non pejorative

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New Member
USA english
If "pejorative" means
  1. Tending to make or become worse.
  2. Disparaging; belittling.
how dose one describe a word
that is neutral?

Can a word that implies a positive bias be "pejorative". Such as "pre owned"
car rather than "used" car.
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Pejorative means made to sound bad (literally "to make worse"); it's entirely negative, as your quoted definitions show. I'm not sure what you are looking for; can you explain a little more?

    I can't think that there would be a use for a related word meaning "neutral", as that would generally be the default usage for most words; i.e. that they are plainly descriptive. Neither "used" nor "pre-owned" are pejorative; the former is more or less neutral, and the latter is an attempt to make "used" sound more attractive (a euphemism, as bibliolept points out).


    New Member
    USA english
    Thanks for the comments.
    My example of " used cars" and "pre owned" may not have been useful.
    Let me try again.

    The news paper recently had a headline something like the following:
    Chinese officials warn the U.S about awarding the Dali Lama ...

    I would say the choice of the word "warn" was pejorative.
    I would like to say " the press should be more _____".
    I can not put my finger on the best word to fill in the blank.
    The words " objective" or "neutral" might work but they do not carry the same sense as "non pejorative".
    The problem with " non pejorative" is that it does not differeniate between
    the neutral and positive senses. By "positive sense" I would give
    the examples: "Pro Life" for anti abortion. "Pro choice" for pro abortion.
    In these cases the writer has chosen expressions with a positive "spin".
    The pejorative terms seems to convey a negative "spin".
    How do you decsribe the case where someone has deliberatly chosen a word with no "spin".


    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I wouldn't call the use of "warn" pejorative.
    It appears to be an accurate use of the term.
    The Chinese are implying some type of retaliation to the US.

    It's a bit wordy, but perhaps "the writer has stuck to the plain, unvarnished truth" would describe a writer with no spin.


    New Member
    USA english
    I have no way of knowing if the Chinese "warned" or "cautioned" or
    "threaten". The article I saw referred to "Chinese officials". I would have
    thought if they interned to "warn" the statement would not have come from
    anonymous sources and would not have been vague in its implications.
    In the US, the news is shot through and through with "loaded" terms and
    language to the point that no one really knows what is going on.
    I am trying to find an adjective that describes "non slanted" or " un biased" speech the way that "pejorative" describes a negative tone.

    By the way, am I to understand that some of the responses above which
    described "Pre owned" as a euphemism mean to say that a euphemism can
    not be pejorative?


    Senior Member
    Australia English
    A definition of pejorative : having negative connotations; especially : tending to disparage or belittle
    From the Latin "to make worse".

    A definition of euphemism

    An inoffensive word or phase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful

    From the Greek for "sounds good".

    So a euphemism cannot be pejorative.
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