20 Language and Literature Terms We All Should Know

20 Language and Literature Terms We All Should Know


We came across these language and literature terms on quizlet.com and thought that they were worth sharing. If you’re a writer or translator, you should really know these.

Terms

Definitions

anecdotea short account of an interesting or humorous incident
anthropomorphismattribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena
archetypean original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; an ideal example
aphorisma brief statement of a truth or opinion; a saying or an adage
construeto explain the meaning of; interpret; to analyze the grammatical structure of
deduceto reach a conclusion by reasoning; to infer from a general principle; to trace the origin of
epigrama short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation; a concise, clever, often paradoxical statement or saying
etymologythe origin and historical development of a word’s forms, meanings and usages
inferto conclude or reason from evidence, premises, or circumstance; to hint or imply
ironythe use of words to express something different from, and often opposite to, their literal meaning; a literary style employing such contrasts for witty effect; incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
onomatopoeiathe formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions to which they refer
personificationa person or thing typifying a certain quality or idea; an embodiment or exemplification; a figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form
perspectivea mental view or outlook; a pint of view; the ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance
protagonistthe main character in a drama or other literary work
proseordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure
punplay on words
rhetorican art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate
satirea literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony or wit
soliloquya dramatic or literary from of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself and reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener
tritelacking power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition; hackneyed

If you think there are some terms that should have been included in the list, we’d like to hear from you.

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