high strung - positive connotation?

payita

Senior Member
Spanish - Argentina
Hi everyone,

I've just read this and looked up the meaning of 'high strung', and everything I found has a kind of negative connotation, right? Could anyone help me understand it in this context? Thank you!


'You are extremely caring but sometimes your emotions get wrapped up in the wrong stuff. You are a very high strung person, and many people love that about you.'
 
  • TiRouge

    New Member
    English American
    Actually in most cases "high strung" is used in a negative connotation meaning "On edge" or " A person who becomes highly emotional about the smallest things" and in this case I can see how this is confusing. We need more context. Is this person who is referred to as "high strung" a very expressive and dramatic person? Or is the speaker being sarcastic?
     

    JoNZ

    Member
    English - New Zealand
    Totally agree with TiRouge - it is a term that has negative connotations. Maybe they like it about her becuase she's quirky, or they're trying to soften the blow by being nice at the same time as saying something critical?

    * you know i love you but gosh you can be annoying sometimes....

    different but...you get what I mean?
     

    Lux rationis

    Member
    American English
    You are a very high strung person, and many people love that about you.'
    The second phrase is a non sequitur to the first. It sounds as if it were written by someone who didn't really understand the meaning of "high strung." People who are high strung have volatile tempers. No one loves being around such people, even though they might love them in spite of it.
     

    payita

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    It was a description of someone as the outcome of a very silly and not very trustworthy personality test. So I'm guessing you guys are right and they probably didn't pay much attention to what they were writing. Thanks!
     

    Momerath

    Senior Member
    British English
    Isn't it "highLY strung"? Highly strung people are not necessarily disagreeable. Some may even be bursting with good nervous energy. They are the sort of people who jump, and possibly drop the things they are holding, if you creep up on them unawares.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Isn't it "highLY strung"? Highly strung people are not necessarily disagreeable. Some may even be bursting with good nervous energy. They are the sort of people who jump, and possibly drop the things they are holding, if you creep up on them unawares.
    It's "highly-strung" for me, too; but I note teddy's comment about the OED entry.

    I agree that it has - to an extent - negative connotations: it's critical rather than sympathetic.
     
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