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ad hominem

"A prosecutor asks the judge to not admit the testimony of a burglar because burglars are not trustworthy."

Person L says argument A.
Person L's circumstance or character is not satisfactory.
Argument A is not a good argument.

faulty analogy

"Look at that guy there who is wearing the leather jacket and baggy pants. His attire conclusively proves that he must be a gangster."

begging the question

"If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."

non sequitur

"Steven Johnson grew up in poverty. Therefore, he will make a fine President of the United States."

slippery slope

"If we pass laws against fully-automatic weapons, then it won't be long before we pass laws on all weapons, and then we will begin to restrict other rights, and finally we will end up living in a communist state. Thus, we should not ban fully-automatic weapons."

either-or

"Either you are a part of the problem or a part of the solution."

adage

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

aphorism

"Lost time is never found again."

maxim

"Give him an inch and he'll take a mile."
"Better be safe than sorry."

epitaph

"Death is the golden key that opens the palace of Eternity."

proverb

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

allegory

"Faith is like a stony uphill climb: a single stumble might send you sprawling but belief and steadfastness will see you to the very top."

symbolism

The phrase "a new dawn" does not talk only about the actual beginning of a new day but also signifies a new start, a fresh chance to begin and the end of a previous tiring time.

archetype

Romeo and Juliet are an archetype of eternal love and a star-crossed love story.

alliteration

"The Wicked Witch of the West went her own way."

assonance

"A long song."

consonance

"Pitter patter."

onomatopoeia

"Zip!"
"Pop!"
"Vrrrroooom."

cacophony

"Garfield guts squeezing and oozing all over the place."
"The sound of a bunch of different instruments tunning all at once."

euphony

"The sounds of the ripples of water."

allusion

"It's no wonder everyone refers to Mary as another Mother Teresa in the making; she loves to help and care after people everywhere- from the streets to her own friends."

anachronism

"The clock hath stricken three." However, the mechanical clock had not yet been invented.

ambiguity

"I promise I'll give you a ring tomorrow." giving someone a ring has many different meanings

double-entendre

"Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half."
"New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group"

abstract

"Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."

concrete or concise

"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage."
(opposite of abstract)

digression

moving away from the main topic

periphrasis

Instead of simply saying "I am displeased with your behavior", one can say, "the manner in which you have conducted yourself in my presence of late has caused me to feel uncomfortable and has resulted in my feeling disgruntled and disappointed with you."

circumlocution

Instead of writing "he arrived for dinner at 8 pm" the author writes, "8 pm was when he reached the dinner party."

simile

"He is like a mouse in front of the teacher."

metaphor

"Henry was a lion on the battlefield."

epithet

"Alexander the Great"

kenning

"tramp stamp"

personification

"The raging winds"
"The wise owl"
"The warm and comforting fire"

anthropomorphism

"The raging storm brought with it howling winds and fierce lightning as the residents of the village looked up at the angry skies in alarm."

analogy

"My younger brother is to me as I am to my older brother."

conceit

"A lover's love is compared to a compass for drawing circles."

extended metaphor

"My life is like a river. Sometimes rough and rapid. Longing for some release. Trying to calm the storm. Waiting for the sun to shine overhead. Looking for the rainbow in the sky. My life is like a river. I like the gentle bends. I like the smooth waters. They bring me peace and joy. I do not like the rocks and currents. They are struggles in my life."

antithesis

"When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon it might have been one small step for a man but it was one giant leap for mankind."

juxtaposition

putting two contrasting things together

anitclimax

"The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money."
"Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends."

apposition

"Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn, grew lean while he assailed the seasons."

hyperbole

"I am so tired I cannot walk another inch."
"I'm so sleepy I might fall asleep standing here."

understatement

The phrase, "Oh! I wonder if he could get any later; I am free all day long". Said in a sarcastic tone it indicates that the speaker obviously means the opposite of the literal meaning.

litote

"She's not the brightest girl in the class." (She's stupid!)

metonymy

"The B.L.T. left without paying."
(waitress referring to a customer)

synecdoche

"All hands on deck."

asyndeton

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." (no conjunctions)

polysyndeton

"Here and there and everywhere."

hubris

excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy

diction

the tone of an author's writing

semantics

the study of the meaning of words "I love...." could mean many different things

denotation

expressing a meaning or the significance of a part of a story in a straightforward, clear-cut manner
"He packed his bags and made his way out of the house, leaving his old life behind forever."

connotation

literary device wherein the intended meaning is not stated clearly and is instead conveyed through covert, indirect means
"And once again, the autumn leaves were falling." (This phrase uses 'autumn' to signify something coming to an end.)

dialects

different forms of the same language that have unique words, meanings, and pronounciations

colloquialism

type of slang word or phrase "Y'all"

jargon

the language use in certain groups

slang

"Yo! Wassup?"

euphemisms

instead of saying one died, one might say "He passed on."

idioms

"Spill the beans."
"Jump the gun."

cliches

"What goes around, comes around."
(Burnt out sayings)

epic

tells the story of a heroic figure

elegy

poems about death or some type of loss

eulogy

A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died.

fable

a short moral story (often with animal characters)

anecdote

A short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.

forshadowing

the use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot

flashback

a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story

deus ex machina

something that resolves problems in the plot

harangue

noisy, attacking speech

homily

a sermon on a moral or religious topic

invective

abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will

synesthesia

describing one kind of sensation in terms of another ("a loud color", "a sweet sound")

verbal irony

occurs when what is said contradicts what is meant or thought

situational irony

occurs when the outcome of a work is unexpected, or events turn out to be the opposite from what one had expected

dramatic irony

(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play

persona

the speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of writing

pseudonym

a name that hides a person's identity

voice

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

malpropism

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."

pun

"I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me."

motif

A recurring theme, subject or idea

romanticism

a literary movement with an emphasis on the imagination and emotions

realism

the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth

naturalism

an extreme form of realism

local color

writing which presents the mannerisms, dress, speech and customs of a particular geographical region

gothic fiction

genre combining elements of horror and romance

melodrama

a literary form in which events are exaggerated in order to create an extreme emotional response

parody

make a spoof of or make fun of

epigram

a short, witty saying
"I am not young enough to know everything."

stream of consciousness

a literary genre that reveals a character's thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy

dramatic monologue

A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.

apostrophe

address to an absent or imaginary person

soliloquy

in drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience

aside

a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage

paralepsis

emphasizing a point by seeming to pass over it
"Why I outta....!"

aposiopesis

when the speaker or writer deliberately stops short and leaves something unexpressed, but yet obvious, to be supplied by the imagination

apophasis

mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned

paradox

An apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth

oxymoron

"Act naturally."

lampoon

ridicule with satire

farce

a comedy characterized by broad satire and improbable situations

burlesque

a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way

picaresque

a humerous novel about one's journeys

syllogism

deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises

antimetabole

the repetition of words in successive clauses in reverse grammatical order

chiasmus

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.")

zeugma

"You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit."

auxesis

Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force

anadiplosis

repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause

anaphora

repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses

epiphora

repetition of the ends of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.

epistrophe

the repetition of a group of words at the end of successive clauses

inversion

the reversal of the normal order of words

anastrophe

Inversion of the usual order of words

slice of life

a term that describes the type of realistic or naturalistic writing that accurately reflects what life is like.

verisimilitude

the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable

poetic justice

rewarding the good, punishing the bad

whimsy

the trait of acting unpredictably and more from whim or caprice than from reason or judgment

isocolon

use of parallel structures of the same length in successive clauses

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