figure of speech| Common figures of speech, and their use

The figure of speech is an intentional departure from a literal statement or common usage that emphasizes or clarifies or embellishes both the written and oral. spoken language. 

Forming an anIntegralFigures of speech, a part of language, can be found in both oral literature and polished prose and everyday speech. Figures of speech are often used in greeting-card rhymes and newspaper headlines.

MnemonicEye-catching or other eye-catching purposes. The argotsSports?jazzFigurative language is used to describe journalism, business, politics, and any other specialized group.

The majority of everyday figures are created by expanding the vocabulary of familiar and well-known words to include new information. Metaphors, which are derived from human biology, are often extended to inanimate objects or nature. This quiz will test your knowledge of literary devices.

Hyperbole, which is a deliberate exaggeration of the effect for the sake it has on others; the rhetorical query (asked for effect with no expected answer); litotes (conscious understatement where the emphasis is achieved through negation); and onomatopoeia, which mimics natural sounds using words such as “crunch,” gurgle,” “plunk,” or “splash.”

You can also find almost all of the figures of speech found in everyday speech. Literature. However, in serious poetry and prose, their use is more conscious, more artistic, and more subtle.

the intellectual emotional impact is often more memorable and can sometimes contribute a depth and range of association and suggestion that goes beyond the scope of casual.ColloquialUse of imagery. The Bible’s Old and New Testaments are a great example of rich imagery. simile?

The metaphor personification, parallelism, and personification (which are often used in Hebrew poetry) are all important literary influences. Get a Britannica Premium subscription to get access to exclusive content. Register Now

Figures of speech in European languages are classified into five main categories: (1) figures that resemble or relate, (2) figures that emphasize or understatement, and (3) figures that have sound. (4) Verbal games and gymnastics and (5) errors. The first category includes simile, metaphor, kenning, (a short compound or figurative phrase that replaces a common noun in Old Germanic and Old Norse poetry), and “whale-path” for “sea” or “God’s beacon” for the “sun”.

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Parallelism is where phrases, sentences, and paragraphs are balanced so that one element or situation is of equal importance, as in Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Studies” (reading maketh a full man, conference a ready to write an exact man); personification.

This second category includes figures of emphasis and understatement. Examples of this include hyperbole, litotes, rhetorical question, antithesis (strongly contrasted ideas placed in sharp juxtaposition), and climax (achieved through the arrangement of units meaning–words phrases clauses, or sentences–in ascending order, as in a line in Pres. 

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “of the people by the people for the people”; bathos (an inept attempt to portray art’s pathos, sometimes deliberately by writers for comedic effects, such as William Wordsworth’s attempt to make us feel sorry for the old huntsman, in “Simon Lee.” This is overcome by the following lines.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln, photograph by Alexander Gardner, 1863.Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital file no. 3a53289)

He has only a few months left of his life.
He will tell you,
Yet, he is more productive the harder he works
Do his weak ankles swell.

Other figures of emphasis and understatement include paradox (an apparently self-contradictory statement to attract attention and provoke new thought), as well as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s well-known principle “Less than is more”, oxymoron, a word or group that is self-contradicting, as in “bittersweet,” and irony (where the true meaning of a statement can be concealed or contradicted), such as Jane Austen’s opening to Pride and Prejudice.

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The third category includes figures of sound. For example, alliteration (repeating consonant sounds at words’ beginnings or stressed syllables) is one type. Repetition (using the same word or phrase repeatedly for emphasis) is another.

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Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington
Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on WashingtonMartin Luther King, Jr., during the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.AP Images

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
Every tongue tells a different story.
Every tale makes me a bad guy.

Other sound devices include anaphora and onomatopoeia, which are the repetition of a word/phrase at the beginning or end of multiple sentences or clauses. This is a common example of Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream”.

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring out from the majestic mountains of New York.
Freedom will ring out from the rising Alleghenies in Pennsylvania.

The fourth category includes verbal games and gymnastics. These include puns, which is a funny use of a

word to suggest different meanings, applications, or plays on words.

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The fifth category includes errors such as malapropism, which is a verbal blunder where one word is replaced with another that is similar in sound and meaning, like Amy, the youngest March sister in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women complains about her classmates “labeling your father if you aren’t wealthy” even though she meant “libel”, thus illustrating her hilarious attempts to sound more mature.

Periphrasis, which is a roundabout or indirect way of writing or speaking, as illustrated by Charles Dickens’s speech of Wilkins Micawber

“Under the impression,” stated Mr. Micawber “that your peregrinations within this metropolis are not as yet extensive, and you might have some difficulty getting into the arcana in the Modern Babylon in direction of City Road–in other words,” said Mr. Micawber in another burst to confidence, “that maybe you might lose yourself- I will be happy to call this evening and place you in the knowledge the nearest way–

Some other errors includeSpoonerism(A reversal in the initial letters or sounds of two or more words), such as “I have a half warmed fish” (for “half-formed wish”) or “a blushing crow” (for ‘a crushing blow”) Figures that involve a change of sense, such metaphor, simile orIronyThey are also known asTropes.

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Figures of speech in non-Western languages use figures of speech, but differences of language dictate different stylistic criteria. Japanese poetry relies on intricate structures of implication, and a vast vocabulary of aesthetic values that is almost impossible to translate to the West. 

Arabic literature is rich in simile and metaphor, but the constructions used are so different from those familiar in the West that translation requires much adaptation. This is true for both the oral literature from Africa and the written literature that derive from them.

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