Skip to content
July 22, 2020 / Congau


Words have more meaning than their meaning. They often refer to objects, plain and simple, but still evoke feelings that go much beyond their sober significance. Poets know that since it is their craft to express their ideas through emotions. Advertisers know it since it is their business is to manipulate. We all know it, and since it is our intention to communicate, we desperately try to tread the narrow path of getting our message through without offending anyone.

In this endeavor we are sadly bound to fail. We may allow the poet an artistic license to move us and we willingly trust the advertiser to enchant us into buying what we don’t need, but we expect our fellow language users to exercise the utmost care to rub us the right way.

It’s not enough to understand what we mean; the intricate rules of connotations must be observed. It has been decided that certain words sound bad, and then it is quite irrelevant if we know that the speaker’s intentions are innocent. It just feels so bad for us since that’s how we have been told to feel. What? Can we be told to feel?

Connotations are linguistic nuances that move us one way or the other either subconsciously or we willingly let our emotions go along in order to sense the effects of the richness of language; in other words, we are either unaware of what it does to us, or we pretend to be for our own enjoyment. In either case it may make sense to react to the words with negative feelings since we don’t quite comprehend what is going on. We think we react to the content, but it’s really the sound of the words that influences us. On the other hand, when we are fully aware of it all, we should be able to look away from the mere appearance and understand what is really said. If the bad connotations were really intended, we may have good reasons to feel offended, but if not, we should not let them bother us. Meaning matters, not words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: