AP Lang Vocab Quiz (Williams, TJHSST)
Terms in this set (78)
A saying or proverb of common wisdom based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language. For example: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction (hope, truth) in addition to the literal meaning.
A direct or indirect reference to a historical event, a literary text, or a religious motif.
The incorporation of an event, scene, or person who does not correspond to the time frame represented in the work at issue.
The word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun. AP exams will occasionally ask for the antecedent of a given pronoun in a long, complex sentence or paragraph.
A rhetorical opposition or contrast between words, clauses, or sentences, as in the following examples: "She wanted action, not words"; "They promised freedom but provided slavery"; "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
A short, pithy, often witty statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment, such as "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
A word or phrase expressed according to an older or obsolete usage.
An image of plot pattern that repeats basic or primitive life patterns.
A simple narrative verse, normally sung or recited, that tells a story.
The use of insincere or overdramatized sentimentality.
A grotesque likeness of striking characteristics in persons or things.
A cleansing of the spectator's spirit at a tragedy through the emotional experience of pity and terror (as described in Aristotle's Poetics).
Manifestation of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture; this usually implies simplicity, objectivity, restraint, and formality.
An overused or trite expression. Please not that this is a noun, not an objective. You can say that a novel is "cliched," but you should not say that it seemed cliche to me."
Informal, slangy; characterized by vernacular speech or even dialect.
A figure of speech in which an extended metaphor involves a striking association between seemingly dissimilar things; usually associated with the so-called "metaphysical" poets of the English Renaissance.
The suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase, as contrasted with its denotation, or dictionary definition.
The final resolution of post-climactic plot strands.
The selection of words in oral or written discourse.
Didactic works have teaching or instruction (especially instruction involving ethics) as a primary intention.
An inconsistency, known by the reader, between a character's perception of a situation and the truth of the situation.
A type of poem or prose piece in which a speaker gives an account of a dramatic moment in his or her life and, in doing so, reveals his or her character.
A poem or prose piece lamenting or meditating on a death.
Although "elliptical" normally implies obscurity, "ellipsis" (plural "ellipses") refers to the three periods that mark the omission of words.
A more agreeable or less offensive substitute for an unpleasant word or concept (as when one refers to a garbageman as a "sanitation engineer").
a succession of harmonious sounds in poetry or prose; as opposed to cacophony
The explanation or analysis of a text.
The explanation or analysis of a subject; setting forth the meaning or purpose of an issue or a set of facts.
A metaphor developed at some length or one that occurs frequently in a text.
a short story designed to teach a useful lesson, often using animals or inanimate things as characters
Writing or speech that does not intend to carry a literal meaning. Examples include hyperbole, irony, metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron, paradox, personification, simile, synecdoche, and understatement.
A term used to describe such literary forms as tragedy, comedy, novel, or essay. As an adjective applied to film, it implies a popular but lowbrow subcurrent of filmmaking (science fiction, slasher films, etc.).
Deliberate exaggeration in order to create humor or emphasis
The sensory details or figurative language used to describe, arouse emotion, or represent abstractions. Traditionally, an "image" is said to use terms related to the five senses, but in practice, the terms gets used more often as a way of identifying rhetorical patterns (so that one refers to the scatological imagery in Magnum's work, for example, or the water imagery in Ryan's poetry).
To infer is to draw conclusions from the information presented; information that is inferred is by implication not directly stated. Don't confuse "infer" with "imply," since the reader does the former and the writer or text does the latter.
Writing that records the conversation that takes place inside a character's head
In satirical writing, the use of denunciatory, angry, or insulting language.
Reversing the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase; the effect is often to make poetry seem old-fashioned or even stilted: "To the hounds she rode," for example.
A contrast between what is stated and what is actually meant. Traditionalists divide irony into three different forms: verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony.
A violent and scurrilous satirical attack against a person or institution.
