I. What is Connotation?

A connotation is a feeling or idea that a indigenous has, in enhancement to its literal meaning or main an interpretation (the denotation). Often, a collection of words have the right to have the same straightforward definitions, but totally different connotations—these are the emotions or meanings implied through a word, phrase, or thing.

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For example, “This clothes is affordable!” versus “This clothing is cheap!” Here, “affordable” sounds much far better than “cheap,” because the word cheap also implies low quality.

II. Instances of Connotation

Connotation is an additional an interpretation for a native or phrase; thus, the instances are endless. As mentioned, plenty of words will share the same literal meaning, but may connote different feelings or ideas. Below are several examples:

Stench, smell, aroma, scent, odorStrong, tough, sturdy, hardProud, confident, arrogant, egotisticalChildish, childlike, young, youthfulRich, loaded, privileged, wealthy, affluentBroke, poor, impoverishedFrugal, economical, stingy, cheapTempting, attractive, interestingLiar, storyteller, fibberIndependent, unfriendly, private, standoffish

Think of these words offered in the similar conversations. For example, imagine the difference between describing someone together a “strong woman” or a “sturdy woman”: because of this words’ connotations, the first implies that she is strong emotionally, while the 2nd implies that she is a sturdy physically. Now, use these 2 terms come a table—a “strong table” and a “sturdy table” have basically the very same meaning.

III. Types of Connotations

Most the the examples above can be categorized as having either positive, negative, or neutral connotation, or sometimes both positive and also negative, relying on how they space used.

a. Positive

A word whose connotation suggests positive emotions and also associations. Because that example, “the aroma of my grandmother’s cooking” to produce a optimistic association, since the indigenous “aroma” implies that the smell is pleasing and inviting.

b. Negative

A word who connotation implies negative emotions and associations. If us exchange the adjective “aroma” in the over sentence so that it currently reads “the stench of my grandmother’s cooking,” the an interpretation changes completely. Though both “aroma” and also “stench” average smell, “stench” has a an adverse connotation; thus, the meal sounds much less appealing.

c. Neutral

A word who connotation is neither hopeful nor negative. Because that example, when speaking about a pet, the word “dog” has actually a neutral connotation; but, words “mutt” has a an adverse connotation, and the word “purebred” has actually a positive connotation.

IV. Prestige of Connotation

Most words have actually two meanings: a denotative (literal) meaning, and also a connotative (implied) meaning. The is vital to note that not all connotations are specifically positive or specifically negative—depending on exactly how a word is used, it deserve to connote various things. Hence it is among the most vital things to think about when it comes to word choice, in both literature and everyday conversation. In fact, the feelings or meanings associated with words can be everything. Connotations collection the tone when writing and speaking, and also clarify one’s intentions —they deserve to elicit details emotions or reactions or help to carry out distinct impressions of things. Conversely, picking words v the not correct connotation can develop an undesired reaction or emotion and also misrepresent one’s intentions.


V. Examples of Connotation in pop Culture

Example 1

In the movie Eternal Sunshine that the Spotless Mind, Joel and also Clementine’s conversation top top the train takes number of unanticipated turns because of the word “nice:”

Clementine: I apply my personality right into paste.Joel: Oh, i doubt that an extremely much.Clementine: Well, you don’t know me so… you don’t know, carry out you?Joel: Sorry, ns was… just trying to it is in nice.Clementine: Yeah… I acquired it…Clementine: … I’m Clementine, by the way.Joel: I’m Joel.Clementine: Hi, Joel.Clementine: No jokes around my name… Nooo, you wouldn’t carry out that. You were trying to be nice.Joel: i don’t know any type of jokes around your name.

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Here, words “nice” has a an adverse connotation because that Clementine—for her it way dull, ordinary, pleasant; it has no truly significant meaning. Joel, however, is an awkward man, and also tries to use words in a straightforward but optimistic way—clearly he finds Clementine to it is in a little bit strange and also intense, yet chooses to it is in “nice” through using the word “nice” to explain her. For him, “nice” has actually a hopeful connotation, thus he is bring away aback once Clementine has such a dramatic reaction.

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Example 2

In the Christmas comedy movie Elf, friend the Elf gets himself right into a lot of trouble since of his absence of understanding of words “elf “in daily American society, as deserve to be seen from the complying with scene:

Buddy: ns didn’t understand you had actually elves functioning here!Miles: Oh, well, you’re, you’re hilarious, mine Friend.Walter: the doesn’t, uh… Get back to the story, please.Miles: all right, okay. So, ~ above the cover, around the title…Buddy: walk Santa understand that friend left the workshop?Miles: you know, we’re every laughing our heads off…Buddy: walk you need to borrow a reindeer to gain down here?Walter: Buddy, go back to the basement.Miles: Hey, Jackweed. Ns get an ext action in a week than you’ve had in your entire life. I’ve got dwellings in L.A., Paris & Vail, each one v a 70-Inch plasma screen. Therefore I suggest you wipe that stupid laugh off her face before I come over and also smack it off! You feeling strong, my friend? contact me elf one more time!Buddy: He’s an upset elf.