Literary Terms Absolute-Diction

Topics: DesignConstruction

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Last updated: April 28, 2019

absolute
a word free from limitations or qualifications (eg. “best”, “all”, “unique”, “perfect”)

adage
a familiar proverb or wise saying

ad hominem argument
an argument attacking an individual’s character rather than his or her position on an isssue

allegory
a literary work where characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions

alliteration
repetition of initial sounds

allusion
a reference to something historical, literart, or mythological that the author assumes the reader will recognize

analogy
comparison of 2 different things that are similar in some way

anaphora
the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences

anecdote
a brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event

antecedent
the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers

antithesis
a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanaced

aphorism
a concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea

apostrophe
a figure of speech when one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction

archetype
a detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response

argument
a statement of the meaning or main point of a literary work

asyndeton
a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions

balanced sentence
a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast

bathos
insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity

chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second is reversed (eg. “Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary”)

cliché
an expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off

climax
the point of highest interest in a literary work

colloquialism
informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing

complex sentence
a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause

compound sentence
two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions

conceit
fanciful, clever extended metaphor

concrete details
details that relate to or describe actual, specific things or events

connotation
the implied or associative meaning of a word

cumulative sentence
the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases

declarative sentence
makes a statement or declaration

deductive reasoning
a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case. (eg. “the sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise tuesday morning

denotation
the literal meaning of a word

dialect
variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region

dialogue
conversation between two or more people

diction
word choices made by a writer

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