OPINIONATED: “conceitedly assertive and dogmatic in one’s opinions: an arrogant and opinionated man.” —New Oxford American Dictionary
Sometimes lexicides say more than they mean to. People who insist on verbiage probably prefer excessive wordiness to succinct copy. People who brag about their simplistic solutions are most likely telling more truth than they intend. So it often is with opinionated.
Many people use opinionated to mean “having strong opinions,” with positive connotations. For example, I found a San Francisco Chronicle headline that promised “an opinionated look at the year’s top ten health stories.” More recently, a story in the Puget Sound Business Journal profiled a female CEO who was “sharp, opinionated, ambitious and deeply insightful about both leadership and business.” Perhaps the Chronicle believes that bashing Bush and drug companies is a virtue (hmmm…), but really, these uses of opinionated may reveal more about the authors than they intend. Is the Chronicle a dogmatic manifesto? Does the Puget Sound Business Journal writer think any powerful woman with strong opinions is arrogant and conceited? Again, hmmm…
Don’t make others wonder about your motives. Stay away from opinionated unless you mean what it means — overbearing and unmoving in offering opinions. If my advice makes me opinionated, then so be it.
— Otto E. Mezzo