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26 terms

Literary Terms-Advanced

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Adage
a familiar proverb or wise saying
antecedent
a word, phrase of clause to which a pronoun refers to
aphorism
a concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance
apostrophe
a figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction
balanced sentence
a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast
bathos
insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity
chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed
cumulative sentence
a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases (main clause is at the beginning)
deductive reasoning
reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise on Tuesday morning.)
didactic
having the primary purpose of teaching or instructing
epigram
a brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying
epigraph
a saying or statement on the title page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work
homily
a sermon, or a moralistic lecture
inductive reasoning
deriving general principles from particular facts or instances ("Every cat I have ever seen has four legs; cats are four-legged animals").
literary licence
deviating from normal rules or methods in order to achiever a certain effect (intentional sentence fragments, for example).
litotes
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture.")
malapropism
the mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar ("The doctor wrote a subscription.")
maxim
a concise statement, often offering advice; an adage
parenthetical
a comment that interrupts the immediate subject, often to qualify or explain
pedantic
characterized by an excessive display of learning or scholarship
romantic
a term describing a character or literary work that reflects the characteristics of Romanticism, the literary movement beginning in the late 18th century that stressed emotion, imagination, and individualism
solecism
nonstandard grammatical usage; a violation of grammatical rules
syllepsis
a construction in which one word is used in two different senses ("After he threw the ball, he threw a fit.")
synedoche
using one part of an object to represent the entire object (for example, referring to a car simply as "wheels")
synesthesia
describing one kind of sensation in terms of another ("a loud color", "a sweet sound")
vernacular
the everyday speech of a particular country or region, often involving nonstandard usage