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My copy of "Chambers Dictionary Of Synonyms and Antonyms" lists the following synonyms for informative:

informative adj. chatty, communicative, constructive, educational, enlightening, forthcoming, gossipy, illuminating, instructive, newsy, revealing, useful, valuable.

I searched online dictionaries for meanings of informative but none came close to anything like gossipy or chatty. So in what sense is informative a synonym of gossipy>chatty? If it is, of course.

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  • etymonline.com/index.php?term=informative Neither the word's etymology nor its usage, to he extent I'm familiar with, has any connotations of conveying possible untruth as in the case of gossip.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:01
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    However, remember that synonyms are not the same as meanings.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:03
  • Commonly accepted axiom is that no true synonyms exist.
    – Misti
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:33

4 Answers 4

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Synonyms are almost never exactly equivalent. They may differ in the following respects:

  • Denotation (i.e. primary meaning[s])
  • Connotation (i.e. associations based on context or cultural references etc.)
  • Degree of formality
  • Who uses them

Now, gossipy information may be true, or it may be untrue. But it is still informative, even if the information conveyed says more about the person conveying it, or the context in which it is delivered, than about its ostensible content.

Ergo, gossipy is a subset of informative and thus counts as a synonym, despite being only a partial one.

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It can mean "gossipy" or "chatty" but only in ironic or sarcastic speech usually accompanied with sarcastic intonation (if spoken): Your comments about Bill were very i n f o r m a t i v e.

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    Sarcasm is not meaning.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:01
  • That's news to me, @Kris. The answer is on point. 'Sarcasm' may not be a synonym for 'meaning,' but sarcasm certainly conveys intent and has informational value that directly bears upon accurate interpretation. The most essential prerequisite in evaluating the intended meaning of any statement is whether or not that statement is sincere. If sincere the statement means one thing, if insincere another. Sarcasm conveys insincerity.
    – user98990
    Jan 22, 2015 at 18:16
  • Sarcasm does have a way of driving the point home.
    – Misti
    Jan 22, 2015 at 20:15
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IMO, When you are being manifestly demonstrative, it can mean gossipy.

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Informative is pretty neutral by itself. It implies a willingness and enthusiasm to share information. Whether or not it is gossipy or chatty would depend on the context.

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