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Denotation and Connotation: Loaded Words


Denotation and Connotation: Loaded Words

Denotation and Connotation

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, you will focus on the following objective: Understanding denotation and connotation.

Denotation and Connotation: Loaded Words

Loaded Words

Loaded words express strong opinions or emotions. You can read between the lines and identify a writer’s opinion when you look for bias, hyperbole, and propaganda.


Denotation and Connotation Tip

To identify loaded language in a reading passage, ask yourself, “Why did the writer write this? What is his or her point of view?” Then look for words or phrases that have strong denotations and connotations to support that stance.

Literature Connection

In the passage below, Sophocles uses words that have strong negative denotations and connotations—damnation, darkness, and death—to describe the vengefulness of the gods. Such loaded words can make speech and writing persuasive.
“For ever: damnation rises behind each child / Like a wave cresting out of the black northeast, / When the long darkness under sea roars up / And bursts drumming death upon the windwhipped sand.”

 —Sophocles, from Antigone

Here are three types of loaded words:

  1. Bias
    language that expresses an author’s prejudice
    Antigone bravely wants to give her brother a proper burial.
    With the word bravely, the writer shows positive bias toward Antigone. A writer with a negative bias might have chosen recklessly instead.
  2. Hyperbole
    exaggerated language used to make a point
    The entire world was against Antigone.
    This broad overstatement by the writer expresses extreme disapproval.
  3. Propaganda
    language that often includes bias and hyperbole and may distort the truth to influence the public
    Anyone who does not agree with the logic of Creon must be an anarchist.
    This exaggerated and distorted statement reveals the writer’s positive bias toward Creon and an attempt to influence people to think similarly.

Denotation and Connotation : Loaded Words Quiz

Complete each line with the loaded word or phrase that best expresses the view of a writer who sides with Antigone.

Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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