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Effective/Figurative Language
1. Simile
comparison using like or as
2. Metaphor IMPLIED comparison WITHOUT like or as
3. Hyperbole exaggeration
4. Personification
5. Imagery
giving human characteristic to non human things.
words that appeal to the senses.
6. Symbols
something that represents something and all the thoughts & emotions
associated with it.
7. Allusion a brief reference to a historical, literary, or societal figure or event.
Sound Devices
8. Alliteration repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. large luscious lemons
9. Assonance repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sound. slide/white
10. Onomatopoeia
a word that resembles the sound it denotes: quack, buzz, rattle.
11. Consonance
identical consonant sound PRECEDED by a different vowel sound: home/same,
12. End Rhyme
words at the end of the line that rhyme.
End line rhyme pattern known as rhyme scheme.
13. Internal Rhyme
2 or more words within a line that rhyme.
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud.
14. Repetition – repeating key words or phrase for emphasis.
15. Parallelism - Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses.
16. Antithesis (form of parallelism) Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in
parallel structure).
*Brutus: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." —Abraham Lincoln
18. Asyndeton: (form of parallelism) lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
*We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure
the survival and the success of liberty. J. F. Kennedy,
I came, I saw, I conquered. Pronoun followed by a action verb.
19. Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines.
*We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the
seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall
defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the
landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall
never surrender. - Churchill.
The Power of Persuasion
To persuade is to facilitate action. In other words, persuasion is the ability to get people
to think or do what YOU want them to think or do!
According to Aristotle, in his work Rhetoric, the persuasive powers of a speaker depend
on his reasoning, the emotions he is able to stir in his listeners, and his character:
Appeal to the intellect of the audience by offering a clearly defined
speech that contains solid reasoning and valid evidence.
Speaker’s words arouse feelings anger, disgust or compassion in audience.
Speaker wins the audiences trust through honesty and credibility.
A persuasive speaker’s ability to manipulate an audience is directly related
to his/her ability to use language effectively - rhetorical devices:
Repeating key words or phrases for impact.“There in, ye gods…” I, iii, 91-92 J. Caesar
Balancing a sentence or presenting ideas in a similar form for affect.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” JFK
“I came, I saw, I conquered.” Julius Caesar
A question to consider not to answer out loud. “Who is here so base that would be a
bondman?…Who here is so rude that would not be a Roman?… Who is here so vile that
will not love his country?…III, ii, 26-30 Julius Caesar
Words or phrases used to evoke a strong emotion.
Persuasive language used to elict ACTION are propaganda techniques.
Unfortunately, these techniques can be conceived in powerful, yet illogical forms, so they
have the potential to be false and thus called fallacies, see below:
Name Calling
If you’re not a “good guy”, you’re a “bad guy”. If you’re not with us, you’re against us.
Band Wagon
Everybody is doing it so why not you!
Plain Folks
Says that “ordinary” people agree with and idea – so should you!
Post Hoc
Incorrect connection between a cause and effect.
Saying something is always true, based on a few cases.
Uses a famous name to endorse a product or idea.