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Connotation and Denotation

Analyzing diction (word choice) to determine tone and mood. Sixth and seventh grade reading.
by

Daniel Ghann

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Connotation and Denotation

Why Should I Care?
If you pay attention to diction (word choice), you can control how readers feel when they read (This is called MOOD).
If you pay attention to the diction of others, you can read between the lines to know how they really feel about the subject (This is called TONE).
What are Connotation and Denotation?
Denotation simply refers to the dictionary definition of a word. What does the word mean?

Connotation refers to the emotional meaning attached to the word. What does it make people think or feel?
Example #1
Example #2
Which diction, or word choice, makes the author sound more positive? Which sounds more negative?
That boy is strong-willed.
That boy is stubborn.
That boy is pig-headed.
Now You Try!
Use your brain and the internet to find 5 pairs of synonyms. Identify one word from each pair as more positive or more negative than the other.
Analyzing Diction to Determine Tone and Mood
Connotation and Denotation
ELACC6RL4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Mr. Ghann
ELACC7RI4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Focus Standards
How does the author view the subject?

The boy had become plump.
The boy had become obese.
The boy had become fat.
Plump, obese, and fat all mean overweight (denotation). However, the connotative meaning of each word is different. Plump sounds like the author thinks the boy's weight is cute. Obese makes it sound like the author is worried about the boy. Fat make the author sound cruel and insensitive.
Each of the examples mean stubborn or hard-headed, but the connotation of each word choice is significant. Strong-willed has the most positive connotation, while pig-headed has the most negative connotation.
or
Practice on your own using your Zondle app. I have shared a topic called "Connotation."
Full transcript