I am a member of a writer’s workshop group. We meet twice each month and discuss each other’s work, hopefully, for added perspective and constructive ideas. Today, after returning home from one of those workshops, I went to my desk to send out a few emails to some of the members of our group.
While I was preparing one of those emails, I decided to look up a definition for a word I have used many times, just to see what I would find. Of course, I am a word nerd. These are the kind of things I like to know.
When I went to Dictionary.com I found a disturbing surprise.
–verb (used without object), -rat·ed, -rat·ing.
1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel.
2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying one’s country: He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
1870–75; < Late Latin collabōrātus (past participle of collabōrāre)
collude, join, assist, abet.
Maybe I should go back to working alone. I’m disappointed that the only two examples listed for context were novelists and nazis. At least they mentioned that collaboration is “usually” (not always) a willing form of cooperation.