A friend many years ago once made a glossary of terms used in a manner specific to one small environment - our alma mater. In this glossary he gave both the "official" definition, i.e. the denotation of a term, and also the actual, common usage (or connotation). Being one too many times much too irritated by double-edge or, two-faced usage of terms in the public forum, I decided to borrow this approach for my own glossary. Enjoy, and feel free to propose new terms, denotations, and connotations - everyone can play!
Denotation: what is “in practice”
Connotation: what is “in practice” insofar as it is under consideration by the intelligentia. What is in practice by the non-elite is not "praxis" unless the elite approve it (or create it).
Example: In practice, Joe the Plumber will spank his 8-year old for mouthing off, but the modern Christian praxis has been to expend more effort crafting clever explanations for departing from the Biblical admonitions for corporal punishment.
Denotation: one who studies liturgy or specifies particulars for liturgical events.
Connotation: a modern artist who uses 3400 years of liturgical praxis as an optional resource bank or palette for a canvas consisting of modern events, but regards the results of internal, organic maturation of liturgy during those 3400 years largely as a series of quaint anthropological pastiches without any implication toward harmonious coherence in modern praxis.
Example: Our post-Vatican II liturgists have produced many modern concepts for liturgy, such as clown liturgies, ecumenical Buddha-centered events, and liturgical dances, with the result that post-modern attendance of Catholics at weekly mass hovers around 25 percent, although this statistic may not accurately represent true praxis in the Church.
Connotation: recent, up-to-date, current.
Denotation: a dated style of art and philosophical approach, founded on sand and flowing emotes, rooted in deeply skeptical resistance to any absolute or universal norms of expression, and exemplified in the painting of Picasso, the a-tonal music of Fred Lyerdahl, and liturgies emphasizing dance, cookies, and apple juice.
Example: The Novus Ordo mass is soooo modern, it takes your breath away. That might be why you can't hear people singing.
Denotation: physical pain imposed on one who disobeys a rule, by the authority charged with the care of the community. Synonym (archaic): the rod
Connotation: spanking, caning, whipping, applying a ruler to any body surface, etc.
Connotation (modern): any of a number of barbaric physical treatments of one who expresses alienation from a community by an act contrary to one of the community’s taboos, designed to repress non-conformity by pushing the personal cost of non-conformity beyond the limits of the individual’s ability to remain self- indulgent autonomous. Most community praxis condemns corporal punishment, though exceptions can be made, notably for traditionalists who will not conform to the dictates of liturgists. (See: torture.)
Example: Johnny sassed off at Mom, but Dad took him behind the woodshed for some corporal punishment. Luckily, CPS didn't see anything.
Denotation: one who upholds or loves traditional practices. One who believes philosophically that tradition imposes an obligation on the community and its members.
Connotation (1): an old fuddy-duddy, a curmudgeon, one who refuses to change.
Connotation (2): one who repudiates modern attempts to dis-organize society or vociferously declares himself in favor of 1955-era practices.
Connotation (3): any member of 3 or 4 self-identified groups who doubt the correctness of Vatican II or any change in doctrinal expression, law or praxis mandated by any pope after Pius XII. (Often used with a capital “T”.)
Connotation (4) (technical, derogatory): any member of 3 or 4 groups who are set on undermining the work of the spirit (esp, the “spirit of Vatican II), who thus constitute one of the gravest threats of the modern church, and who generally should be excommunicated from the Church (even though that penal rule is generally considered an archaic hold-over from antiquity – i.e. pre-Vatican II – and is virtually tantamount to corporal punishment).
Example: Paul VI-era liturgists tried to push the traditionalists out of the Church by modernizing liturgical praxis, but Benedict XVI let them back in again.
Denotation: (Adj.) favoring change for the better; toward improvement.
Connotation 1: Favoring change; holding that it is a sufficient reason to prefer a change that there be some (even remote) possibility that after the change there will be some desirable condition, it being irrelevant whether the desirable condition be better than the prior condition, nor that the change be per se causal for the desirable condition. (Consequently: “anything is better than the status quo.”) Preferring change for the mere sake of change (see: fashion). Antonym: favoring stability.
Connotation 2 (traditionalist), (adj.): preferring to wreck the goods that others have than to live without them yourself; (noun) a modern word-con-artist promoting change in order to acquire more under the guise of “just redistribution”.
Example: Woodrow Wilson was a progressive who pushed for re-shaping Europe largely because he could. Rockefeller was a progressive because it filled his pockets.
Denotation: variety; having different forms or types.
Connotation: variation with regard to certain special characteristics, those that distinguish definite favored sub-groups (i.e. so-called “minorities” even when they are not in the minority). Also: an attitude that favors minority-typical values over non-minority-typical values. (See also: oppression, reverse prejudice.)
Example: In a university, diversity means having and accommodating a faculty and administration composed of many different varieties of modernists, skeptics, and materialists. It does not consist of having or accommodating also many different kinds of orthodox, practicing Christians or Jews. In politics, diversity means having blacks, Hispanics, and women in positions of power. Except that in Africa, diversity means having blacks in positions of power without regard to whether whites are also. In Muslim countries diversity means having Muslim men in power who, in many different ways, do not love freedom or the US.
Denotation: a condition of permitting, allowing to be.
Connotation: a condition of permitting behavior that is foreign to ortho-normative culture, its mores, its tenets, and its philosophical foundations. This permission extends to behavior that tends to subvert the philosophical concepts that form the rationale of toleration and / or the specific reasons toleration is extended to such behavior; it does not extend to toleration of orthodox Christian behavior in a non-Christian culture, except possibly when such behavior is in private, uses no resources, and has no material effect on anything.
Example: In the 1960s and ‘70’s shacking up came to be tolerated, praying in school was not, but praying in the home was tolerated then and even now.