HYPERBOLE Exaggeration – not literally true, made to sound impressive or to emphasize something such as a feeling, effort or reason. Examples: My backpack weighs a ton. I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse. I tried a thousand times. I am sweating buckets.
DOUBLE ENTENDRE A word or phrase having a double meaning, sometimes / usually one is risqué. Example: • If I said you had a nice body, would you hold it against me? • That’s what she said. • Another example is a sports bar at the bottom of 5th Street in California, named "Bottom of the Fifth," referring to (1) the address, (2) baseball's fifth inning, and (3) a measure of consumption of a common quantity of alcoholic beverage. (This is a triple entendre). • The title of Damon Knight’s story To Serve Man is a double entendre, it can mean "to perform a service for humanity" or "to serve a human as food". An alien cookbook with the title To Serve Man is featured in the story, implying that the aliens eat humans.
METAPHOR Comparison that shows how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar (NOT using “like” or “as”). Examples: • Her eyes are the sun. • His smile is a rainbow. • “The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner.” • “But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.” • She’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
SIMILE Directly comparing two items using “like” or “as” Examples: • He fights like a lion. • She walks as gracefully as a cat. • The tree was gnarled like an old woman’s hands. • The clouds were as fluffy as a down pillow.
PERSONIFICATION Giving human traits to non-living objects. Examples: • The sun winked at me. • The run down house looked depressed. • The popcorn leapt out of the bowl. • The darkness beckoned to me.
ALLUSION A brief reference to a person, place or event to call to mind ideas or emotions associated with the item. Example: • Harriet Tubman was the Moses of her time. • I think he has an Oedipus complex. • He’s a Romeo. • They’re like Brangelina.
ALLITERATION Repetition of the same sound at the beginning of words. Examples: • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers • Fred’s friends fried Fritos for Friday’s food. • “Go, pronounce his present death.”
SYMBOLISM The use of something to represent something else. Examples: • Dove = peace • Ringing of a bell = death • American flag/eagle = freedom • Heart = love
PUN A form of word play suggesting two or more meanings. Examples: • Kings worry about a receding heir line. • “Riding the escalator is a step up from always walking on the same level.” • “There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal.” • “When asked whether or not I was bilingual, I was about to say I knew sign language, but I figured it was sort of a mute point.”
FORESHADOWING Suggest certain plot developments that may come later in the story Example: Romeo states: • Near the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says "You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us?" thus foreshadowing his own death and how he came back to help Harry. • in Star Wars Episode 2 Obi Wan says to Anakin Skywalker, " Why do I get the feeling you will be the death of me?" He is later killed by Anakin. • In To Kill a Mockingbird, Burris Ewell's appearance in school foreshadows the nastiness of Bob Ewell; also, the presents Jem and Scout find in the oak tree foreshadow the eventual discovery of Boo Radley's good-heartedness
IRONY The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. Example: • "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.“ • “It is of course ironic that 'Ironic' is an unironic song about irony. Bonus irony: 'Ironic' is widely cited as an example of how Americans don't get irony, despite the fact that Alanis Morissette is Canadian." • "It is a fitting irony that under Richard Nixon, launder became a dirty word." • When it’s thunderstorming, saying, “it’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”