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Rhetorical Terminology Focus: Diction

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Presentation on theme: "Rhetorical Terminology Focus: Diction"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rhetorical Terminology Focus: Diction
Practice and Application

2 Sample Passages Jigsaw/group activity time! Get into small groups… 4-5 people! Nothing smaller than 4! I can only have eight groups total… because that’s how many white boards I have.  Once you are in your group, come get a mini white board and a white board marker!

3 Your Group Task I’ll post a mini passage.
Your group will individually read the passage. Your group will collaboratively discuss a type of diction that would be best qualify the passage’s language. Write this answer on your white board. Then, provide evidence (words…) that support your answer. Be prepared to share. 

4 Malcolm X: ________________________
What certainly went on the Harlem and Roxury wires was that Detroit Red was going crazy in stir, or else he was trying some hype to shake the warden’s office. So I wrote letters… about the black man’s condition in this wilderness.

5 Morgan, Gap Creek: ________________________
I know about Masenier because I was there. I seen him die. We didn’t tell anybody the truth because it seemed so shameful, the way he died. It was too awful to describe to other people. But I was there, even though I didn’t want to be, and I seen it all.

6 Hawthorne, “The Birthmark”: ________________________
In the latter part of the last century there lived a man of science, an eminent proficient in every branch of natural philosophy, who not long before our story opens had made experience of a spiritual affinity more attractive than any chemical one.

7 “The Broken Globe”, Henry Kreisil: ________________________
The day broke fine and clear. A few white clouds were in the metallic autumn sky and the sun shone coldly down upon the earth, as if from a great distance. I drove south as far as Wetaskiwin and then turned east. The paved highway gave way to gravel and got steadily worse. I was beginning to wonder whether I was going right, when I rounded a bend and a grain elevator hovered like a signpost into view. It was not about three o’clock and I had arrived in Three Bear Hills, but, as Nick had told me, there were neither bears nor hills here, but only prairie, and suddenly the beginning of an embryonic street with a few buildings on either side like a small island in a vast sea, and then all was prairie again.

8 NEW Practice with Diction
NEW Practice with Diction! Connotation & Denotation: Identifying the effects of positive and negative terminology!

9 Task Using your white board, your group will review a list of words that have similar connotations. However, words can vary in terms of how you “feel” about them. As a group, make three columns. Place the words in the category that best reflects the “feeling” of the word. Be prepared to explain your choices! POSITIVE NEUTRAL NEGATIVE

10 List 1: tight, miserly, frugal, economical, careful, penurious, thrifty, budget-minded, prudent, penny-pinching List 2: dislike, resent, lament, hate, scorn, disapprove, decry, deplore, oppose, regret List 3: odd, curious, off the wall, outlandish, weird, singular, bizarre, unusual, strange, extraordinary, remarkable, eerie, noteworthy

11 Connotation/Denotation
Often two words roughly mean the same thing, except that one has an unfavorable understanding, and the other is more favorable. For instance, I like to think I am a idealist. My father thinks I’m just a dreamer. Our next task is to look at similar words and decide why you would consider yourself to be one definition… but not the other. We’ll do this as a large collective group. It’s not a hard task 

12 Self-confident / Conceited Assertive / Pushy Firm / Stubborn Hard worker / Workaholic Flexible / Indecisive Casual / Sloppy Mature / Old

13 Denotation/Connotation
Pitch, throw, chuck, toss, fling, etc. They all have to do with moving one object from location A to location B. How do each of these words connect to show positive or negative? What do they mean? Consider ALL the options.

14 The pH system of words. Much like chemistry, words have a way of being like a base (approval), being neutral, or being acidic (disapproval). Your task as a group is to take the neutral word I have provided on the next slide and come up with a positive and a negative connotation.

15 NEUTRAL TERM APPROVAL DISAPPROVAL 1. To teach “to enlighten” “to indoctrinate” 2. Thin 3. Fussy 4. Candid 5. Stern 6. Credulous 7. To fail (a course)

16 Also? Diction is using the right word for the right situation.
We use the wrong connotation all the time. We do this unintentionally. Part of your task as the writer is to substitute the wrong words for the right words. What word/phrase should be substituted on the sentences on the next slide?

17 With the U.S. falling behind other industrialized countries, many college people – from chancellors to freshman – consider extracurricular activities a real bummer. Other, of course, regard such entertainments as hot stuff, cultural and educational, and a vital element in college life. Higher education should have the guts and the idealism to widen and ennoble life.

18 Ours is an age of science, and one of the bases of science is mathematics, which, regrettably, some students think is a real drag. Charles Dickens created characters from the lowest levels of the English-speaking world, but he made these scumbags appear likeable because he revealed their universal humanity.

19 And that’s diction. Don’t forget to IDENTIFY the type of diction you are referring to. Never just say the author “uses” diction… and try to avoid “uses” at all costs. Diction does not affect the reader. It affects the text/author purpose and function.

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