Is the word "deference" a positive, negative, or neutral connotation? Why do you think so?

1 Answer

Answer:

I'm going with neutral.

Explanation:

"Deference" is a word that refers to acknowledging that someone or something deserves respect and that it is altering your actions. For instance, I can say:

In deference to the King's death, nightclubs are being asked to shorten their hours.

or

In deference to the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today. - which is something Scrooge might have said.

Now to the discussion of connotation - which is the implied meaning of the word. Does "deference" have a positive, a negative, or a neutral connotation?

To do that, let's substitute in some other words that mean the same or relatively the same thing as "deference". I'll use the Scrooge example:

In honour of the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today.

To respect the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today.

Because of the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today.

In light of the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today.

Due to the holiday season, I will allow you to leave work early today.

Some of these are clearly more positive than others (I tried to find something that would feel negative and couldn't do it) - the positivity stemming from the highlighting of the entire phrase talking about the holiday season, versus dealing with the ability to take time off. So in comparison, the word "deference" feels pretty neutral - it really just refers to the holiday season and moves on to the ability to take time off work.