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Figurative Language and Tactics


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Alliteration
Repetiton of an initial sound at the beginning of consecutive words
Allusion
An indirect reference, often to another text or an historical, mythical, or biblical event.
Analogy
An extended comparison between two seemingly dissimilar things.
Anaphora
The repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses.
Anecdote
A short account of an interesting event.
Aphorism
A short, astute statement of a general truth.
Apostrophe
A type of soliloquy where nature is addressed as though human.
Assonance
a partial rhyme made by repetition of a vowel sound
Asyndeton
deliberate omission of conjunctions between words, phrases, and clauses.
Cacophony
Harsh, jarring sound; discord
Colloquialism
An informal or conversational use of language.
Consonance
repetition of consonants
Euphemism
An indirect expression of unpleasant information in such a way as to lessen its impact.
Euphony
A pleasant combination of agreeable sounds.
Hyperbole
exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis.
Imagery
Vivid use of language that evokes a reader's senses or rich emotional experiences.
Juxtaposition
Placing two things side by side for emphasis.
Malapropism
Absurd and therefore humorous misuse of one word for another, especially one similar in sound.
Metaphor
a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were something else, thus making an implicit comparison.
Metonymy
Use of an aspect of something to represent the whole; referring to an entity by one of its attributes or associations.
Onomatopoeia
A literary device in which the sound of a word is related to its meaning.
Oxymoron
A figure of speech that juxtaposes two contradictory terms.
Paradox
A statement that seems contradictory but is actually true.
Personification
Assigning lifelike characteristics to inanimate objects.
Polysyndeton
the deliberate use of a series of conjunctions.
Rhetorical Question
one posed by the author when he or she does not expect an explicit answer but rather wants to prompt consideration of an idea.
Simile
A figure of speech that uses 'like' or 'as' to compare two things.
Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part of something is used to refer to the whole.
Understatement
Lack of emphasis in a statement or point; restraint in language often used for ironic effect.