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Language Arts Lesson 1

Word Analysis, Fluency and Vocabulary Development (Grades 9-1 !


Instruction 1-6
Etymology of Significant Terms | Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon oots and Affixes | Greek, oman, and !orse "yt#ology | Analogies | Literal and $igurati%e "eaning of &ords | 'enotati%e and (onnotati%e "eaning | Summary 'isco%ery )ideos* Great +ooks* 'on ,uixote

'E!-TATI)E A!' (-!!-TATI)E "EA!I!G Now were going to explain the difference between the denotative and connotative meaning of words. This is a bit similar to what we learned about in our last Instruction: the difference between words literal and figurative meanings. The denotati%e meaning of a word is its literal meaning the definition youd find in the dictionary. Take the word mother!" for example. The dictionary would define mother as a female parent." #$! but the word mother" probably creates emotions and feelings in you: it paints a picture in your mind. %ou may think of love and security or you may think of your own mother. The emotions and feelings that a word creates are called its connotati%e meaning. &et us give you another example! the word cat." The denotative meaning 'how the dictionary defines cat"( is: a carnivorous mammal! domesticated as a rat catcher or pet." )ut what is its connotative meaning* It depends. If you like cats! the word cat" may suggest graceful motion! affectionate playfulness! noble reserve and admirable self sufficiency. If you dont! the word might suggest stealthiness!

spitefulness! coldness and haughty disdain. This brings up an important point about connotation! because there are two different kinds of it ++ personal connotation and general connotation. ,ersonal connotation is what weve -ust described with the word cat." Its the emotions or feelings a word creates in you or in any one individual. .eneral connotation is different its what a word means to a large group of people/ a mind picture that is shared. Take a mans beard! for example. In 0ictorian times! the image of a bearded man was that of a proper older gentleman a grandfather! perhaps. )ut in the1234s! a bearded man came to mean unshaven hippie." .eneral connotation doesnt mean that everybody in the world thinks the same way about something! -ust that large groups of people do. 5hen many words with strong connotations appear in the same news report! that news report is said to be slanted" or loaded." This means that the words have been chosen to create either a favorable or unfavorable impression. ,rofessor 0osovic of 6tanford 7niversity has written two different accounts of the same event: 8. 9ive teenagers were loitering on the corner. 8s their raucous laughter cut through the air! we noticed their sloppy black leather -ackets and their greasy dyed hair. They slouched against a building with cigarettes dangling contemptuously from their mouths. ). 9ive youngsters stood on the corner. 8s the -oy of their laughter filled the air! we noticed their smooth loose+ fitting -ackets and the gleam of their colorful hair. They relaxed against a building smoking evenly on cigarettes

that seemed almost natural in their serious young mouths. The same event! yes. )ut two very different accounts of it. :ow does each report make you feel* 6ince there are many words with negative connotations! people often use a form of speech called a eu.#emism to try and say the same thing in a more positive or pleasant way. Instead of saying youre fired!" they say were downsi;ing." Instead of talking about a corpse! they use the word remains." Instead of calling somebody short!" they say vertically challenged." 6ince many people try not to offend! which of course is good! we end up with some pretty weird euphemisms many coined in the name of ,olitical <orrectness and some made up -ust to be funny or have fun. Translations from one language to another are often sub-ect to great debate! since the connotative meaning of a word can be =uite different from one language to another. The )ible was originally written in :ebrew. In >nglish! the 6ixth <ommandment has been translated as Thou shalt not kill." This <ommandment has been invoked against everything from killing in self defense to bearing arms in time of war. 6cholars believe that the original :ebrew term for to kill" actually meant murder." 6o the proper translation of the <ommandment should actually be: Thou shalt do no murder." ?isunderstandings occur between people of different cultures every day -ust because a word or group of words means different things to them. If we are all sensitive to this and try learn about these cultural differences! we may be able to figure out better ways to get along.

!o/ let0s do Practice Exercise 1-6 (top) Summary %ou have now completed &esson 1 on 5ord 8nalysis! 9luency and 0ocabulary @evelopment and are ready to do the ,roblem and Test sections. %ou may wish to review any or all of the topics before answering the =uestions that follow. %ou may also wish to obtain additional material from the links below before answering the =uestions. .ood luckA
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