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Rhetorical Devices

Dawn Weathersbee

A crossword puzzle designed to help students (who are very tired!) study for their Language and Composition AP exam.

Ellipsis a figure of speech in which a representative term is used for a larger idea (The pen is mightier than the sword).
Parataxis two corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels (a-b-a-b) but in inverted order (a-b-b-a)
Simile placing a good point or benefit next to a fault criticism, or problem in order to reduce the impact or significance of the negative point.
Aposiopesis the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines.
Anecdote the process that moves from a given series of specifics to a generalization.
Epizeuxis a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects. A conceit displays intellectual cleverness due to the unusual comparison being made.
Imagery the repetition of initial consonant sounds, such as “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”
Litotes a terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle. (If the authorship is unknown, the statement is generally considered to be a folk proverb.) An aphorism can be a memorable summation of the author’s point.
Irony an overused common expression.
Polysyndeton use of superfluous or redundant words, often enriching the thought.
Antistrophe the use of slang in writing, often to create local color and to provide an informal tone.
Asyndeton a reference contained in a work.
Deduction development of evidence that the speaker or writer is ethical
Antanagoge consists of raising one or more questions and then proceeding to answer them, usually at some length.
pathos an unexpected twist or contrast between what happens and what was intended or expected to happen
Diction repetition of one word (for emphasis).
Hypophora the literal or dictionary meaning of a word.
Allusion lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
Diacope a story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate to a point.
Hyperbole repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses.
Conceit is an informally-stated syllogism which omits either one of the premises or the conclusion. The omitted part must be clearly understood by the reader.
Euphemism the choice of words used in speaking or writing.
Connotation indicated by a series of three periods, the ellipsis indicates that some material has been omitted from a given text. It could be a word, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or a whole section. Be wary of the ellipsis; it could obscure the real meaning of the piece of writing.
Parallelism is an adjective or adjective phrase appropriately qualifying a subject (noun) by naming a key or important characteristic of the subject.
Synecdoche a form of ellipse by which a speaker comes to an abrupt halt, seemingly overcome by passion (fear, excitement, etc.) or modesty.
Metaphor understatement, for intensification, by denying the contrary of the thing being affirmed.
Antiphrasis extreme exaggeration, often humorous, it can also be ironic; the opposite of understatement.
Syntax an indirect comparison that uses the words like or as to link the differing items in the comparison. (“Your eyes are like the stars.”)
Motif writing successive independent clauses, with coordinating conjunctions, or no conjunctions.
Hendiadys the duplication, either exact or approximate, of any element of language, such as a sound, word, phrase, clause, sentence, or grammatical pattern.
Alliteration use of two words connected by a conjunction, instead of subordinating one to the other, to express a single complex idea.
Anaphora a direct comparison between dissimilar things. “Your eyes are stars” is an example.
Chiasmus this term literally means “sermon,” but more informally, it can include any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice.
Amplification repetition of a word or phrase after an intervening word or phrase.
Archaism use of logical proof of the creation of a logical appeal
ethos one word irony, established by context.
Repetition use of an older or obsolete form.
logos the interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal meaning.
Colloquial the repetition or variations of an image or idea in a work used to develop theme or characters.
Metonymy the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to give structural similarity.
Enthymeme repeats the beginning word of a clause or sentence at the end.
Eponym the format of a formal argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
Epanalepsis the process of moving from a general rule to a specific example.
Cliché involves repeating a word or expression while adding more detail to it, in order to emphasize what otherwise might be passed over.
Aphorism development of evidence that arouses the emotions of the audience
Syllogism the repetition of conjunctions in a series of coordinate words, phrases, or clauses.
Induction the grammatical structure of prose and poetry.
Pleonasm in logic is a proposition-a statement of a truth-that is used to support or help support a conclusion.
Homily a more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable.
Premise a figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative of the whole. (“All hands on deck” is an example.)
Denotation the total effect of related sensory images in a work of literature.
Epithet substitutes for a particular attribute the name of a famous person recognized for that attribute.

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