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Literary Terms: Playing with words Notes from Mr. Steven Van Zoost Alliteration – consonants repeated in succession: big bad Bertha Assonance – the repetition at close intervals of the vowel sounds of accented syllables or important words: Thou still unravished bride of quietness Pun – a play on words, or a joke based on words with several meanings, or on words that sound alike but have different meanings. Onomatopoeia – the use of words which in their pronunciation suggest their meaning. a) hiss, slam, buzz, sizzle b) “The murmuring of innumerable bees” (Tennyson) Hyperbole – the extravagant exaggeration for the sake of emphasis: Her eyes were as big as saucers. Understatement – representing something as less than it actually is. For example, saying something is “not bad” when it’s really great. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole. Jargon – the use of confusion to impress you; the use of specialized language particular to a trade, profession, or group. Jargon may produce unintelligible results when used outside of its special interest group for purposes of: 1. To cover up the real meaning 2. To make the speaker seem important and authoritative Propaganda – its purpose is one-sided in the information it gives in its effort to persuade. It may omit information negative to the cause or even lie in effort to persuade. Propaganda plays on emotion rather than reason.