Connotation and Denotation Gentry Warm up • What is the difference between these two words? • House • Home Learning Objective • SWBAT • Analyze connotative meanings of words and how connotation can change the meaning of a text. What is denotation? • Denotation: The dictionary definition of a word. • Denotation of house: a place where someone lives • Denotation of home: a place where someone lives. • D= DICTIONARY What is connotation? • Connotation: the emotional / contextual / cultural meaning attached to a word; shades and degrees of meaning • Connotation of house: the actual building or structure • Connotation of home: warm, cozy, loving • C= CONNECTION Let’s try one on our own • Denotation of gray: a shade between or a mix between black and white • Connotation of gray: to me gray means a cold, cloudy day. • Denotation of rose: • Connotation of rose: Good writers and advertisers choose their images and words VERY carefully! A two step content analysis of pictures. 1. Denotation. Straightforward reading of what is in the picture. 2. Connotation. The extra, linked meanings that go with the picture. 1 :- Sky. Sand. Girl. Boy. Donkey. 2:- Beach. Seaside. Holiday. Family holiday. Traditional British holiday. photo courtesy of photolibrary wales www.photolibrarywales.com) Notice how other pictures can have different denotational suggestions but the same connotational suggestions. The connotations for all of these pictures is the same as the previous onetraditional,family holidays. The bright colours, blue skies and smiling faces have connotations of happiness. photos courtesy of photolibrary wales www.photolibrarywales.com) A 2 step content analysis of these images would work in the same way. They both contain similar denotational features : large buildings, street and street lamps but the connotations of the pictures are the same – an inner city. photos courtesy of photolibrary wales www.photolibrarywales.com) The connotations of these buildings is different from the previous two however because we associate these sky scrapers with America. Add two men wearing suits and carrying briefcases and we have extra connotations of a high powered, sophisticated glamorous and successful lifestyle What are the connotations of these images? • Which word in each pair below has the more favorable connotation to you? Circle your answer. – Thrifty – Pushy – Politician – Chef – Slender - penny-pinching aggressive statesman cook skinny Let’s analyze how words can affect writing. • She walked into the room. • What can we really tell about what the student did? The sentence is rather bland because we cannot visualize anything about the action. • What other verbs can we use to show how the student enters the room? • Bounced? Rushed? Walked slowly? Strutted, slithered, pranced, oozed, or marched? • What basic denotative meaning do these words have? • How are their connotative meanings different? Connotation in writing… • Consider this example. Suppose your class has recently visited a greenhouse and you are asked to write a report explaining what you observed during the visit. You decide to focus on safety issues when using propane heaters to warm the greenhouse and a classmate is writing about an exotic flower. You both included the following sentences in your papers: • Classmate: When the flowers are in bloom, their smell fills the greenhouse. • You: When a gas line leaks, the smell fills the greenhouse. • There’s nothing “wrong” with either sentence, but by using the word smell and its denotative meaning, does the reader get an accurate idea of what you or your classmate intended? Now consider these revisions with connotation in mind: • Classmate: When the flowers are in bloom, their fragrance fills the greenhouse. • You: When a gas line leaks, the stench fills the greenhouse. • Smell, fragrance, and stench each have essentially the same denotation, they are all “odors,” but their connotations are quite different. In the revision, the reader has a much better idea of what the author really intended by the use of the word smell. Peer interaction: Use these sentence frames to demonstrate your understanding of today’s terms: • Denotation is a word’s __________________, Furthermore, connotation is a word’s_________________. The denotative meaning for the word rose is___________ while the connotative meaning of the word rose is_____________. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? • When writing, specifically a persuasive paper, your word choice will affect your paper’s overall tone and purpose. • In addition, when reading, by understanding the author’s use of connotation, you will better understand his/her message. Activity • Directions: For each numbered set below, evaluate then categorize the individual words under the column which best describes their connotation. • Example: Positive Negative Carefree Irresponsible Talk Blab Neutral Chat • You are working with your 9:00 appointment. • Instructions: Each of the short passages below (in italics) is fairly objective and colorless, using words with neutral connotations. Your job is to write two new versions of each passage: first, using words with positive connotations to show the subject in an attractive light; second, using words with negative connotations to describe the same subject in a less favorable way. The guidelines following each passage should help you focus your revisions. • 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. • C. Douglas was careful with his money. He kept his money in a safe place. He bought only the necessities of life. He never borrowed or lent money. (1) Choose words that show how impressed you are by Douglas's sense of thrift. (2) Choose words that make fun of Douglas or pass scorn on him for being such a tightwad. Video! Paragraph rubric • 4 • Paragraph uses word connotation to keep a consistent mood throughout the paragraph; word choice is above standard. • 3 • Paragraph uses word connotation to keep a somewhat consistent mood throughout the paragraph with some slight variations in mood. • 2 • Paragraph uses word connotation inconsistently; mood in paragraph is unclear. • 1 • Little use of connotation; no set mood is evident.