The connotation of a term refers to the intention to use a particular word. It deals with a series of affective and social aspects in the context of each speaker and which overlap the meaning of each word .
Denotation and connotation
Words, whether written or spoken, are the axis of human communication . As a general rule, all words have a clear and objective meaning, however, depending on the context in which they are used, words can vary in meaning without changing the way they are said or written.
So, for example, when we say the word dog, its meaning refers to that mammalian animal that everyone knows and inhabits many of the homes. But in another context, its meaning can be used to determine the offensive character of a person , whether to refer to their carelessness at work or as an adjective of disqualified.
In this way, we can see that the words have, on the one hand, a denotative or objective sense, but that they can also be used as a connotative sense, which depends on the intention and context in which the term is used, being, therefore, completely subjective .
In traditional linguistic theory , denotation can be defined by the literal use of a term, while connotation has a symbolic value.
On the one hand, this discrepancy can be studied in greater depth in exploring the meaning of words, but it can also be criticized when following later discourse theory.
So, to define denotation more correctly, we can define it as the study of the extension of a concept.
It should be noted that both denotation and connotation have a high emotional component and are largely determined by the cultural context of each speaker.
Denotation would be the perfect example of the nominative function of language , since it can capture reality through the original meaning of a word, being valid for all speakers of a language, although there are places that do not use this term or that do not directly have no knowledge of it.
On the other hand, connotation is found within language and determines the purest subjectivity. The connotation is the specific meaning that a certain group of speakers gives to a word, determined by its concrete circumstances.