Words with connotations

Also known as loaded language or word associations.


For example: This is the shriek of spinsters around the world.

Effect on reader

Certain words may have synonyms that technically mean the same thing, however evoke a different reaction in the reader. Consider the contrast between the words “bachelorette” and “spinster” – both refer to a single woman, however the first is significantly more positive than the second. Also in this example, the word “shriek” is used instead of a less negative word such as “call”. Together these words create an image in the reader’s mind of a group of crazy women crying and yelling, which affects how the reader views the group of individuals being discussed.

Words with positive or negative connotations are often used in conjunction with emotive language or with anecdotes and appeals in order to dictate the emotional response of the reader.

Sometimes words with connotations are not a replacement of a word with lesser connotations attached to it, but the word or idea itself carries the connotations, such as “pornography” or “pervert.”