Denotation and Connotation. Diction - Words are powerful!. Insight. When studying diction, you must understand both DENOTATION (literal meaning connotation and CONNOTATION (the meaning suggested by a word).
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Diction - Words are powerful! Insight • When studying diction, you must understand both DENOTATION (literal meaning connotation and CONNOTATION (the meaning suggested by a word). • A word’s power to produce a strong reaction in the reader lies mainly in its connotative meaning. • When a writer calls a character slender, the word evokes a different feeling from calling the character gaunt. Slender: thin or slight; light and graceful Gaunt: extremely thin and bony as from great hunger, weariness, or torture; emaciated
Denotation/Connotation Video and Practice • The dictionary definition of a word is its denotation. • The connotation of a word is a specific meaning or idea that the word brings to mind. • Example: • Both giggle and laugh have a similar denotation. These words refer to sounds you make when you find something funny. • However, the word giggle has youthful connotations associated with it. You often think of children giggling, but rarely think of grandfathers giggling. The word laugh has no such connotations associated with it. • Therefore, while the denotation of both words is the same, the connotations are different. SO…how does word choice affect meaning and tone? In order to answer the question, you must first analyze the connotations of the author’s diction. If a writer were to describe a grandfather giggling, he/she probably means to hint that he has a youthful spirit or is feeling particularly young at heart.