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Ding, ding, ding, let the match begin: Gang vs. Club

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The vast selection of words that a person can choose in order to relate his or her message to other people makes language versatile and great. Like most languages, the English Language has numerous words that have the same meaning; these pairs of words are called synonyms. Even if a pair of words is a synonym, their connotations can be different. An example of a pair of synonyms with different implications is gang and club. The dictionary definition of gang is “a group of adolescents who band together, especially a group of delinquents.” The definition of club is “a group of people organized for a common purpose, especially a group that meets regularly.” When someone talks about a gang, he is most likely referring to gang in a negative aspect whereas when someone mentions a club, it is probably being apprehended from a positive viewpoint. Even though gang and clubs are synonyms, the connotations of the words “gang” and “club” are different because gang is viewed negatively while club is envisioned positively by society due to these words’ affiliations with people and organizations respectively.

The word “gang” is mostly viewed incongruously in society because of the people that associate themselves with the word “gang.” Gang members are an example of such people who advance the negativity of the word “gang.” Nowadays when people think of gang, they mostly assume that it is related with crime, drugs and violence. This pessimism is due to the fact that most people perceive gang as a group of people, called gangsters, who engage in unlawful activities. These unlawful activities can range anywhere from stealing a simple object to a homicide. When such illegal activities are performed, they are almost always broadcasted on the news, making most people more bias against gangs. Many criminal occurrences involving gangs have caused a detrimental effect on how majority of people view gangs. In the past, people have used the term “gang” positively. An example would be the phrase “gang of friends” in which gang is viewed with a positive attitude. However, in today’s world, the word “gang” usually carries a negative inference because of the gangster’s illicit behaviors. The society’s disapproving outlook on the word “gang” is apparent as the dictionary also conceives the word “gang” negatively by defining it as “a group of delinquents.”

In contrast to the connotation of the word “gang,” the term “club” is viewed positively by society because of the organizations associated with the word “club.” This positive outlook of the word “club” is mainly due to the after-school activities that are beneficial to the students. When people hear the word “club,” they mostly think of school clubs such as Spanish Club, Math Club, Japanese Club, Junior Civitan, etc. These sorts of clubs promote the knowledge of the students. Spanish Club, Math Club, and Japanese Club, help students become better in the club’s respective areas and earn better grades in their particular classes.

Other clubs such as Junior Civitan promotes life-skills of the youngsters by getting them involved in the community. In Junior Civitan, students collect recyclable materials and organize activities such as Adopt-A-Road where they collect garbage from the road. These kinds of activities that are sponsored by clubs give the word “club” a good reputation because they are well liked by society. Clubs also prevent people from joining gangs and doing drugs. Research has shown that most teenagers join a gang because of the amount of free time they have. If teenagers were to be enrolled in activities such as school clubs that are of their interest, then they would be less likely to join a gang because they are involved in an activity they enjoy. The society has a positive outlook on the word “club” because of the activities that are affiliated with the word “club.”

Even if pairs of words are closely related in meaning, they may differ in connotation. An example of a pair of words with different implication is gang and club. Gang is mostly looked at with disparagement because of gangsters. The gangsters’ criminal behavior is scorned by society and since gangsters relate themselves to the word “gang,” society views that word negatively too. However, the word “club,” which is a synonym of gang, is viewed positively by society. This positive perception of the word “club” is mostly applicable due to the good reputation earned by the school clubs. The school clubs are generally appreciated by society because it helps the students be active, hone their skills further and stay away from trouble. Such good qualities of school clubs give the word “club” a positive insinuation. The connotation of the words “gang” and “club” is differentiated by how society perceives the association of these two words with people and organization.

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