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178 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
abstract
(n) an abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research.
(adj) Dealing with or tending to deal with a subject apart from a particular or specific instance.
ad hominem
directed to or appealing to feelings or prejudices instead of to intellect or reason
adage
a saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language.
ex: "There is more than one way to skin a cat"
allegory
a story in which a 2nd meaning is to be read beneath the surface
alliteration
the repetition of one or more initial consonants in a group of words or lines in a poem
allusion
a reference to a person, place, or event meant to create an effect or enhance the meaning of an idea
ambiguity
a vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings or interpretations
anachronism
a person, scene, event, or other element that fails to correspond with the appropriate time or era.
ex: Columbus sailing to the US
analogy
a comparison that points out similarities b/w two dissimilar things;

extended analogy = a passage that points out several similarities b/w two unlike things
anecdote
a brief narrative often used to illustrate an idea or make a point
annotation
a brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of lit.
antagonist
a character or force in a work of lit that, by opposing the protagonist, produces tension or conflict
antecedent
a word to which a pronoun refers
antithesis
rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences
aphorism
a short, pithy statement of a generally acepted truth or sentiment

(see adage and maxim)
Apollonian
in contrast to Dionysian, it refers to the most noble, godlike qualities of human nature and behavior
apostrophe
a locution that addresses a person or personified thng not present

ex: Cruel streets of Manhattan, how I detest you!
arch
(adj) characterized by clever or sly humor, often saucy, playful and somewhat irreverent
archetype
an abstract or ideal coneption of a type; a perfectly typical example; an original model or form
assonance
the repetition of two or more vowel sounds in a group of words in prose or poetry
bard
a poet; in olden times, a performer who told heroic stories to musical accompaniment
bathos
insincere or overdone sentimentality
belle-lettres
a French term for the word of books, criticism, and lit in general
bibliography
a list of works cited or otherwise relevant to a particular subject
bombast
inflated, pretentious language
burlesque
a work of lit meant to ridicule a subject; a grotesque imitation
cacophony
grating, inharmonious sounds
canon
the works considered most important in a national lit or period; works widely read and studied
caricature
a grotesque likeness of striking qualities in persons and things
carpe diem
"seize the day"; enjoy life while you can, common theme in life and lit
circumlocution
literally "talking around" a subject; ie: discourse that avoids direct reference to a subject
classic
a highly regarded work of lit or other art form that has withstood the test of time
classical, classicism
deriving from the orderly qualities of ancient Greek and Roman culture; implies formality, objectivity, simplicity and restraint
clause
a structural element of a sentence, containing a subject and predicate
climax
the high point, or turning point of a story or play
comparison and contrast
a mode of discourse in which two or more things are compared and contrasted

comparison - similarities
contrast - differences
conceit
a witty or ingenious thought; a diverting or highly fanciful idea, often stated in figurative language
concrete detail
a highly specific, particular, often real, actual, or tangible detail; the opposite of abstract
connotation
the suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase

contrast with denotation
consonance
the repetition of two or more consonant sounds in a group of words or a unit of speech or writing
critique
an analysis or assesment of a thing or situation for the purpose of determining
cynic
one who expects and observes nothing but the worst of human contact
deductive reasoning
a method of reasoning by which specific definitions, conclusions, and theorems are drawn from general principles

opposite of indeuctive reasoning
denotation
dictionary def of a word

contrast with connotation
denouement
the resolution that occurs at the end of a narrative or drama, real or imagined
descriptive detail
graphic, exact, and accurate presentation of the characteristics of a person, place or thing
deus ex machina
in lit, the use of an artificial device or gimmick to solve a problem
diction
the choice of words in oral and written discourse
didactic
having an instructive purpose; intending to convey info or teach a lesson, usually in a dry, ompous manner
digression
the portion of discourse that wanders or departs from the main subject or topic
Dionysian
as distinguished from Apollonian, the word refers to sensual, pleasure-seeking impulses
dramatic irony
a circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation that a character
elegy
a poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on the passing or death of someone or something of value

