I spend an enormous amount of time with Alexander (nine) and with myself to understand literal and connotative meanings of words. Literal language means exactly what it says, while figurative language does not. Have this for free, teachers-
Includes eight Figures of Speech – A word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for vivid effect, marked F of S
F of S Oxymoron – Two opposite ideas joined to create an effect “awfully good”
F of S Idiom – A group of words having a meaning not deducible from the individual words, such as, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
F of S Onomatopoeia – A word formed to mimic the sound, such as “sizzle” and “buzz’
F of S Metaphor – Saying one thing IS another thing
F of S Simile – Saying one thing is LIKE or AS another thing
F of S Personification – Giving a nonhuman, human qualities
F of S Allusion – A reference to a book, movie, song, etc.
F of S Hyperbole – Exaggeration
Ethos – An appeal to authority aiming to establish the credibility of a speaker or source. For example, a writer might say “As a veterinarian…” or “a Harvard University study…” or “a constitutional scholar…”
Pathos – An appeal to the reader’s emotions. They’re trying to make you FEEL something. Angry. Guilty. Sad.
Logos – An appeal to logic. When the author makes logical connections between ideas, that’s logos. IF this happens, THEN this happens.
Anecdote – A short, personal story
Testimony – Quoting from people who have something to say about an issue
Statistics and Data – Facts and figures, often accompanied by logos
Rhetorical Questions – Asking questions to make the reader think; no answer sought
Imagery – Language that appeals to the five senses, most often visual
Diction – Word choice. Can be HIGH/fancy or LOW/informal. Writers use specific words for DENOTATIVE (dictionary definition) meanings or CONNOTATIVE (associative) meanings.
Slang – A type of informal diction, often regional
Jargon – Specialized language, such as legal
Alliteration – Several words that share the same first letter
Assonance – Repeated vowel sounds
(Syntax is sentence structure.)
Repetition – Mentioning a word or phrase several times
Anaphora – Refers to lines beginning with the same word or phrase
Parallelism – Writing constructed in a symmetrical manner
Juxtaposition – Holding two things up to compare or contrast them
Antithesis – Mentioning one thing and its opposite
Analogy – A comparison between two things, typically to explain function – Usually, one thing is complicated, and the other is simple and common.
Inclusive Language – Words that make the reader feel part of a group – “we” is an obvious one
Tone – The way the author’s voice sounds. Is the author being silly? Sarcastic? Desperate?
Humor – Jokes and funny language
Irony – situational: The opposite thing happens from what is expected.
Irony – dramatic: The reader knows more than the characters.
Irony – verbal: saying one thing and meaning the opposite
Symbolism – One thing represents something else.
Antimetabole – Repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order – “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”
Antithesis – Opposition or contrast of ideas expressed by parallelism of words that are the opposites of each other – “Man proposes, God disposes.”
Apostrophe – Talking to an object or idea as if it were human
Metonymy – A thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. The Pentagon refers to the whole US military. The press (printing press) now refers to the entire group of news reporters. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” – The pen represents all writers, and the sword represents all soldiers.
Paradox – Contradictory statement that might be true “He has discovered that stepping back from the task has increased the rewards.” “I can resist anything but temptation.” (Oscar Wilde)
Pun – Word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term
Synecdoche – A part made to represent the whole or vice versa, “all hands on deck”
Understatement – Making a situation seem less important than it is – “On winning the lottery, the winner said, ‘I’m delighted.’”
Adynaton – An impossible or unlikely story used for emphasis. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is a story about telling lies.