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March 11, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Literary/grammatical terms – what they sound like and what they actually mean…

– Alliteration
Sounds like…a nation of small litterers
Actually means…repeating the same first letter in successive words, e.g posting pointless posts passes time

– Hyperbole
Sounds like…an itchy rash or a sports event
Actually means…exaggeration or extravagant statement used for effect.

– Liotes
Sounds like…a nasty case of burrowing head lice
Actually means…The opposite of hyperbole

– Pathetic fallacy
Sounds like…A rather sad piece of male genitalia e.g ‘Look at his pathetic fallacy’
Actually means…When nature is presented as reflecting/enhancing human emotions.

– Oxymoron
Sounds like…a hideously stupid Ox or someone who is so silly they forget how to breathe
Actually means…the use of words together which have opposite/contradictory meanings, e.g honest Politian or revealing disguise.

– Comma
Sounds like…the start of the Chameleon song by Culture club (comma comma comma comma comma chameleon)
Actually means…one of these (,) which is used to show divisions in sentences or to separate words in a list.

– Apostrophe
Sounds like…something really bad that happened to one of Jesus’ apostles (Judas’ fate after he betrayed Jesus)
Actually means…a punctuation mark (‘) which is used to signify a missing letter/s in a word and also to make nouns possessive.

– Irony
Sounds like…a pet name for a female iron
Actually means…an expression to express the opposite of its literal meaning.

Periodic Sentence
Sounds like…words spoken in haste/with an aggressive tone, by a woman, over a time period of about 5 days out of each month
Actually means…a lengthly sentence whose main point is at the end.

Parenthesis
Sounds like…a kind of parasite that only infects parents.
Actually means…something that adds additional information to a sentence demonstrated through the use of either commas, dashes or brackets.

Limiting Modifiers
Sounds like…a machine that can perform only minor plastic surgery but is limited in performance.
Actually means…a term used to describe the words nearly, almost, only, just, hardly and merely.

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