Is "Opportunistic" Acquiring a Neutral Meaning?

Joyce, Thomas F. TJoyce at BELLBOYD.COM
Tue Jan 27 20:49:07 UTC 2004

I had to explain to somebody that "opportunistic" connotes
"unprincipled." He professed ignorance and said he was using the word to
mean something like "seeking opportunities energetically," claiming that
in certain commercial contexts he had encountered the word with that
sense.  Am I out of touch with this change of meaning?

This discussion was not in a medical context, where opportunistic is
used to describe certain types of infections, or in a technical context,
where a quick Google search suggests opportunistic has sometimes been
used in a neutral sense or in a sense consistent with "mindless"
exploitation of a system.

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