Description Explanation


Description, originating from the Latin descriptio, is the action and effect of describing (representing someone or something through language, defining something by giving a general idea, outlining, illustrating). The description provides information about someone or something, with different possible degrees of detail.

For example: “The police have released a detailed description of the fugitive’s appearance so that the public can collaborate with his search”, “The chronicler made a wonderful description of the atmosphere that was experienced in the march”, “Marcos got angry with Santiago for his less than optimistic description of the situation”, “Listening to your description of the beach, I feel like I am standing by the sea”.

It can be said that the description is a representation of something or someone through the word and that it includes an orderly and detailed explanation of different qualities and circumstances. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to Description.

A description means providing information, with greater or lesser detail, about something.

Subjectivity in a description

It is important to keep in mind that any description is inevitably subjective since it is responsible for representing through language (written or oral) partial aspects of how a person observes and interprets reality. The describer’s point of view, his or her needs, and prior knowledge of the subject matter are some of the many factors that influence the outcome.

If two journalists attend a celebration and then describe their experience, it is possible that each text tells a different story, perhaps opposite; the same event that may seem “quaint and lively” to one, may be “chaotic and scandalous” to another. It should be clarified that this is not the product of a manipulation of the truth, but rather reveals the differences between the two people.

The degree of subjectivity of a description can vary: «This city has more than a hundred skyscrapers» / «This beautiful city has many impressive skyscrapers».

Classification according to type

There are various types of description; In principle, following what we have already expressed, it is possible to distinguish between:

* objective (or denotative), which consists of the reconstruction of reality without allowing personal issues to interfere, such as taste and opinions. It is the type of description used in texts of a technical and scientific nature, since it simply seeks to inform;

* Subjective (or connotative), which adds a personal appreciation to the information, a point of view that makes each description something unique and unrepeatable. Unlike the previous type, it uses a subjective language, typical of poetry, to express the impression that the object causes on its observer.

Language used in a description

Taking this first classification into account, the descriptions can be grouped according to the language they use:

* literary: it is based on the resources of the language to enhance the aesthetic aspects of the text, embellishing the information, making it more pleasant for the receiver;

* scientific: the vocabulary used seeks absolute clarity, the highest degree of precision and objectivity;

* colloquial: this is the use of everyday language, terms and resources available to any person.

The object described

Likewise, the described object opens the doors to the following types of description:

* chronography: it is the description of a time or a period in which a certain event takes place;

* zoography: animals belonging to any species are described;

* hypotyposis: very vivid story to describe an abstract situation, trying to generate in the receiver the sensation of knowing it through an intense use of emotions;

* topography: used especially for the reconstruction of the characteristics of a landscape, it is a description from a fixed position, a static observation of an object.

Characterization as Description

Regarding the descriptions of people, what is known as characterization, there are also various types, such as:

* prosopography: the physical aspects of an individual are recounted ;

* etopeya: focuses on the psychological characteristics and on the moral plane;

* portrait: the combination of prosopography and etopeia;

* self-portrait: a portrait of oneself.