A.P. English Language and Composition Vocabulary Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Rhetoric
Art of using persuasive language
Syntax
Sentence structure
Diction
Choice of words
Figurative language
The use of words, phrases, symbols, and ideas to evoke mental images and sense impressions; Can't be taken literally
Allegory
Story in which its content symbolizes a deeper, abstract meaning other than the literal
Allusion
A reference in a literary work to another work
Analogy
Similarity between two unlike objects that can be used to compare other objects
Ex: "Light is to dark as happy is to sad."
Anaphora
Repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences
Ex: "I want her to live. I want her to breathe. I want her to sing."
Anecdote
Short description of a past incident. Told to prove a point
Aphorism
Short, to-the-point saying that represents some truth
Apostrophe
A saying that is said to someone not present or to a personified object
Euphemism
A less offensive way of expressing a harsh or offensive thought
Hyperbole
Exaggeration used to emphasize
Metaphor
An implied comparison between two seemingly unlike things
Paradox
A statement that seems self-contradictory
Rhetorical Question
Question used for dramatic effect, and it requires no answer
Synecdoche
Figure of speech where the name of a part is substituted for a whole or vice versa
Understatement
Restrained statement that's lacking the needed amount of emphasis
Logical Fallacy
Error in logic; a false argument
Argumentum ad hominem
A logical fallacy; attacking a person's reputation
Argumentum ad verecundiam
A logical fallacy; Appeal to authority
Hasty generalization
A logical fallacy; Jumping to conclusions without sufficient evidence
False analogy
An informal fallacy; falsely stating that two things are similar when, in fact, they are dissimilar
Non sequiturs
A logical fallacy; A comment/inference that doesn't follower logically from the premise
Post hoc
A logical fallacy; Confuses cause and effect with chronologically
Circular Argument
A logical fallacy; Assumes as true the very thing that one is trying to prove, also known as "going around in circles"
Bandwagon
A logical fallacy; Claims that everyone is behaving in a certain manner, also known as "everybody thinks so"
False dilemma
A logical fallacy; A situation in which two alternative points of views are presented as the only options, whereas others are available
Ad misericordiam
A logical fallacy; Exploits an argument's opponent's feelings of pity or guilt
Formal Language
Standard language of written communication; Used in specialized writing
Informal Language
Like casual conversation; can be found in writings like newspapers
Archaic
Words that are old-fashioned and no longer used
Colloquialism
Expressions accepted in informal writings and spoke by the general public, but not found in formal writing
Idiom
Phrase that is not taken literally for its meaning
Jargon
Specialized vocabulary used in a certain professional area
Slang
Expressions used by particular groups; often considered exaggerated or modern
Cliché
An expression that is so overused, it no longer creates an interesting effect in writing
Loaded Language
Words/expressions that are "weighed down" with importance that appeals to emotions
Sexist Language
Words/expressions that promote gender stereotypes; can't always be eliminated
Argument
Reason offered as proof for or against something
Tone
Manner in which an author expresses his attitude; the pitch of the voice that expresses meaning
It is the result of diction, syntax, style, imagery, rhetoric, etc.
Symbol
Something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance;
"It is what it is, but it means so much more"
Personification
Act or technique of ascribing human attributes to nonhuman/inanimate things
Denotation
Literal or actual meaning of a word; dictionary definition
Connotation
Emotional meaning of a word; produces a certain effect on the reader
Inductive Reasoning
Gathering specific facts/observations and making a conclusion/generalization;
An argument is this if the major premise is based on observation/experience
Moving from the specific to the general
Deductive Reasoning
Making specific conclusions based on broad generalizations/conclusions;
An argument is this if the major premise is based on a rule, law, principle, generalization
Moving from the general to the specific
Syllogism
A three-part statements in which deductive reasoning is arranged;
Consists of a major premise (general observation), a minor premise (specific observation); and a conclusion
Elegy
Sorrowful, melancholy poem that mourns someone's death or mediates the passing of life
Satire
Literary work containing devices that ridicule the vices/stupidity of individuals, groups, etc.;
Purpose: reform
Exaggeration
Used in satire; To enlarge or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen
Incongruity
Used in satire; To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings
Reversal
Used in satire; To present the opposite of the normal order
Parody
Used in satire; To imitate the techniques and/or system, practice, belief, etc.
Horatian Satire
Satire that is gentle and funny
Juvenalian Satire
Satire that is bitter, harsh, biting
Irony
Difference between the way things are and the way things should be (or expected to be)
Ethos
Ethical appeal; Reliability & trustworthiness of writer of argument
Pathos
Emotional appeal
Logos
Logical appeal
Simple Sentence
Sentence that contains only an independent clause with no other clauses
Conjunctions
Used in compound sentences;
And; or; but; for; nor; yet; so
Compound Sentence
Contains 2 or more independent clauses;
Joined by conjunctions or semi-colon
Complex Sentence
A sentence with 1 Independent clause and 1 or more dependent clauses
Compound Complex Sentence
Sentence with 2 or more independent clauses and 1 or more dependent clauses
Antithesis
Establishing contrasting ideas or relationships between two elements by either joining them together or by placing one against the other, most often in parallel structure;
OR
A statement that presents an idea opposite of a thesis; combined to produce synthesis
Parallelism
Repeating several parts of a sentence/several sentences that are alike to show that the ideas in the parts/ the sentences are equally important
Antimetabole
A reversal in the order of repeated words or phrases;
Used to provide an intense conclusion, present alternatives, show contrast
Ex:
"Eat to live, not live to eat"
Asyndeton
Omitting conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses
Parenthetical citation
Documentation of the author and source for a quote/fact contained within parentheses at the end of a sentence;
Used in MLA documentation
Signaling phrases
Inclusion of the author or source's name within a sentence;
Generally, at the start of the sentence
Adjective
The part of speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun
Adverb
The part of speech that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb
Alliteration
The repetition of an initial consonant sound
Ex: "Alice's aunt ate apples and acorns around August."
Ambiguity
The presence of two or more possible meanings in any passage
Antecedent
The noun or noun phrase referred to by a pronoun
Example:
"Students in on-line classes have to be organized to keep up with their assignments"
"Student" is the noun referred to by the pronoun "their."
Appeal to Ignorance
Logical fallacy; Uses an opponent's inability to disprove a conclusion as proof of the conclusion's correctness
Assonance
The identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighboring words
Example:
"Do you like blue?"
Character
An individual (usually a person) in a narrative
Chiasmus
A verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed
Example:
"He knowingly led and we followed blindly"
Claim
An arguable statement, which may state a fact, value, or policy
Climax
Mounting by degrees through words or sentences of increasing weight and in parallel construction with an emphasis on the high point or culmination of a series of events
Comparison
A rhetorical strategy in which a writer examines similarities and/or differences between two people, places, ideas, or objects
Complement
A word or word group that completes the predicate (what is said about the subject) in a sentence
Example:
"Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke."
Concession
An argumentative strategy by which a speaker or writer acknowledges the validity of an opponent's point
Clause
A group of words that contains a subject and a predicate
Confirmation
The main part of a text in which logical arguments in support of a position are elaborated
Coordination
The grammatical connection of two or more ideas to give them equal emphasis and importance
"I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap."
Dialect
A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, and/or vocabulary
Didactic
Intended or inclined to teach or instruct, often excessively
Encomium
A tribute or eulogy in prose or verse glorifying people, objects, ideas, or events
Ex:
"Allow me to sing of tater tots.
These are nuggets of bliss, small prayers answered by the flinty russet fields of Idaho. Potatoes fresh as an autumn dawn, fried deep, oh so deep, right down to their very souls. Potatoes so well coddled and lovingly cared for are bound to be grateful for their tuberous vegetable lives, and, being so loved, they in return extend every bit of potatoey flavor outward from themselves as they die, not unlike the Buddha, reclining on his side, growing to massive proportions as he transformed from this life to the next, the confines of the earth no longer large enough to contain the boundlessness of his nature."
Epiphora
The repetition of a word or phrase at the end of several clauses
Example: "Where now? Who now? When now?"
Epitaph
(1) A short inscription in prose or verse on a tombstone or monument
(2) A statement or speech commemorating someone who has died: a funeral oration
Ex: "Rest in peace."
Eulogy
A formal expression of praise for someone who has recently died
Exposition
Statement/type of composition intended to give information about an issue, subject, method, idea
Extended Metaphor
Implied comparison between 2 unlike things that continues through a series of sentences
Figures of speech
Various uses of language that depart from customary construction, order, significance
Flashback
Shift in narrative to earlier event that interrupts the normal chronological development of a story
Genre
Category marked by a distinctive style, form, content
Imagery
Vivid descriptive language that appeals to the senses
Invective
Denunciatory or abusive language; discourse that casts blame
Ex:
"Curse the blasted, jelly-boned swines, the slimy, the belly-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the snivelling, dribbling, dithering, palsied pulse-less lot that make up England today. . . . God, how I hate them! God curse them, funkers. God blast them, wishwash. Extermine them, slime."
Isocolon
Succession of phrases of approximately equal length and corresponding structure
Ex: "Nothing that's beautiful hides its face. Nothing that's honest hides its name."
Litotes
Figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite
Loose sentence
Sentence structure in which a main clause is followed by subordinate phrases and caluses
Metonymy
One word or phrase is substituted for another with which it's closely associated
Ex: "The car rear-ended me." ('Me' in place of 'my car')
Mode of Discourse
Way in which information is presented in a text;
Includes narration, description, exposition, argument
Mood
Quality of a verb that conveys the writer's attitude toward the subject
Narrative
Rhetorical strategy that recounts a sequence of events, usually in chronological order
Noun
Used to name a person, place, thing, quality, action
Onomatopoeia
Formation or use of words that imitate sounds associated with the objects/actions they refer to
Oxymoron
Contradictory terms appear side by side
Periodic Sentence
Long and frequently involved sentence, marked by suspended syntax, in which the sense isn't completed until the final word (usually with an emphatic climax)
Point of View
Perspective form which a speaker/writer tells a story/presents information
Predicate
One of the two main parts of sentence/clause, modifying the subject and including the verb, objects, phrases governed by the verb
Pronoun
Word that takes place of a noun
Prose
Ordinary writing as distinguished from verse
Refutation
Part of an argument where a speaker/writer anticipates & counters opposing points of view
Running Style
Sentence style that appears to follow the mid as it worries a problem through;
Mimics the rambling, associative syntax of conversation
Sarcasm
Mocking, often ironic or satirical remark
Simile
2 seemingly unlike things are compared using "like" or "as"
Style
Figures that ornament speech or writing;
Manifestation of the person speaking/writing
Subject
Part of sentence/clause that indicates what it's about
Subordination
Words, phrases, clauses that make 1 element of a sentence dependent on another
Thesis
The main idea of an essay or report
Transition
Connection between two parts of writing
Verb
Describes an action/occurrence/indicates state of being
Voice
(1) The quality of a verb that indicates whether its subject acts (active voice) or is acted upon (passive voice)
(2) The distinctive style or manner of expression of an author or narrator
Zeugma
Use of a word to modify 2 or more words, although its use may be grammatically or logically correct with only one;
"You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit."
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