AP English Language Glossary1.Abstract LanguageLanguage describing ideas and qualities rather than observable or specific things, people, or places.2.Ad HominemIn an argument, this is an attack on the person rather than on the opponent's ideas. It comes from the Latin meaning "against the man."3.AllegoryA work that functions on a symbolic level4.AlliterationThe repetition of initial consonant sounds, such as "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."5.AllusionA reference contained in a work6.AmbiguityAn event or situation that may be interpreted in more than one way.7.AnalogyA literary device employed to serve as a basis for comparison. It is assumed that what applies to the parallel situation also applies to the original circumstance. In other words, it is the comparison between two different items.8.AnaphoraRepetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of two or more sentences in a row. This is a deliberate form of repetition and helps make the writer's point more coherent.9.AnecdoteA story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate a point.10.AnnotationExplanatory notes added to a text to explain, cite sources, or give bibliographical data.11.AntecedentThe word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers.12.AntithesisThe presentation of two contrasting images. The ideas are balanced by phrase, clause, or paragraphs. "To be or not to be . . ." "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . ." "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country . . ."13.ArgumentA single assertion or a series of assertions presented and defended by the writer14.ArgumentationThe purpose of this rhetorical mode is to prove the validity of an idea, or point of view, by presenting sound reasoning, discussion, and argument that thoroughly convince the reader.15.AssonanceRepetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity16.AsyndetonCommas used (with no conjunction) to separate a series of words. The parts are emphasized equally when the conjunction is omitted; in addition, the use of commas with no intervening conjunction speeds up the flow of the sentence. X, Y, Z as opposed to X, Y, and Z.17.Attitudethe relationship an author has toward his or her subject, and/or his or her audience18.AuthorityArguments that draw on recognized experts or persons with highly relevant experience.19.BackingSupport or evidence for a claim in an argument20.Balancea situation in which all parts of the presentation are equal, whether in sentences or paragraphs or sections of a longer work.21.Begging the QuestionOften called circular reasoning, __ occurs when the believability of the evidence depends on the believability of the claim.22.Cacophonyharsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage in a literary word.