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.



anecdote a short account of an interesting or humorous incident
anthropomorphism attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena
archetype an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; an ideal example
aphorism a brief statement of a truth or opinion; a saying or an adage
construe to explain the meaning of; interpret; to analyze the grammatical structure of
deduce to reach a conclusion by reasoning; to infer from a general principle; to trace the origin of
epigram a short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation; a concise, clever, often paradoxical statement or saying
etymology the origin and historical development of a word’s forms, meanings and usages
infer to conclude or reason from evidence, premises, or circumstance; to hint or imply
irony the 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
onomatopoeia the formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions to which they refer
personification a 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
perspective a mental view or outlook; a pint of view; the ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance
protagonist the main character in a drama or other literary work
prose ordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure
pun play on words
rhetoric an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate
satire a literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony or wit
soliloquy a 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
trite lacking 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.

Written by Yusuf Bhana
Yusuf Bhana
Yusuf is Head of Digital at TranslateMedia. He has an interest in how technology can help businesses achieve their marketing objectives. He's been working in digital marketing and web development since 2001 across a wide range of industries and clients.

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