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What is a word that means to bind a connotation to a word in literature? Generally how I am trying to use it: Shakespeare binds an ironic meaning to the word fair blabla so every time somebody says fair, it turns out to be foul blabla... ¶ After the initial [blank] (of the ironic usage of fair)... succeeding uses of the "fair" show this...

If there is no such specific word, how can I say this?

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Something like reversal, reworking, or redefinition? –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Apr 3 '12 at 22:22
    
Well he did not redefine the meaning of the word, but whenever the word is used, the reader knows that it actually means the opposite. –  stas Apr 3 '12 at 22:23
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Perhaps co-opt, in its sense "To absorb or assimilate into an established group"; eg, "He co-opts the word fair to mean foul". –  jwpat7 Apr 4 '12 at 6:23
    
@jwpat7: Very nice. +1 –  Jim Apr 5 '12 at 0:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, actually what you're describing is the definition of connotation.

  • From Dictionary.com: the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”
  • A word's denotation is its reference to the things it designates, its direct, explicit meaning; a word's connotation is things or attributes that the word brings to mind, any idea or notion suggested or associated with the word

So your example sentence could say:

Shakespeare gives the word fair a new and opposite connotation blabla so everytime somebody says fair, it turns out to be foul blabla... After imposing this new connotation on the word fair... succeeding uses of fair show this...

Granted, the connotation of the word fair in the context of Shakespeare's play may not be the same as in the real world, but within the context of the play, Shakespeare is giving fair a new connotation.

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I interpreted OP's question to be, "what do we call the dissemination of the new connotation." So in your answer you are suggesting to impose a connotation. –  Jim Apr 3 '12 at 23:52
    
@Jim - Yes, that actually answers the OP's question. Thanks. –  JLG Apr 4 '12 at 1:10
    
Well, I guess you can't argue with the OP, but his question actually asks 'how do you do something with a connotation' which is not as your answer says, "the definition of connotation." But whatever- he seems to be happy. –  Jim Apr 4 '12 at 2:47

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