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Word Choice. Definition: The emotional association that a culture has with a word. . Antonym: Denotation The literal meaning of a word. . Connotation. Positive. Negative. Neutral. Informal. F ormal. Connotation helps to establish tone. Connotation Exercise # 1 .

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Word choice

Word Choice


The emotional association that a culture has with a word.



The literal meaning of a word.







Connotation helps to establish tone.

Connotation exercise 1
Connotation Exercise # 1

For each group of words, choose positive/neutral/negative connotation.

1. gaze, look steadily, stare

2. fragrance, odor, a smell sensed by the olfactory nerve

3. brainwash, persuade, influence one way or another

4. delayed, not on time, tardy

5. somewhat interested, nosy, curious

6. lazily, without haste, leisurely

7. ask of someone, demand, request

8. gathering, a large group, mob

9. slim, skinny, less than average build

  • discuss with others, debate, argue

Connotation exercise 2
Connotation Exercise # 2

“A.Gus cooked dinner for Merdine. He prepared some meat and vegetables and a special dessert.(1) Describe the meal that Gus prepared, making it sound appetizing by using words with favorable connotations.(2) Describe the meal again, this time using words with negative connotations to make it sound quite unappealing.

B.The person did not weigh very much. The person had brown hair and a small nose. The person wore informal clothing.(1) Identify and describe this particularly attractive person.(2) Identify and describe this particularly unattractive person.”


Nordquist, Richard. "Choosing the Best Words: Denotations

AndConnotations."About.com Grammar & Composition.

About.com, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012.

Connotation exercise 3
Connotation Exercise # 3

Ernest Hemmingway was challenged to write a six word story. His response:

“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”


Six word memoirs
Six Word Memoirs

What six words best represent your life?

Examples high school creative writing class:


Six word memoir
Six Word Memoir

  • Start by choosing one word and build around it.

  • Design a one page document with your memoir and a picture that represents it. (Due next class).