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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,
Danny
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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 ...
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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!
Danny
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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 ...