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Arts and Humanities
AP Language Semester Exam Definitions: Rhetorical Devices
Terms in this set (54)
A comparison that establishes a figurative identity between objects being compared.
A comparison using like or as.
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
A figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.
A contrast or discrepancy between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen.
is a phrase or a clause that is placed at the start of a sentence. An adjunction, in most cases, is a verb.
Inversion of the natural or usual word order
Repetition of a word in two different senses. "If we do not hang together we will hang together."
The substitution of one part of speech for another
Repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses
a grammar construction in which a noun (or noun phrase) is placed with another as an explanation
Deus Ex Machina
"An unrealistic or unexpected intervention to rescue the protagonists or resolve the conflict. The term means ""The god out of the machine"" and refers to stage machinery."
A figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words.
A pretended or apparent omission; a figure of speech by which a speaker artfully pretends to pass by what he really mentions; as, for example, if an orator should say, ``I do not speak of my adversary's scandalous venality and rapacity, his brutal conduct, his treachery and malice.''
An insertion of material that interrupts the typical flow of a sentence.
Figurative device by which a future event is presumed to have already occurred
In rhetoric, meiosis is a euphemistic figure of speech that intentionally understates something or implies that it is lesser in significance or size than it really is.
(phonology) the loss of sounds in the interior of a word (as in 'fo'c'sle' for 'forecastle')
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).
Artfully using a single verb to refer to two different objects in an ungrammatical but striking way, or artfully using an adjective to refer to two separate nouns, even though the adjective would logically only be appropriate for one of the two.
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite.
Figure of repetition that occurs when the last word or terms in one sentence, clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of the next sentence, clause, or phrase.
A rhetorical figure of repetition in which the same word or phrase is repeated in (and usually at the beginning of) successive lines, clauses, or sentences.
Repeating words in reverse order for surprise and emphasis
Balancing words, phrases, or ideas that are strongly contrasted, often by means of grammatical structure
asserts or emphasizes something by pointedly seeming to pass over, ignore, or deny it, asserts or emphasizes something by pointedly seeming to pass over, ignore, or deny it
Expression of doubt (often feigned) by which a speaker appears uncertain as to what he should think, say, or do.
Commas used (with no conjunction) to separate a series of words, speeds up flow of sentence. X, Y, Z as opposed to X, Y, and Z.
Extravagant, implied metaphor using words in an unusual way
Repetition of a word or phrase after an intervening word or phrase
substitution of a more offensive or disparaging word or phrase for one considered less offensive.
Indicated by a series of three periods, the __ indicates that some material has been omitted from a given text.
A syllogism in which one of the premises—often the major premise—is unstated, but meant to be understood, e.g. "Children should be seen and not heard. Be quiet, John." Here, the minor premise—that John is a child—is left to the ingenuity of the reader.
Device: This device repeats the opening word or phrase at the end of the sentence to emphasize a statement or idea
A scheme in which the same word is repeated at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. Example: "I believe we should fight for justice. You believe we should fight for justice. How can we not, then, fight for justice?"
A word or phrase preceding or following a name which serves to describe the character. Ex: Alexander the Great. **Often it is a negative description though!
A person for whom something is or is thought to be named.
An indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
A single word or short phrase intended to emphasize surrounding words. Commonly separated by commas; e.g in fact, of course, after all, certainly.
Separation of words which belong together, often to emphasize the first of the separated words or to create a certain image.
Arranging words, clauses, or sentences in the order of increasing importance, weight, or emphasis. Parallelism usually forms a part of the arrangement because it offers a sense of continuity, order and movement up the latter of importance.
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated (such as "crown" for "royalty").
A question asked merely for effect with no answer expected.
Deliberate use of many conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted. Hemingway and the Bible both use extensively. Ex. "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"
A construction in which one word is used in two different senses ("After he threw the ball, he threw a fit.")
A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity.
A figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply
harsh, jarring noise
A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.")
A word or an expression that is spelled the same backward and forward
A work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule.
Repetition of words derived from the same root
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect
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