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    #1

    Betterment - a very loaded word?

    I wrote this sentence:
    "This can be considered as an important step of betterment from the previous systems..."
    and the marker corrected 'betterment' to 'improvement', saying that 'betterment' is a very loaded word and has a different meaning with different connotations.

    I then looked up the phrase loaded word on the Internet and found out that this is a term used in rhetoric, referring to language attempting to influence the reader/listener by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes. What I don't quite understand though, is what different connotations can 'betterment' have? Is it not essentially synonymous as improvement and equally positive? It seems intriguing to me.

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    #2

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    It should be written: an important step for the /as an improvement of/over the previous system.

    The word 'betterment' is not appropriate in the context.

    Not a teacher
    Last edited by tedmc; 28-Feb-2015 at 12:20.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    One will usually see "betterment" used in phrases such as "the betterment of society".

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    "This is an important step of improvement from the previous system ..." is still awkward, and the 'from' is wrong.
    I'd say, "This is a significant improvement on the previous system."

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    #5

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    Thank you all very much but it seems no one has any idea why betterment is a loaded word with different connotations in different contexts? Allow me to rephrase my question then - is betterment synonymous with improvement? Under what circumstances should one opt for betterment rather than improvement, or vice versa? Thanks again

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    I don't consider "betterment" to be a loaded word. The word contains a meaning of improvement, but as discussed above, it is used for more important things than "improvement" is.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    The Longman Dictionary marks 'betterment' as formal. Should it be used only in official/serious situations/documents?

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    #8

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    I'm not convinced I've ever needed to use the word "betterment" but if I did, it would probably be in the context of "betterment of society". For me, it refers to a social or perhaps educational level.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    In my city, there is a political party named 'Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong'.

    Not a teacher.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Betterment - a very loaded word?

    For me, it's the type of word which turns up in that kind of phrase - a very formal (flowery, even) phrase where someone wanted to use a word which sounds more impressive than "improvement". However, in the name of that party, it is used in exactly the same way that MikeNewYork and I suggested.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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