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The Word of the Day is:

STAUNCH

As you know, I rather enjoy playing connotational/denotational games with words (or word "wannabes" - e.g. "phonus bonus") - especially when the connotational and the denotational jibe in  some happy way.

Well, along these lines, there's STAUNCH. We all know what this means, at least in common parlance: "So-and-so is a STAUNCH conservative" or "STAUNCH advocate of free sex" or whatever.  But say the word out loud to yourself a couple of times (go ahead, right now - say it out loud: STAUNCH, he's STAUNCH, she's STAUNCH, they're STAUNCH, I'm STAUNCH) and you realize that there's a bit of a negative overtone there, aside from the purely denotational meaning of "strong" or "steadfast." Somehow, being STAUNCH seems less than wholly desirable, and being called STAUNCH seems less than complimentary.

Consider, for instance, telling some woman in the mailroom, as she's bent over a packing crate she's taping, "That's one STAUNCH BOX you have there." I'd love to see her reaction.

This is not totally unlike the Slip Mahoney / Archie Bunker malapropism shtick (e.g. Meathead and Gloria telling Archie he's smug, only to hear him protest that it's not him but the I-talian cheese on the table). But this is one better, as it's NOT a malapropism - it's more of a double entendre.

Actually, in the case of STAUNCH, it is one, outright: a second, less frequently used definition is as a variation of STANCH: to stop or check the flow of (a bodily fluid, esp. blood). Thus, depending on various factors of the possessor thereof, "your box is STAUNCH" (or STANCH) might be rather apropos, indeed.

 
 
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