"elegaic"
ellipsis
(...) indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation
elliptical construction
a sentence containing a deliberate omission of words
empathy
a feeling of association or identification with an object or person
epic
a narrative poem that tells the adventures and exploits of a hero
epigram
a concise but ingenious, witty, and thoughtful statement
euphony
pleasing, harmonious sounds
epithet
an adj or phrase that expresses a striking quality of a person or thing
eponymous
a term for the thtle character of a work of lit
euphemism
a mild or less negative usage for a blunt term
exegesis
a detailed analysis or interpretation of a work of prose or poetry
expose
a piece of writing that reveals weaknesses, faults, frailties, or other shortcomings
exposition
the background and events that lead to the presentation of the main idea or purpose of an essay or otherwork; setting forth the meaning or purpose of a piece of writing or discourse
explanation
the interpretation or analysis of a text
extended metaphor
a series of comparisons b/w two unlike objects
fable
a short tale often with nonhuman characters from which a useful lesson may be learned
fallacy, fallacious reasoning
an incorrect belief or supposition based on faulty data, defective evidence, or false information
fantasy
a story containing unreal, imaginary features
farce
a comedy that contains an extavagant and nonsensical disgrgard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purpose
figure of speech, figurative language
in contrast to literal language, figurative language implies meanings
frame
a structure that provides a premise or setting for a narrative or other discouse
genre
a term used to describe literary forms, sush as novel, play and essay
harangue
a forceful sermon, lecture, or tirade
homily
a forceful sermon on a religious or moral theme meant to guide human behavior
hubris
excessive pride that often affects tone
humanism
a belief that emphasizes faith and optimism in human potential and creativity
hyperbole
overstaement; gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect
idyll
a lyric poem or passage that describes a kind of ideal life or place
image
a word or phrase representing that which can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled of felt

"imagery"
indirect quotation
a rendering of a quotation in which actual words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased
inductive reasoning
a method of reasoning in which a number of specific facts or examples are used to make a generalization
inference
a conclusion or proprsition arrived at by considering facts, observations, or some other specific data
invective
a direct verbal assault; a denunciation; casting blame on someone or something
irony
the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning
kenning
a device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetry in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities

ex: "ring-giver" for king ...etc
lampoon
a mocking, satirical assault on a persin or situation
litotes
a form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity

"he is not a bad dancer"
loose sentence
a sentence that does not end with the completion of its main clause, but continues with one or more subordinate clauses or other modifiers

(see periodic sentence)
lyrical prose
personal, reflective prose that reveals the speaker's thoughts and feelings about the subject
malapropism
a confused use of words in which the appropriate word is replaced by one with a similar sound but inapproprite meaning
maxim
a saying or proverb expressing common wisdom or truth

(see adage and aphorism)
melodrama
a literary form in which events are exaggereated in order to create an extreme emotional response
metaphor
a figure of speech that compares unlike objects

extended metaphor = several similar are compared

metaphorical allusion = refering to a particular place or thing
metaphysical
a term describing poetry that uses elaborate conceits, expresses the complexities of love and life and is highly intellectual
metonymy
a FOS that uses the name of one thing to represent something else with which it is associated
Middle English
language spoken in England b/w 1150 AD - 1500 AD
mock epic
a parody of traditional epic form
mock solemnity
feigned or delberately artificial seriousness, often for satirical purposes
mode
the general from, pattern and manner of expression of a piece of discourse
montage
a quick succession of images or impressions used to express an idea
mood
the emotional tone or prevailing atm in a work of lit or other discourse.

indicative mood = statements of fact
subjunctive mood = express doubt or conditional attitude
imperative mood = to give commmands
moral
a brief and often simplistic lesson that a reader may infer from a work of lit
motif
a phrase, idea, or event thet thru repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in an essay or other discourse
muse
(n) one of the ancient Greek goddesses presiding over the arts; imaginary source of inspiratin for artist or writer
(v) to reflect deeply; to ponder
myth
an imaginary story that has become an accepted part of the cultural or religious tradition of a group or society
narrative
a for of verse or porse (both fiction and nonfiction) that tells a story
naturaliam
a term often used as a synonym for realism; also a view of experience that is generally characterized as bleak and pessimistic
non sequitur
a statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before
objective
(adj) of or relating to facts and reality, as opposed to private and personal feelings and attitudes

opposite to subjective
ode
a lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exhalted feelings toward the subject
Old English
the Anglo-Saxon language spoken from around 450 AD - 1150AD, in modern day Great Britian
omniscient narrator
a narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight of characters, setting, backgroud and all other elements to a story
onomatopoeia
the use of wordswhose sound suggest their meaning

bam! bubbling! pow!
oxymoron
a tern consisting of contradictory elements juxaposed to create a paradoxical effect
parable
a story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived
paradox
a statement that seems self-contradicory but is nevertheless true
parallel structure
the structure for expressing two or more grammatical elements of equal rank
parody
an imitation of a work meant to ridiclue its style and suject
paraphrase
a version of text put into simpler, everyday words
pastoral
a work of lit dealing with rural life
pathetic fallacy
faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or non human objects
pathos
that element in nature that stimulates pity or sorrow
pendantic
narrowly academic instead of broad and humane; excessively petty and meticulous
periodic sentence
a sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end
persona
the role or fascade that a character assumes or depicts to a reader or other audience
personification
a FOS in which objecta and animals are given human characteristics
plot
the interrelationship among the events of the story; the plot line is the patteren of events, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution
point of view
the relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to a subject of discourse

