Denotation and Connotation essay sample

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Denotation is the direct meaning of linguistic unit, the lexical meaning of the word. The denotative meaning of the word can be in general understood more or less the same way by all of the individuals, including non-native speakers (Jackson, 2014). Denotation is opposite to the connotation. Connotative meaning is individual made and depends on the many factors such as perception, intonation and cultural background.Having read Danesi’s book “Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things” it is possible to find the rich variety of the examples of the relation between connotation and denotation (Danesi, 1999). Thus, for example, the denotative meaning of the word “house” would define it as a building that can be used as an accommodation, learning or working settings. However, the meaning associated with the house for the inhabitants of New York City would defer from the meaning of the word for people living in Calcutta.

Therefore, the denotative meaning would remain almost the same in all of the cultures whereas the connotative level would depend on the cultural and historical background and the living patterns.

The denotative element is the green forest depicted in a form of the lungs on the green landscape. One of the possible connotations is that the trees are the lungs of our planet that suffer and decay due to human activity. Another possible connotation stems from the afore outlined one and can be defined as follows: cutting the forests, people cause harm to themselves having less and less fresh air to breath.


Danesi, M. (1999). Of cigarettes, high heels, and other interesting things. New York: St. Martin's Press.Jackson, H. (2014). Words and their Meaning. …

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