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Connotation and Denotation

Study Guide and Practice

Denotation and Connotation Practice Exercises
Practice 1: "It's For You!"
Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) You can't go anywhere today without running into someone using a cell phone. People are either talking on them or texting. Okay, so we know the handheld devices are helpful tools, but shouldn't there be some rules about their use in society? Just because someone has a cell phone, does that make it okay to talk rowdily on it in public? Does everyone in the vicinity have to be bombarded with one-sided conversations, even if they don't want to? Not everyone agrees.
(2) Some people, usually those who use their cells a lot, say it's totally okay to use them anywhere, anytime. They may allege, "America's a free country and it's my right to talk in public! Other people talk to each other all the time while they walk down the street or eat in a restaurant. What's the difference if I talk to someone face-to-face or on a cell? If other people don't like hearing my phone conversations, they don't have to listen! I think they should move away from me so they don't hear what I'm saying! After all, it's very rude to eavesdrop! Besides, cells phones are essential in today's world. You see stories on TV all the time about people trapped in elevators, or under rubble from earthquakes or hurricanes, who used their cells to get help that saved their lives. And cells help kids keep in touch with their families . . . so the kids and their parents feel safer!"
(3) Other people see things differently and say things like, "Public places are for everyone. It's true that this is a free country, so why should I be forced to listen to loud talking and laughing, especially when it's usually about stuff that's really lame or should be private anyway? Trust me, no one wants to hear about the fight you had with your friend, the movie you saw, or what you're wearing to the school dance! People should be able to hang out at the mall or ride a bus without hearing brainless conversations. Last week I was almost knocked down by someone skating at the ice rink and talking on the phone at the same time! If it's important enough for you to call someone, take the time to do it right. A phone conversation is private, so keep yours to yourself! Talking on a cell in public is not only badmannered, it adds to noise pollution!"
(4) Is there a happy medium between using a cell "wherever and whenever" and outlawing its use altogether? Sure, it's called common sense. Be respectful of other people's rights. Don't talk so loudly on the phone. . . . The person on the other end can hear just fine without your shouting . . . and adjust the ring tones so you don't hog the air that's for all to share.
1. Which word could the author have used instead of rowdily that means the same but has a less negative connotation?
a. softly
b. loudly
c. happily
d. quietly
2. Which word in the following sentence gives a negative connotation? They may allege, "America's a free country and it's my right to talk in public!"
a. free
b. right
c. allege
d. public
3. Which word in the second paragraph is a positive connotation for important?
a. essential
b. difference
c. conversation
d. eavesdrop
4. What is the denotation of the word hog? What is its connotation in the last paragraph? Why do you think the author used that word?