation. So let me bring you back to one of my classes, just a few weeks ago. Pencils are scratching away at a worksheet with an imminent due date, and an eerie quiet has settled over a good 20-30 kids. The lunch bell rings loudly, but the motion of their pencils does not cease, trying to get down this last thought or this last sentence, excluding two or three students who prepare to head to lunch. What better time to crack a joke? So, one of the few that are finished stands, directing their attempted wry quip towards the scrambling students on the other side of the

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