R – Z Words The “end” of the alphabet, but not the “end” of our focus on these words!!!!!
realism a 19 th century literary movement in Europe and the US that stressed accuracy in the portrayal of life, particularly involving characters with whom middle-class readers could easily identify Directly contrasts with romanticism
rhetoric One of our favorite terms The art of using language effectively The entire process of written communication Comes from the Greek word for “orator” and involves the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently and persuasively
rhetoric (there’s always more....) Involves the writer’s purpose The audience The message and the way it is explored The writer’s persona, style and tone of expression, and..... The form it is presented in
Rhetorical question One that is asked merely for effect and does not expect a reply; the answer is assumed
Romanticism A literary, artistic and philosophical movement of the 18 th century that highlights imagination, emotion and freedom and focuses on subjectivity, individuality, the love and worship or nature and a fascination with the past
sarcasm From the Greek word meaning “to tear flesh” Harsh, caustic personal remarks to or about someone Less subtle than irony When well done, sarcasm can be witty and insightful; when poorly done, it’s simply cruel
satire A work based solely on ridicule that targets and criticizes human vices and follies without necessarily offering a solution A style of writing rather than a purpose Can utilize irony, wit, parody, caricature, hyperbole, understatement and sarcasm
simile An explicit comparison, normally involving like or as or as if; for example “The sky looked like an artist’s canvas.”
speaker The voice of a work An author may speak as himself or herself or as a fictitious persona
stereotype A character who represents a trait that is usually attributed to a particular social or racial group and who lacks individuality represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment
style An author’s characteristic manner of expression The unique way an author present her/his ideas Diction, syntax, imagery, structure, and content all contribute to a particular style
style Some authors’ styles are so idiosyncratic that their work is quickly recognizable
Subject complement Collective term for predicate nominative and predicate adjective This term is occasionally used on m/c questions on the AP test
subjectivity A personal presentation of events and characters, influenced by the author’s feelings and opinions
Subordinate clause Also called a dependent clause Contains both a subject and verb but, unlike the independent clause, it cannot stand alone since it does not express a complete thought
syllogism Term from Greek meaning “reckoning together” Syllogistic reasoning is often used in argumentation/persuasion A deductive system of formal logic that presents two major premises (one major and one minor) that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion For example....
syllogism All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
Symbol/symbolism Something that stands for something else Usually, a symbol is something concrete – such as an object, action, character or scene – that represents something more abstract.
synecdoche A figure of speech in which a part of something is used to represent a whole, such as using “boards” to mean “a stage” or “wheels” to mean “a car.” It is sure hard to earn a dollar these days. Put Beethoven on the turntable and turn up the volume.
syntax What adults pay on top of the cost of the item for alcohol or tobacco products... In AP, it is the way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses and sentences. Syntax is similar to diction, but think of syntax as groups of words, while diction refers to individual words.
syntax In analyzing syntax, try to determine what kind of sentences an author uses, then determine how the author’s choices amplify meaning or why they work well for the author’s purpose Syntax will appear on both sections of the AP test
theme Central idea or message of a work; the insight it offers into life Usually theme is unstated in fictional works, but in nonfiction, the theme may be directly stated, especially in expository or argumentative works
thesis The main idea of an author’s writing It present the author’s assertion or claim. The effectiveness of a presentation is often based on how well the writer presents, develops and supports the thesis.
tone The author’s attitude toward his/her subject Easier to determine in spoken language than in written language Considering how a work would sound if it were read aloud can help in identifying tone. Can rarely be described with one word, but here are some possibilities.....
transition A word or phrase that links one idea to the next and carries the reader from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph.
transition And But Or For Nor So Yet Numerical ( first, second...) Sequential ( then, next...) Additional Illustrative ( for example ) Contrast/comparison Affirmation ( of course, indeed )
understatement The opposite of exaggeration or overstatement or hyperbole A technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended
Understatement Understatement is a staple of humor in English- speaking cultures, especially in British humor. For example, in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life,” a suburban dinner party is invaded by Death, who wears a long black cloak and carries a scythe. He is the Grim Reaper; the party is over; the guests must all go with him. "Well," says one party guest, "that's cast rather a gloom over the evening, hasn't it?"
understatement In another scene, an Army officer has just lost his leg. When asked how he feels, he looks down at his bloody stump and responds, "Stings a bit.“
voice The way a written work coveys an author’s attitude The total “sound” of a writer’s style Grammatically, it is the relationship between a sentence’s subject and its verb (active voice and passive voice): I baked a pie (active) The pie was baked by me (passive)
voice Do you have a voice? In your columns, you certainly do. And as a class, we can recognize some of our classmates’ writing because we have “heard” them read their columns, but we have also come to “know” their writing because it sounds like them, even on paper! Discuss!!!!!!
wit Not to be confused with “twit,” which is used extensively in Monty Python, wit is intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights. A witty statement is humorous and suggests the writer’s verbal power in creating ingenious and perceptive remarks. Wit usually uses terse language that makes a pointed statement. Oscar Wilde was witty!!!!!