Your question is about semantic prosody. An example of that is the word commit. It tends to have a negative meaning more so than a positive one because of the realm it is used in; e.g., commit a crime, murder, midermeanor, felony, adultry. Its positive meaning is not as common, commit (oneself to doing something good).
The verb fail follows a similar pattern. It tends to have a negative meaning; e.g., fail a test, yet it can also have a positive meaning, specifically when it is negated, as in
not fail to = not forget to
never fail to = never forget to
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