When I take the word 'extraordinary', 'exceptional' and 'outstanding' literally, it simply means something 'out of the ordinary', 'rare and/or unusual', or something which 'stands out from the rest', but not necessarily conferring any positive connotations. And indeed this is reflected in the dictionary.
- beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established
- exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable
- forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary
- unusually excellent; superior
- prominent; conspicuous; striking
- marked by superiority or distinction; excellent; distinguished
However, very rarely do I see text use these three words, by themselves, without conferring a positive connotation (see the second definitions). If they choose to convey something as out of the ordinary without carrying a positive connotation, they'd use words such as 'striking', 'unusual', 'uncommon' or 'strange'.
You can of course attach negative connotations using, for example, 'exceptionally bad' to attach 'exceptionally' to the first definition. But if I say, this taste is 'extraordinary', you'd immediately associate it with being positive, while it might just be plain weird.
So are the 'literal' definitions of these words, in and of itself, now obsolete?