Diction refers to the author’s choice of words.Tone is the attitude or feeling that the writer’s words express.
When analyzing diction, consider such questions as:•Is the language concrete or abstract?•Are the words monosyllabic or polysyllabic?•Do the words have interesting connotations?•Is the diction formal or colloquial?•Is there any change in the level of diction in the passage?•What can the reader infer about the speaker or the speaker’s attitude from the word choice?
What are some of the conclusions we can draw from these answers?•Concrete?•Abstract?•Monosyllabic words•Polysyllabic words•Formal•Colloquial•Change in type of diction?•Childlike•Mature thinking•Intellectually inferior•Sophisticated•Educated•Illiterate•Does this indicate an epiphany?
Denotation means the literal, dictionary definition of the word – plump and obese both mean calorically challengedConnotation means the implied or suggested meaning attached to a word, or the emotional “tag” that goes along with the word.Corpulent, plump, obese, heavy set, fleshy, fat, paunchy, burly, over-weight, roly poly, bulky, portly, weighty, pudgy, zaftigWhich word do we use to insult someone?Which one do we use to describe someone we like?Which one do we use to describe a cute little baby?
The choice of diction contributes to the toneWhen discussing tone, consider such questions as:•What seems to be the speaker’s attitude in the passage?