Watch your defintions - collaboration

A friend pointed me to yesterday's Thomas Friedman column in the NY Times on definitions of "collaboration." Collaborate vs. Collaborate

col-lab-o-rate [k uh-lab- uh-reyt]

verb (used without object), col-lab-o-rat-ed, col-lab-o-rat-ing.

1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel.

2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying one’s country: He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

Friedman's focus is mostly definition 2, associated with political gridlock (in Washington DC) as compared to how I usually think of collaboration - definition 1.  

It's a good reminder that definitions and common understanding are important. Emphasizing collaboration - or any other concept - to someone who has a negative connotation isn't going to help matters.  

3 Comment(s)

Thanks, Samuel. You were the friend that pointed me in this direction.

Shim Marom Author Profile Page said:

We're using this word left-right-and centre these days and only having read your post have I recalled the fact that it does have two different meanings.

I love the English language.

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