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New here so not sure whether the question is suitable for this site.

Based on Google search, the word fusty has two meanings. The second one is 'old-fashioned in attitude or style'.

I stumbled upon this from a recent Economist article:

But a closer listen reveals a conservative streak that will do fusty financial planners proud.

My doubt is that old-fashioned is not necessarily with negative connotation. Given the word fusty also means 'stale', first impression is that its use, even with second meaning, should have negative connotation. But does it?

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  • Will add. But what I want to know is that whether it would be right to use the word with position connotation just like old fashioned?
    – Dayne
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 4:02
  • I've only ever heard the word as Futsy.
    – Elliot
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 5:37
  • That's strange, @Elliot, I had to look 'futsy' up because I'd never heard it. I see it's supposed to be British but it's outside my experience.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 6:08
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    I would say, though, that 'fusty' always has negative connotations, The second meaning is not related to charm, nostalgia or reliability: it's related to neglect, stasis, and an inability to move with the times. A fusty financial planner would be one who, in the opinion of the speaker, would be one who was over-conventional and over-averse to risk. One who was reasonably averse to risk would merely be called 'cautious' which can have either positive or negative connotations.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 6:18
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    Please give a link and attribution for the definition cited. Note that M-W has only the pejorative 'rigidly old-fashioned or reactionary' for this sense here. And RHK Webster's 'stubbornly conservative; fogyish.' Also, 'second' here is deictic; a topical dictionary like Lexico may give a different ordering of senses than a historical one like OED. Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 18:51

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As requested I am upgrading a comment to an answer.

I would say that 'fusty' always has negative connotations, The second meaning is not related to charm, nostalgia or reliability: it's related to neglect, stasis, and an inability to move with the times.

A fusty financial planner would be one who, in the opinion of the speaker, would be one who was over-conventional and over-averse to risk. One who was reasonably averse to risk would merely be called 'cautious' which can have either positive or negative connotations.

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    Right you are. The Economist is for me the best written journalistic English in the world. Even though their politics are sometimes fusty.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 18:55

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