Define “collaborate”

Today’s Dilbert:

Alice gives a witheringly sarcastic response to the pointy-headed boss, supplying a definition of collaborate that unpacks some of the connotations of the word for her. The boss then puts her down by maintaining that she is uncooperative (she ought to “play well with others” by collaborating with Larry), and she counters by pulling out the gender assumptions in the boss’s observation (women are supposed to be cooperative and collaborative, men are supposed to be assertive and confident).

One Response to “Define “collaborate””

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    On Facebook:

    Alessandro Michelangelo Jaker: I think it’s true the word “collaborate” is often used in the sense of “be subordinate”. “Why can’t you collaborate?” = “Why can’t you be more obedient?”

    Ruth Lawrence: has seen it used repeatedly as ‘Let’s everone get credit for the low-rung person’s wits and work’.

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