AP English Language Vocabulary Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Ad Hominem Argument
Attacks the opposing speaker or another person rather than addressing the issues at hand
Allegory
Fictional work in which the characters represent ideas or concepts
Alliteration
The repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of words
Allusion
A reference, usually oblique or faint, to another thing, idea, or person
Ambiguity
Uncertain or indefinite; subject to more than one interpretation
Analogy
The correspondence or resemblance between two things that are essentially different
Anecdote
A short story used to illustrate a point the author is making
Antecedent
Every pronoun refers back to a previous noun or pronoun
Antithesis
An opposition or contrast of ideas that is often expressed in balanced phrases or clauses
Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which an absent person or personified object is addressed by a speaker
Appositive
A word or phrase that follow a noun or pronoun for emphasis or clarity
Assonance
A type of internal rhyming in which vowel souds are repeated
Asyndeton
When the conjunctions (such as "and" or "but") that would normally connect a string of words, phrases, or clauses are omitted from a sentence
Atmosphere
The emotional feeling -or mood- of a place, scene, or event
Attitude
The feelings of a particular speaker or piece of writing toward a subject, person, or idea
Contrast
Oppositions
Colloquial Language
Slang or common language that is informal
Connotative
The interpretive level of a word based on associated images rather than the literal meaning
Deductive Argument
The process of moving from a general rule to a specific example
Diction
An author's choice of words
Didactic
Writing which has the purpose of teaching or instructing
Elegy
A work that expresses sorrow
Ellipses
Indicated by a series of three periods; shows that words have been omitted
Ethos
Refers to generally ethics, or values
Euphemism
A mild or pleasant sounding expression that substitutes for a harsh, indelicate, or simply less pleasant idea
Exposition
Writing or speech that is organized to explain
Figurative Language
All uses of language that imply an imaginative comparison
Foreshadowing
A purposeful hint placed in a work of literature to suggest what may occur later in the narrative
Hyperbole
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used to achieve emphasis
Imagery
A mental picture that is conjured by specific words and associations
Inductive Argument
Creating a case by providing specific examples and drawing a conclusion based on the evidence they provide
Irony
When a situation produces and outcome that is the opposite of what is expected
Juxtaposition
When two contrasting things are placed next to each other for comparison
Logos
The use of reason as a controlling principle in an argument
Metaphor
A figure of speech in which two unlike things are compared directly
Metonymy
A figure of speech in which something is referred to by using the name of something that is associated with it
Mood
The prevailing or dominant feeling of a work, scene, or event
Onomatopoeia
An effect created by words that have sounds that reinforce their meaning
Oxymoron
Two contradictory words in one expression
Paradox
A seeming contradiction that in fact reveals some truth
Parallelism
A literary technique that relies on the use of the same syntactical structures
Parody
An effort to ridicule or make fun of a literary work or an author by writing a comic imitation of the work
Pathos
A sympathetic feeling of pity or compassion evoked by an artistic work
Periodic Sentence
Presents the main clause at the end of the sentence, for emphasis
Persona
The character created by the voice and narration of the speaker of a text
Personification
A figure of speech in which ideas or objects are described as having human qualities or personalities
Point of View
The particular perspective from which a story is told
Pun
A play on words
Repetition
The reiteration of a word or phrase for emphasis
Rhetoric
The art and logic of a written or spoken argument to persuade, to analyze, or to expose
Rhetorical Strategy
The way an author organizes words, sentences, and overall argument in order to achieve a particular purpose
Rhetorical Devices
The specific language tools that an author uses to carry out a rhetorical strategy (diction, imagery, or syntax)
Rhetorical Question
A question that is asked for the sake of argument
Satire
To ridicule or mock ideas, persons, events, or doctrines
Selection of Detail
The specific words, incidents, images, or events the author uses to create a scene or narrative
Simile
A commonly used figure of speech that compares one thing with another using the words "like" or "as"
Speaker
The narrator of a story, poem, or drama
Syllogism
A form of deductive reasoning in which pieces of evidence are used to create a new conclusion
Symbol
Something that stands for something else
Synonym
A word that has the same, or nearly the same, meaning as another word
Syntax
The way words are arranged in a sentence
Tension
A feeling excitement and expectation the reader or audience feels because of the conflict, mood, or atmosphere of the work
Theme
The central idea
Tone
Attitude
Understatement
When an author assigns less significance to an event or thing than it deserves
Zeugma
When a word is used with two adjacent words in the same construction, but only makes literal sense with one of them
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