Is "nice" a dirty word?


SwampWitch

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Does "nice" now mean a person or thing who is easily taken advantage of? I've found myself using the word less and less; it seems to have a derogatory ring to it.

Any thoughts?
 
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It may depend on your age group .... I know that I don't use it unless it's in the negative ... eg: "You're not very nice!"
 
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I too have noticed that. I also tend to use it in the negative tense as well. I study English at college and the history of the English language. But it also depends on how you present it with tonality. For example, online IM and forums, you can say it as NICE DUDE and it will have a positive emphasis. Same goes offline; tonality is crucial to the meaning.

But overall, I try to be careful how I use the word because it is too generic of a word that is too broad in meaning. My 2 cents

Cheerio
Searay
 

karazelle

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.. it seems to have a derogatory ring to it.

Any thoughts?

It seems a bit noncommital. If I say "that's nice", its like I'm slightly more polite than "That's... nice".

Words change and adapt, and what used to be a nice word before, may go out of use in the future or change its meaning (like "gay" (=happy) or "fag" (=cigarette)).
 

SwampWitch

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Interesting replies!

Evidently, it can directly be used to mean the opposite of nice, here's an example of a conversation that I just had with a friend:

ME: He left his wife and child because he was sleeping with his graduate student.

FRIEND, with emphasis: Niiice!
 
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It's a phrase I often use quite a lot, and in the positive too - when describing someone etc.

Or, "it's very nice of you..." "this is a very nice place.." "It's nice to know that there are still some people who consider other's feelings..."

I also do use it in the negative too, like saying to my child "that is not very nice of you to do that..."

So, for me, I would say I use it in the positive sense a little more than the negative.... It is a nice word though :D
 

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