Connotation Exercise (296)

Choose a word with a positive connotation to replace the neutral words in boldface.

  • Buying low and selling high, Toby proved to be a smart investor.

  • I’m looking for an inexpensive means of feeding a family of four.

  • The friends solemnly shook hands on their agreement to stand by one another.

  • The speaker strode to the podium and faced the crowd with an assertive air.

  • The smell coming from a nearby perfume factory scented the entire town.

Answers and Explanations

1. Buying low and selling high, Toby proved to be a smart investor.

Correct: shrewd
Shrewd used to be a negative word, but in current usage it means "clever or keen-witted in practical affairs." Crafty, on the other hand, was once used in a positive sense, but now it suggests underhandedness.

2. I’m looking for an inexpensive means of feeding a family of four.

Correct: thrifty
Cheap suggests tight-fistedness, while thrifty suggests a sensible attitude toward making money go as far as possible.

3. The friends solemnly shook hands on their agreement to stand by one another.

Correct: pledge
A pledge is a promise or vow to do something. A conspiracy is a combination of persons for an evil or unlawful purpose.

4. The speaker strode to the podium and faced the crowd with an assertive air.

Correct: confident
To be confident is to be sure of oneself. To be bossy is to impose one’s way of doing things on others without regard for their opinions.

5. The smell coming from a nearby perfume factory scented the entire town.

Correct: aroma
An aroma is a pleasant odor; a stench is a vile odor.

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