Back in high school, somehow, the word "rough" wove its way into our slang. But, through some bizarre glitch in linguistics, the word "rough" came to have two distinct meanings, which were polar opposites from each other.

Rough's original meaning in our slang, I believe, had a negative connotation. Synonyms: "bummer", "no good", "ouch", et cetera:

X: I got a 60 on the Algebra and Geometry test.
Y: That's rough, guy.

X: I don't have enough cash on me to buy lunch.
Y: Yo, that's rough, guy.

X: I hear he doesn't have a date to the formal.
Y: Yo guy, that's rough.

Of course, this negative connotation of "rough" existed outside of the sick, twisted world of our high school. Such responses might even make sense to an outside observer. (It wouldn't matter if X were male or female, by the way. If Y is a male, he'll say "guy" no matter what.)

But somehow, some God-only-knows way, "rough" came to have a positive connotation:

X: I got a 95 on the Algebra and Geometry test.
Y: That's rough, guy!

X: I just got back from lunch. I had some nice pizza.
Y: Yo, that's rough, guy!

X: I hear he's got two dates to the formal.
Y: Yo guy, that's rough!

Somehow we were smart enough to constantly utilize one word with two opposite meanings and avoid confusion. That's got to be a testament to our education. This last meaning makes no sense at all to the untrained mind. Case in point: I was up in New Hampshire, visiting the college I was going to go to, when I purchased an item, and, instinctively expecting sales tax, I asked the cashier how much it was.

X: There's no sales tax in New Hampshire.
Y: No sales tax? That's rough!
X: Rough? What are you talking about? That's good!
Y: Uh, yeah, see...where I went to high school, "rough" means "good".

Then he asked me where I went to high school, and I told him near Toronto, but I hastened to add that I grew up in the United Sates, lest he give me a "silly-Canadians-and-their-meaningless-slang" look.

So, what do you think, is this write-up rough?