A synonym is a word, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in a given language. For example, in the English language, the words begin, start, commence, and initiate are all synonyms of one another: they are synonymous. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synonym)
The meaning doesn’t change, but the feel certainly can. I’m having an interesting debate at work over the word “deprecate”. See, it is correct, the feature in question is subject to the action “to withdraw official support for or discourage the use of (something, such as a software product) in favor of a newer or better alternative”.
It is, to me, technically correct and sentimentally terrible in a user-facing article. Why? Because it also means to disparage, to belittle, to express disapproval of the thing. I suggested we use the word “remove” or “retire” the feature, as a way of indicating we are sunsetting it’s use without causing a feeling of trashing what that feature has done for us in the past. In short, feels bad, man.
Additionally, gamers come from all ages and backgrounds. “Deprecate” is a very clinical word that younger or less classically educated folks may not understand. A developer with extensive collegiate experience and years under their belt understands it perfectly, but your average 16 year old gamer may not get it. Who am I more worried about reaching? You guessed it, that gamer is my audience.
In the end, I have posed my request to use a less harsh synonym, I have made my stance known, and unfortunately I have reached the hard “No” that means I must use their language choices. My job is to shape words into a way that provides understanding to as many readers as possible, but I can, have, and will at times continue to be overwritten.
Such is life!