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Connotation vs. Denotation

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by

Jessie Crandall

on 9 October 2014

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Transcript of Connotation vs. Denotation

Connotation
&

Denotation

Denotation
a word's dictionary
definition
Connotation
So what?
Objective:
Distinguish among
connotations
(associations) of words with similar
denotations
(definitions).
the feelings and ideas associated with a word
What's the difference?
When reading, look at
word choice
to fully unpack the writer's meaning.
Examples:
The following words all have similar denotations but very different connotations. Choosing the correct word with the best connotation will turn
good
writing to
great
writing.
eats
devours
nibbles
gorges
snacks
dines
cry
sniffle
bawl
tear up
sob
Step 1: Identify denotation
consume completely
starvingly gulp down
eat something whole
Think-Pair-Share:
Which apartment would you rather live in?
Option A or Option B
For Rent: This cozy, vintage home has neutral-toned walls and an-easy-to-care-for yard. Bargain-priced fixer-upper!


Option B
lazy
fake
bright
For Rent: This tiny, old place has bland-painted walls and a cement pad for the backyard. Cheap place that needs lots of
work.


Option A
a word's connotation can be positive, negative, or neutral
Positive, Neutral, or Negative
Being on the track team has made Alan slender and lean.
(+) positive
Being on the track team has made Alan thin.
Being on the track team has made Alan skinny
and scrawny.
(+/-) neutral
(-) negative
strength
word
denotation
connotation
(dictionary definition)
(associated thoughts & feelings)
Similar Denotations but Different Connotations
"notice" = not really looking for it, but happened to see it
"notice" conveys a more accidental or unintentionally caught idea.
I
noticed
the sign in the window.
I
spied
the sign in the window.
"spy" has more sneaky connotations
"spy" = observing without being seen.
Why this word or that one?
What connotations are loaded in the language?
When writing, use precise language to evoke the concepts, feelings, and exact meaning you want.
scare
shock
terrify
startle
panic
intimidate
Full transcript