FIGURES OF SPEECH Prepared by: Ancel Riego de Dios Gemma De los Reyes Kimberly Inguanzo
FIGURES OF SPEECH• Figure of speech is a rhetorical device that achieves a special effect by using words in distinctive ways. Though there are hundreds of figures of speech, well focus on just 20 of the most common figures.• You will probably remember many of these terms from your English classes. Figurative Language is often associated with literature--and with poetry in particular. But the fact is, whether were conscious of it or not, we use figures of speech every day in our own writing and conversations.
AlliterationThe repetition of an initial consonant sound.Examples:"Pompey Pipped at the Post as Pippo Pounces" (sports headline, Daily Express, Nov. 28, 2008)"Good men are gruff and grumpy, cranky, crabbed, and cross." (Clement Freud)
AnaphoraThe repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses.Example:"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun." (Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, 1940)
AntithesisThe juxtaposition of contrasting ideas inbalanced phrases.Examples:"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing." (Goethe) "Everybody doesnt like something, but nobody doesnt like Sara Lee." (advertising slogan)
ApostropheBreaking off discourse to address some absentperson or thing, some abstract quality, aninanimate object, or a nonexistent character.Example: Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky."
EuphemismThe substitution of an inoffensive term for oneconsidered offensively explicit.Example: Dan Foreman: Guys, I feel very terrible about what Im about to say. But Im afraid youre both being let go. Lou: Let go? What does that mean? Dan Foreman: It means youre being fired, Louie. (In Good Company, 2004)
HyperboleAn extravagant statement; the use ofexaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasisor heightened effect.Examples:"I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far." (Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi")
LitotesA figure of speech consisting of anunderstatement in which an affirmative isexpressed by negating its opposite.Example:"I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good- will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives." (Abigail Adams, letter to John Adams, May 7, 1776)
MetaphorAn implied comparison between two unlikethings that actually have something important incommon.Examples: "The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner." (Cynthia Ozick, "Rosa") "But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill." (William Sharp, "The Lonely Hunter")
MetonymyA figure of speech in which one word or phraseis substituted for another with which it is closelyassociated; also, the rhetorical strategy ofdescribing something indirectly by referring tothings around it.Example: The White House asked the television networks for air time on Monday night.
OxymoronA figure of speech in which incongruous orcontradictory terms appear side by side.Examples:"How is it possible to have a civil war?" (George Carlin)"A yawn may be defined as a silent yell." (G.K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw, 1909)
OnomatopoeiaThe use of words that imitate the soundsassociated with the objects or actions they referto.Example:Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding- dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks." ("Watty Piper" [Arnold Munk], The Little Engine That Could)
PersonificationA figure of speech in which an inanimate objector abstraction is endowed with human qualitiesor abilities.Example:"Oreo: Milk’s favorite cookie." (slogan on a package of Oreo cookies)
PunA play on words, sometimes on different sensesof the same word and sometimes on the similarsense or sound of different words.Examples: Kings worry about a receding heir line. I would like to go to Holland someday. Wooden shoe?
IronyThe use of words to convey the opposite of theirliteral meaning. A statement or situation wherethe meaning is contradicted by the appearanceor presentation of the idea.Example: "Gentlemen, you cant fight in here! This is the War Room." (Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove, 1964)
SimileA stated comparison (usually formed with "like“or "as") between two fundamentally dissimilarthings that have certain qualities in common.Examples: "Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong." (slogan of Pan-American Coffee Bureau) "You know life, life is rather like opening a tin of sardines. Were all of us looking for the key." (Alan Bennett, Beyond the Fringe, 1960)
UnderstatementA figure of speech in which a writer or a speakerdeliberately makes a situation seem lessimportant or serious than it is.Examples:"The graves a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace." (Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress") "I am just going outside and may be some time." (Captain Lawrence Oates, Antarctic explorer, before walking out into a blizzard to face certain death, 1912)