Uploaded by Nicolae Tudorica


Allegory is an extended metaphor through an entire speech or passage so that objects, persons, and actions in the Text are equated with meanings that lie outside the Text.
It is used:
- to enlighten the hearer by answering questions and suggesting some principles;
- for the purpose of moral instruction
The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a three, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches there of.
Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sound in two or more words following each other immediately or at short intervals.
It is used:
- to emphasize certain words or a line;
- to unite words through a kind of repetition;
- to make phrases catchy (in advertisement);
- to achieve a melodic or emotional effect;
- to enhance the rhythm of the sentence;
- as a substitute for rhymes.
e.g. For my part, I abominate all honorable respectable toils, trials and tribulations of every kind whatsoever.
Allusion is a reference to a fact that the writer thinks the reader already knows. Allusions can be made to maters of general knowledge such as sports, to characters and incidents connected with well-known works of literature, Bible, to historical events and characters.
It is used:
- to characterize through analogy;
- to broaden the nominal meaning of a word or a phrase into a generalized concept.
e.g. Out she swept like a bad fairy at the christening.
Anadiplosis is the repetition of the final unit of one utterance at the beginning of the next utterance.
It is used:
- to attract the reader’s attention to the key-word of the utterance;
- to give rhythm to the utterance.
e.g. I was home in a sleeping world, a world as harmless as a sleeping cat.
Anaphora implies identity of the several initial elements in some successive sentences.
It is used:
- to attract the reader’s attention to the key-word of the utterance;
- to give rhythm to the utterance.
e.g. Perhaps you didn’t have to like people to feel for them? Perhaps if they were merely around for long enough you developed a fellow-feeling for them?
Anticlimax consists in adding one weaker element to one or several strong ones, mentioned before.
It is used:
- to produce “defeated expectancy” effect;
- to attract the reader’s attention;
- to produce humorous or satirical effect;
- to decline from a noble (pompous), impressive tone to a less exalted one.
e.g. Not all are annoying. Some are dead.
Antithesis consists in putting together two ideas that are quite opposite.
It may be used:
- to create certain rhythmic effect;
- to compare two objects or to set a contrast between them;
- to connect words, clauses or sentences and to unite their senses;
- to disconnect words and disunite their senses.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Antonomasia is the use of a common name as a proper name and vice versa.
It may serve:
- to characterize the bearer of the name;
- to create some humorous effect.
He is still Mr. New Broom, slightly feared.
Aposiopesis denotes intentional break in the narrative.
It is used to convey:
- the emotional state of the speaker depriving him of the ability to express himself in terms of language;
- unwillingness to proceed;
- the speaker’s uncertainty as to what should be said;
- hint, warning, promise.
He is a source of guilt and annoyance to me now, but he was my friend, and - …
Assonance is the repetition of the same stressed vowels followed by different consonants in two or more neighboring words.
It is used:
- to enrich ornament within the line;
- as a substitute for end-rhyme;
- to give the poet more flexibility as it doesn’t so much determine the structure or form of a poem.
e.g. Strips of tinfoil winking like people.
Asyndeton is deliberate omission of conjunctions.
It is used:
- to impart dynamic force to the text;
- to produce strong rhythmic impact.
e.g. The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.
Chiasmus is a kind of parallelism (reverse parallelism) in which the word order followed in the first phrase or clause is inverted in the second.
It is used:
- to bring in some additional meaning;
- to emphasize certain parts of the utterance;
- to break the monotony of parallel constructions;
- to contribute to the rhythmical quality of the utterance.
e.g. Few rich men own their own property. The property owns them.
Climax (Gradation) denotes such an arrangement of notions, expressed by words, word combinations or sentences in which what precedes is less significant than what follows.
It is used:
- to intensify the logical importance or emotional (nervous) strain.
- to show the increase in the volume, quantity, size, etc.
e.g. I am not in recession. I’m going fine. I’m well-off. I’m almost rich.
Detachment is tearing a secondary part of the sentence away from the word is refers to, and gaining some independence and greater degree of significance. Detached parts are separated by means of commas and dashes.
It is used:
- to emphasize a word or a phrase;
- to impart some additional syntactical meanings to the word or a phrase.
e.g. She set her face and gazed under half-dropped lids at the funeral, stoic, fate-like.
Ellipsis means the omission of one or both principle parts of a sentence.
It is used:
- to reproduce the direct speech of characters;
- to impart brevity, a quick tempo and emotional tension to the narrative;
- as a means of dynamic description.
e.g. If word go out, just think what would happen. Dogs as smart as men? A blasphemous assertion.
