denotation, connotation and how to write
denotation, connotation, and usage
Denotation is the specific, literal image, idea, concept, or object that a sign refers to and Connotation is the figurative cultural assumptions that the image implies or suggests. It involves emotional overtones, subjective interpretation, socio-cultural values, and ideological assumptions. Let's take the Stop sign for example. For Denotation, Stop just means to stop (even without words, we recognize the meaning from the shape and color) and for Connotation, it implies "Risk (accident or ticket)". More explanations are as follows:
The most familiar use of words is to name things or events - trees, cars, sports events, groups. When words are used this way, the things they refer to are called their denotations. Thus in the commonest use of the word "chair," the denotation is a piece of furniture for sitting on; the denotation of "Toronto" is the city by that name.
But words acquire connotations as well as denotations. These are attitudes that we associate with them. Thus when we call a girl "slender" or "skinny," we are not only describing her figure; we are expressing, and inviting a reader to share, an attitude toward her. Connotations are sometimes called implicit meanings, as contrasted with the explicit meanings of the denotations because they imply attitudes which they do not state explicitly.
Whatever diction you choose should support your purpose. If you wish to report objectively what you saw or heard, you will choose words that imply no judgment and express no attitude. Thus you will prefer "reconnaissance patrol" to "sneaking behind the lines." If you wish to convey a tolerant or approving attitude, you will use words that invite such a response - "a boyish prank." "strategic withdrawal." But if you wish to suggest disapproval, you will select words with unfavorable connotations - "an act of vandalism."
In conclusion, Denotation and Connotation are not two separate things/signs. They are two aspects/elements of a sign. All signs carry each function.
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