In my comp class this morning, we were talking about an essay they'd read. The essay uses the word "steed." I thought this would be a good bit to discuss, since "steed" is one of those words with lots of meaning and associations. Not for them, though. They knew (or went along when other people said) it meant basically "horse." But they didn't have any associations.
And when I asked for other words for horse, they'd never heard "nag" used for horse. One person came up with "bronco" and one with "stallion" and then they were basically done.
I'm sure they have associations with lots of other words, but I'm sad they don't have any richness with "steed."
I wonder how many college students in 1896 (the quote is from a magazine published then) had associations with "steed"?