What Is Emotive Language? (with Examples)

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What Is Emotive Language? (with Examples)

Emotive language is the deliberate choice of words to elicit emotion (usually to influence).

Ideas can be expressed non-emotively. For example:
  • The men were killed.
However, they can also be expressed in a way that is positive or negative or welcoming or threatening. It all depends on the words selected. For example:
  • The victims were executed in cold blood.

Examples of Emotive Language

Emotive language is designed to tell you the facts while influencing you to adopt the author's opinion. Here are examples of emotive language.
  • Non-emotive version: Another person in the bar was injured by the man's glass.
  • Emotive version: An innocent bystander suffered facial injuries when the thug launched his glass across the bar.
  • Non-emotive version: The government will reduce interest rates.
  • Emotive version: The government will slash interest rates.
  • Non-emotive version: Mr Smith was attacked by Mr Jones for two minutes.
  • Emotive version: For what seemed a lifetime, Mr Smith was subjected to a vicious, cowardly assault by the unemployed, steroid-pumped monster.
When writing emotive language, you get to be newsreader and judge at the same time.

Examples of Emotive Language Using Connotation

Emotive language can be created far more subtly than the examples above. It can also be achieved with connotation. For example:
  • He is svelte.
  • (positive spin)
  • He is skinny.
  • (negative spin)
  • You are meticulous.
  • (positive spin)
  • You are nitpicking.
  • (negative spin)
  • You are unassuming.
  • (positive spin)
  • You are plain.
  • (negative spin)

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Click on the emotive version: