There’s nothing inherently wrong with being entitled. A worker is entitled to a paycheck; a customer is entitled to the goods they’ve paid for; all of us are entitled to certain inalienable human rights.
So why is “entitled” usually used as an insult?
Language is full of ambiguity. This fuzziness is often cited as a sign of imperfection, leading some to try to develop more precise languages of their own. But ambiguity actually serves a purpose, and is frequently exploited in human interactions.
In a previous post, I raised the problem of indirect speech acts – utterances in which the literal interpretation differs from the speaker’s intended meaning.