20 terms

Glossary of Selected Tropes and Shemes

John F. Kennedy's inaugural address is almost a textbook of stylistic devices. The following brief glossary of terms gives examples from Kennedy's speech.
STUDY
PLAY
alliteration
Repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence
allusion
Brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art
anaphora
Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines
antimetabole
Repetition of words in reverse order
antithesis
Opposition, or contrast, of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction
archaic diction
Old-fashioned or outdated choice of words
asyndeton
Omission of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words
cumulative sentence
Sentence that completes the main idea at the beginning of the sentence, and then builds and adds on
hortative sentence
Sentence that exhorts, advices, calls to action
imperative sentence
Sentence used to command, enjoin, implore, or entreat
inversion
Inverted order of words in a sentence (variation of subject-verb-object order)
juxtaposition
Placement of two things closely together to emphasize comparisons or contrasts
metaphor
Figure of speech that says one thing is another in order to explain by comparison
metonymy
Using a single feature to represent the whole
oxymoron
Paradoxical juxtaposition of words that seem to contradict one another
parallelism
Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses
periodic sentence
A sentence whose main clause is withheld until the end
personification
Attribution of a lifelike quality to an inanimate object or idea
rhetorical question
Figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer
zeugma
Use of two different words in a grammatically similar way but producing different, often incongruous, meanings