1st person = internal POV
observer = external POV
predicate
the part of a sentence that is not the grammatical subject
prose
any discourse that is not poetry
proverb
a short, pithy statement of a general truth, one that condenses common experiense into memorable form

see adage and maxim
pseudonym
a false name or alias used by writers
pulp fiction
novels written for mass consumption, often empasizing exciting and titillating plots
pun
a humorous play on words, using similar-sounding or identical words to suggest different meanings
realism
the dipiction of people, things and event as they really are without idealization or exaggeration for effect

(see naturalism)
rebuttal (or) refutation
the part of discourse wherein opposing arguments are anticipated and answered
reiteration
repetition of an idea using different words, phrases, or ideas for rhetorical effect
repetition
reuse of the same words, phrases or ideas for rhetorical effect, usually to emphasize a point
retraction
the withdrawl of a previously ststed idea or opinion
rhetoric
the lang. of a work and its style; words, often highly emotional, used to convince or sway an audience
rhetorical mode
a general tern that identifies discourse according to chief purpose
rhetorical question
a question to which the audience already knows the answer, a question merely asked for effect with no answer expected
rhetorical stance
lang, that conveys a speaker's attitude or opinion with regard to a certain subject
rhyme
the retetition of similar sounds at regular intervals, used mostly in poetry but not unheard of in prose
rhythm
the patterm of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up speech and writing
romance
an extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places
sarcasm
a sharp, caustic attitude conveyed in words thru jibes, taunts or other remarks. less subtle than irony
satire
a literary style used to poke fun at attack, or ridicule an idea, vice, or foible, often for the purpose of inducing change
sentence structure
the arrangement of the parts of a sentence

simple = one subject, one verb
compound = 2+ clauses joined by subjunction
complex = lots-o-clases joined by dependent clauses
sentiment
a synonym for view of feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in lit
sentimental
a term that describes character's excessive emotional response to experience; also nauseatingly nostalgic and mawkish
setting
an environment that consists of time, place, historical milieu and social, political, and even spiritual circumstances
simile
a figurative comparison using the words like or as
stream of consciousness
a style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind
style
the manner in which an author uses and arraanges words, shapes ideas, forms sentences and creates a structure to convey ideas
stylistic devices
a general term reffering to diction, syntax, tone, figurative language and all other elements that contribute to the "style" or manner of a given piece of discourse
subject development
the name of a grammatical until that is comprised of predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives
subjective
(adj) of or relating to private and personal feelings and attitudes as opposed to facts and reality

opposite is objective
subtext
the implied meaning that underlies the main meaning of an essay or other work
syllogism
a form of deductive reasoning in which given certain ideas or facts, other ideas or facts must follow
symbolism
the use of one object to evoke ideas and associations not literally part of the original object
synecdote
a FOS in whic a part signifies the whole or the whole signifies the part. or when name of material stands for the thing itself (ie: pigskin & football)
syntax
the organization of lang. into meaningful structure; every sentence has a particular syntax, or pattern of words
theme
the main idea or meaning, often an abstract idea upon which an essay or other form of discourse is built
thesis
the main idea of a piece of discourse; the statement or proposition that a speaker or writer wishes to advance, illustrate, prove or defend
tone
the author's attitude toward the subject being written about. tone is the characteristic emotion that prevades a work or part of a work--the spirit or quality that is the work's emotional essence
tragedy
a form of lit in which the hero is destroyed by some character flaw and by a set of forces that cause the hero considerable anguish
transition
a stylistic device used to create a link between ideas. transitions often endow discourse with continuity and coherence
trope
the generic name for a FOS such as image, symbol, simile, and metaphor
understatement
a restrained statement that departs from what could be said; a studied aviodance of emphasis or exaggeration, often to create a particular effect
verbal irony
a discrepancy b/w the true meaning of a situation and the literal meaning of the written or spoken words
verse
a synonym for poetry; also a group of lines in a song or poem; also a single line of poetry
verisimilitude
similar to the truth; the quality of realism in a work that persuades readers that they are getting a vision of life as it is
voice
the real or assumed personality used by a writer or speaker.

in grammar, active voice and passive voice refer to the use of verbs
whimsy
an object, device, or creation that is fanciful or rooted in unreality
wit
the quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that surprise and delight by their unexpectedness; the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the folibles of the passing scene