Words often have a way of making us think subconsciously. Without any effort on our part, they conjure up certain images however, even in this very interconnected world these words don’t always conjure up the image or meaning to different people. This can sometimes get tricky when communicating to a broad variety of cultures and it is one reason advertisers today have to be very careful in their rhetoric so that they are able to maximize their number of sales and not offend anyone. In popular culture, there often isn’t an agreement on what a word conjures in the mind. One perfect examples of this conundrum is the word soft
The word soft has a variety of different connotations in todays society. First, the words soft is most literally means to be pleasant to the touch. This means that the word should conjure up the idea of being comfortable and relaxed. However, the word also can take on the meaning of delicate. This often used in both a positive and negative way. Phrases like “soft hands” or “soft brush strokes” give the image of deftness. On the contrary, soft can be used to think of weak, in both mind and body. This creates a conundrum that isn’t easily solved. Just saying the word in a monotone way will not necessarily invoke the image a person wants it to. That is why tone is so important and why meanings can sometimes be misconstrued in text that would have been clear in person.
The word soft also works to a greater or more mythical sense as well. When we think soft we think angelic and pure, untainted by the dirty world. It also brings the idea of delicate and should be cared for. It is important to recognize that the sensations of softness physically and mentally are not the same. When we feel softness we think good things but when we think of things being soft we are more likely to think about them in a negative connotation as they are weak and frail. It also greatly depends on what gender you are and what gender you are describing. If you are a guy describing another guy, soft has a negative connotation. But if it is any other kind of interaction it will usually carry a positive connotation. This is important to remember when ever we read or hear a person being described as soft because without context we might never know what they really meant.