Emphatic construction “It is he…who” is turning the simple sentence into a complex one.
e.g. It was only then’that I realized it was she I had seen on the lawn that day at professor Something’s party.
Emphatic construction with “do” reveals a certain degree of logical and emotional emphasis.
e.g. Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her.
Enumeration is built up by means of the repetition of homogeneous syntactical units.
Heterogeneous enumeration is used:
- to give the insight into the mind of the observer who pays attention to the variety of miscellaneous objects:
- for the purpose disorderly and therefore striking description;
- to arrest reader’s attention, making him decipher the massage,
e.g. She had lived through and noticed a certain amount of history. A war, a welfare state the rise of meritocracy, European unity, little England…
Irony is using a word in a sense that is opposite of its usual meaning, There is always a contrast between the notion named and the notion meant.
Irony is used:
- to intensify the evaluative meaning of the utterance
- to produce humorous effect;
- to express very subtle, almost imperceptible nuances of meaning;
- to show irritation, displeasure, pity, regret, etc.
e.g. A nice sense of humour – like a morgue attendant.
Litotes is expressing an idea by means of negating the opposite idea.
e.g. Mary was in a state of mind to rejoice in a connection with the Bertram family, and to be not displeased with her brother’s marrying a little beneath him.
Metaphor is transference of names based on similarity between two objects.
It may serve:
- as an image-creative device;
- to characterize or describe objects or people;
- to impart some expressive or emotive force to utterance.
e.g. A man who cannot wonder is but a pair of spectacles behind which there are no eyes.
Meiosis is the opposite of Hyperbole. It is weakening, reducing the real characteristics of the object of speech.
It is used:
- to understate normal qualities of the objects;
- to show the speaker’s intentional modesty.
e.g. The pennies were saved by bulldozing the grocer.
Metonymy is based on contiguity of objects or phenomena having common grounds of existence in reality.
It is used:
- to build up imagery;
- to show a property or an essential quality of the concept;
- to impart any special force to linguistic expression.
e.g. For several days he took an hour after his work to make inquiry talking with him some examples of his pen and inks b) Material instead of the thing made of:
The marble spoke.
Onomatopoeia is using speech sounds to imitate the sound of what is being described – nature, people, things, animals etc.
It is used:
- to bring out the full flavour of words, their expressive and emotive connotations;
- to make the acoustic picture of reality;
- to make the sound of the utterance an echo of its sense.
Epiphora is the repetition of the same unit at the end of two or more successive clauses or sentences.
It is used:
- to attract the reader’s attention to the key-word of the utterance;
- to give rhythm to the utterance.
e.g. World is evil
life is evil
all is evil
f I ride the horse of hate
with it’s evil hooded eye turning world to evil.
Epithet is a word or a group of words giving an expressive characterization of the object described.
It is used:
- to show individual attitude of the speaker towards the person or thing described.
e.g. Trite: blood-thirsty thoughts, dead silence.
Elephantine body, the tiny box of the kitchen.
Euphemism is a word that replaces another word of similar but stronger meaning.
It is used:
- to soften an otherwise coarse or unpleasant idea, to produce mild effect;
- to avoid any kind of discrimination (agism, sexism, etc.
e.g. I was thinking an unmentionable thing about your mother.
Graphon is intentional violation of the spelling of a word\ word combination used to reflect its authentic pronunciation.
It is used:
- to characterize the speaker as a person of a certain locality, breeding, education and even social standing
- to show the speaker’s inability to pronounce words according to the Standard ( intoxication, lisp, stammer, etc.)
- to reproduce the emphatic pronunciation of words.
e.g. Thith thtuff thtics in my mouth’, complained the rat. It’th worth than caramel candy.
Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement.
It is used:
- to exaggerate quantity or quality;
- to serve expressive and emotive purposes;
- to produce some humorous effect.
e.g. She wore a hat with a crown the size of a whisky glass and a brim you could have wrapped the week’s laundry in.
The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.
Inversion consists in unusual arrangement of words for the purpose of making one of them more emphatic.
e.g. Of my country and of my family I have little to say.
The Ark was more than just a single ship?
Oxymoron is an attribute or an adverbial combination of two contradictory or incongruous words.
It is used:
- to bring out new shades of meaning by putting together semantically contradictory words;
- to emphasize the emotive meaning;
- to show the author’s subjective individual perception of the object.
e.g. I am a deeply religious unbeliever.
Awfully good. Terribly nice. Pretty dirty, etc.
Paradox is an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it.
It is used:
- to produce the “defeated expectancy” effect;
- to produce humorous or satirical effect.
e.g. It takes a lifetime to become young.
Parallelism consists in similarity of the syntactical structure of successive phrases, clauses or sentences. Parallelism may be complete, which consists in repetition of identical syntactical structures.
It is used:
- to convey the idea of semantic equality of the sentence parts;
- to produce some emotive impact on the reader;
- to emphasize the diversity or contrast of ideas (in combination with antithesis);
- to produce some rhythmic effect.
e.g. Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.
Parenthesis is a qualifying explanatory word or phrase, which interrupts a syntactic construction without effecting it.
It is used:
- to create the second plan of the background to the narrative;
- to make some part of a sentence more conspicuous.
e.g. His mouth was set grimly, and a nerve was twitching in his jaw – he had every right to be furious – but in his eyes all I could see was a sort of dreamy sadness.
Periphrasis is a stylistic device, which is used to replace the name of an object by description of its most specific features.
It is used:
- to bring out and intensify some features or properties of the given object;
- to achieve a more elegant manner of expression (18-19 century);
- to avoid monotonous repetition.
e.g. The hospital was crowded with the surgically interesting products of the fighting in Africa.
Personification is a kind of metaphor. It is representation of inanimate objects or abstract ideas as leaving beings. The abstract ideas are often capitalized and can be substituted by the pronouns “he” or “she”
It is used:
- as an image-creating device;
- to characterize or describe objects or people;
- to impart some expressive or emotive force to the utterance.
e.g. When sorrows come, they come, they come not single spies but in battalions.
Polysyndeton is deliberate repetition of connectives before each component part, when it is generally not expected.
It serves:
- to introduce strong rhythmic effect;
- to strengthen the idea of equal logical importance of connected;
- components, to emphasize the simultaneity of actions or close connection of properties enumerated, or to promote a high flown tonality of narrative.
e.g. They come running to clean and cut, and pack, and cook, and can the fish.
Pun is play of words based on polysemy or homonymy. In other words, pun is based on the interplay of word or word combination that sound the same.
Pun is used:
- to produce humorous effect;
- to make the two meanings more conspicuous or set a contrast between them.
e.g. Her real name is Marples. I call her Marbles for a joke. If ever moves or retires. I’ll be able to say I’ve lost my Marbles.
Simile is an imaginative comparison that shows partial identity of two objects belonging to two different classes.
Simile is used:
- to characterize the given objects or phenomena;
- to create an image;
- to bring out unexpected, striking similarities of different objects.
e.g. I felt like an amputated leg.
Repetition is recurrence of the same element (word or phrase) within the sentence.
It is used:
- for emphasis or for a special affect (e.g. intensifying the duration of the process);
- to attract the reader’s attention to the key-word of the utterance;
-to give rhythm to the utterance.
e.g. Afterwards I thought I might have heard the swish of a sap. Maybe you always think that – afterwards.
Rhetorical question implies asking question not to gain information, but to assert more emphatically the obvious answer to what is asked. No answer is expected by the speaker.
It is used:
- to express some additional shade of meaning (doubt, assertion, suggestion);
- to enhance the emotional charge of the utterance.
e.g. Who said you should be happy? Do your work.
Synecdoche is a kind of metonymy. This term denotes using the name of part to denote the whole or vice versa.
It is used:
- to show a property or an essential quality of the concept;
- to impart any special force to linguistic expression.
e.g. He was a shy man, unable to look me in the eye.
Syntactic tautology implies firstly recurrence of the noun subject in the form of the corresponding personal pronoun. Secondly it is repetition of the sentence by means of the pronominal subject and an auxiliary or modal verb, representing the predicate.
It is used:
- to make the noun subject of the sentence more prominent;
- to reproduce the peculiarities of colloquial speech or the speech of uneducated people.
e.g. That Willie Sawyer he don’t know how to have any fun at all.
Symbolism. A word functions as a symbol when it is used to indicate not only its usual referent, but also something quite different. Some symbols have traditional associations. For example, the word flag refers not only to a cloth banner, but it also symbolized the country that flies it. Other conventional symbols include a circle – perfection; the sun – power or reason; greenery – youth; winter – old age.
Writers can also create their own associations between unlike things, establishing personal symbols.
Synesthesia is a description of a sensory experience as if it were perceived through another sense. For example, describing a painter’s colours – a visual experience – in auditory terms – as clashing or loud. The following lines from William Blake’s poem, London, use synesthesia to describe an auditory phenomenon – a soldier’s sigh – in visual terms: “And the hapless soldier’s sigh\ Runs in blood down palace walls.”
Zeugma consists in combining unequal semantically heterogeneous or even incompatible words or phrases.
It is used:
- to produce humorous effect;
- to make the two meanings more conspicuous.
e.g. He lost his hat and his temper.
She dropped a tear and her pocket handkerchief.