A sentence that follows the customary word order of an English sentence—i.e., subject verb object—with the main idea of the sentence first, followed by one or more subordinate clauses; as opposed to a periodic sentence, in which the main idea of the sentence emerges only at the end. An example of a "loose" sentence: "Adam vomited violently after he discovered that he had eaten a worm." An example of a periodic sentence: "Disgusted by the worm he had just eaten, Adam vomited violently."
a ludicrous imitation of some mistake of mispronunciation of a word, in which the error is mimicked by a false spelling or by the taking of one word for another (example: "We will not anticipate the past; so mind, young people—our retrospection will all be to the future.")
A figure of speech in which one thing is referred to as another; for example, "Katie is a fragile flower."
A figure of speech that uses the name of an object, person, or idea to represent something with which it is associated, such as using the White House to refer to the executive branch ("the White House announced today...").
A succession of incompatible metaphors, as in the phrase "The negotiator played his cards to the hilt."
The primary emotional attitude of a text.
The main theme or subject of a work that gets elaborated on during the text's development; a repeated pattern or idea.
A form of verse or prose that tells a story.
A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before.
A figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words (e.g., sizzle, whinny).
A figure of speech in which the author groups apparently contradictory terms to suggest a paradox (e.g., cruel kindness, blubbery slimness).
A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense, though it may contain some degree of validity upon closer inspection.
Also called parallel construction or parallel structure, this term refers to the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs in order to give a sense of structural similarity, as in the famous opening of A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of credulity..."
A work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect or ridicule
An adjective that describes words, phrases, or tones that are overly academic or bookish.
A fictional voice that a writer adopts to tell a story.
A figure of speech in which the author presents or describes concepts, animals, or inanimate objects by endowing them with human attributes or emotions.
point of view
In written texts, the perspective from which a story is told; the most common use distinguishes subjective or first-person narration from objective or third-person narration. Third-person narrators may be either omniscient (the narrator has a godlike view that presents the thoughts and actions of all characters) or limited (the narrator presents the thoughts and feelings of only one character, or of only one character at a time).
Style; the term describes the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively.
A question asked only for effect; no reply is expected and the answer is assumed.
The manner in which grammatical elements are arranged in a sentence. Grammarians traditionally break structures down into three basic forms: (1) a simple sentence contains a subject and a verb along with modifiers and, perhaps, an object; (2) a compound sentence consists of two or more simple sentences joined by a conjunction such as "and" or "but"; (3) a complex sentence is composed of an independent, or main, clause and any number of dependent or subordinate clauses.
Implies excessive, exaggerated, or insincere displays of emotion.
An explicit comparison, normally using the words "like" or "as."
In this form of irony, the outcome of an event is precisely the opposite of what was expected. What characters or readers think ought to happen does not.
stream of consciousness
This term refers to an attempt on the part of an author to reproduce the unembellished flow of thoughts in the human mind with its erratic feelings, judgments, associations, and memories.
A syllogism is a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises—the first one called "major" and the second one "minor"—that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion. Major premise: All men are mortal. Minor premise: Charles Bronson is a man. Conclusion: Therefore, Charles Bronson is mortal.
In the broadest sense, anything that stands for something else.
A figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole (e.g., "fifty masts" for fifty ships, "pigskin" for football).
The way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, or sentences. Where diction refers to individual words, syntax refers to groups of words.
A statement rendered logically vacuous by a needless redundancy (as in the phrases "new innovation" and "three-part trilogy" or the statement "If you die without a will, you would die intestate!" Since the word "intestate" means "to die without a will," the speaker is simply saying the same thing twice.) From a Georgetown college essay: "Some people think cheerleading is not serious, but this fallacy is not true."
In expository writing, the thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that most directly expresses the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or proposition.
Tone describes the author's attitude toward his or her material (or audience): playful, serious, sarcastic, formal, ornate, somber, etc.
Word used with a decided change in or extension of its literal meaning; the use of a word in a figurative sense.
The opposite of hyperbole: understatement presents something as less significant than it is.
A discrepancy between the true meaning of a situation and the literal meaning of the written or spoken words.
The quality of realism in a work that persuades a reader that he or she is getting a vision of life as it is.
The real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker.