I just needed some help on my english paper. I know how to write a good paper, it's the topic that has me stumped. Our teacher (Distance Education) wants us to pick a word and redefine that word that we believe no longer fits with its denotative definition. We are to argue for a new, or alternate definition that we give for the word.

I'm having trouble coming up with a controversial word. I find it hard to argue the definition of a word when the definition is what it truly means!

Any suggestions on some words I can use?

Thanks a lot,
words like bad and wicked are in a state of change at them moment, shifting to mean the opposite of what they used to mean ..

mouse, no longer furry and how should we make the plural?

respect - now widely used in business meetings to introduce an insult "with all due respect I think you are wrong" ... and the street use seems slightly different to the traditional use..

I dont see how you can make a long paper out of one example though! You could pad the paper out with a few refs to other examples of language change, when word shift a great deal - sadly my notes are at work and my memory is not good for this sort of thing ...
You could pick the word 'terrific', for instance. Which no longer means something terrifying for most people.
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 suzi's reply was promoted to an answer.
maybe think about the way politicians use language to trick and obfuscate ...
Thanks for the advice! I think wicked is a really good word to use, so I'll probably stick with that (thanks suzi).

Terriffic is also a very good one to use. Maybe my teacher will allow me to use two for the one paper.

Thanks again!
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ah, suzi, obfuscate ... i love that word. i guess there just are some words that have a sort of twang to them ...