Denotation refers to the dictionary definition of a word. Connotation on the other hand refers to words that carry secondary meanings, undertones, and implications. For example, if you were to ask a woman how she'd like to be described from the following list of words, what do you think her answer would be?
The answer to this is most likely the word slender. While all the words carry the same denotation (they all mean lean, and not fat), the word slender carries more positive undertones. A slender woman is graceful, elegant, and perhaps even sexy. Thin on the other hand is a fairly neutral word, and it leads women to prefer the word "slender" as it carries the more positive connotation. Finally, the word scrawny brings an unhealthy, overly thin, or bony person to mind, and women generally do not want to be described in this manner. Over time, words shift in their connotative meanings, and writers should be up-to-date on the current connotations of a word.
The BEST way to incorporate pathos (or emotional) appeals is by using words that carry appropriate connotations. Think back to the sample piece for the claims about fact/definition titled "A Case of Severe Bias"; the following is part of the first statement of that piece:
"I am not a crack addict. I am not a welfare mother. I am not illiterate..."
The words crack addict, welfare mother, and illiterate carry strong connotations. It makes the above statement (while already logical) more powerful. Imagine if the writer used words that carried weaker connotations:
"I am not a person who abuses substances. I am not a parent who needs government assistance. I can read."
Notice how the emotional appeal is weakened. Even though the logical appeal is present, the statement no longer carries the same strength.
Show MoreUsing Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Advertisements
An advertisement is a form of public writing in which the author uses writing strategies as a way to catch the attention of a reader and to persuade that reader to purchase what he or she is promoting. In order to create an effective advertisement, the author relies on the product’s credibility, uses reasons to convince the reader to buy what he/she is promoting, and attempts to appeal to the reader based on emotion. A way in which this can be achieved is through using three components of writing known as ethos, pathos and logos. As an example to illustrate how these strategies can be used as an effective method of persuasion, I have chosen to analyze an advertisement produced by a…show more content…
In the bottom right corner of the ad, the author uses a leather patch with the word "Texas" inscribed on it. The author makes an attempt to represent not only quality, but also pride. This is a way of convincing the audience that Texas is considered a highly respectable place. Once the author has formed the first step of persuasion through credibility, his next attempt is to convince the audience furthermore by appealing to the reasoning of the people who are reading it.
With an intended audience in mind, the author makes an attempt to appeal to that audience through reasoning. This can be accomplished through a category of writing called logos, which is presented within the text of the advertisement. The author gives many reasons why the reader should consider Texas their destination of choice. For example, he states, "Texas has more unique experiences to offer you than you ever imagined" (McCALL p. 87). By making this statement, the author is emphasizing that Texas is not only a nice vacation spot, but is also different: What you experience here, you cannot experience anywhere else. In addition, he presents a specific example of Antonio’s romantic river to support a claim that Texas would be the perfect place for a couple seeking a romantic getaway. The author attempts to inspire the reader once again when he says, "The sounds of laughter and the sweet