Elements of Semiology: Connotations and Denotations - Outline Example

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In the paper “Elements of Semiology: Connotations and Denotations” the author analyzes the terms, connotations and denotations, which are applied to express and differentiate between two distinct types of extensions or meanings of a word. …
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Elements of Semiology: Connotations and Denotations
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Elements of Semiology: Connotations and Denotations

The terms, connotations and denotations are applied to express and differentiate between two distinct types of extensions or meanings of a word. Connotations add elements of color, attitude or emotions while a denotation on the other hand is the literal description of a word devoid of any color, attitude or emotion.
Connotation is more inclined to personal understanding and interpretation of the image or design. Denotation is inclined to what is easily recognized and objectively present. More so, denotations are described as the literal or common sense meaning of a design or an image. For instance, in order to fully comprehend the distinction between connotation and denotation in semiotics, it is vital to examine the following examples.

The denotation of the above image is a brown cross. On the other hand, the connotation is a religious symbol. The person who created the image had different intention may be to express to make the motorists be aware of a stop sign but viewers interpreted it differently as showing presence of a church.

The denotation is the literal meaning or sense of a sign. People are used to seeing and studying advertisement signs in the manner that they are selling certain things in that even appearance of such an image of a girl on the door of women bathrooms represents a salesperson. More so, this sign may mean that you are only allowed to enter the house if you are a girl.
On the other hand, connotation demands studying, comprehending and reading between lines in order to figure out the real meaning. For viewers, they will interpret this sign differently in that they will wonder if the image stands for feminism or wants us to enter if we are women or the notion that women are better than men. Therefore, my personal connotation will be different from the intended meaning of the image by the designer.

Barthers, R 1967, Elements of semiology, Hill and Wang, New York. Read More
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