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Anaphor: Repetition of phrase at the beginning of a sentence. Known is Martin Luther King’s use of the anaphor “I have a dream” and “Let freedom ring”, which is just used as the first in a series of speeches he gave at the Lincoln Memorial in the US capital, Washington.

Alliteration: Use of the same wording in consonants in several words, for example at the beginning of the word.

Example: “Purpurn bloody bleeding billiards plane” (here repeat “b” and “p”, which have almost the same sound). It is also called letter trimming.

Assonance: Applying the same wording in vowels in consecutive words. Example: we have to go in the garden these days

Antithesis: When the sender makes use of this rhetorical tool, the sender puts a pair of opposites against each other, for example the former government and the new government. It is thus a form of comparison, where the sender not only compares, but precisely creates a pair of opposites.

Epiphora: Repeating the same phrase at the end of several sentences. Martin Luther King actually uses it in his well-known speech (I have a dream today).

Hyperbel: Exaggerating one’s argument or running one’s point of view (possibly another person’s point of view) into the absurd and unrealistic.

Interjections: The term for exclamations such as “Oh” or “Accurate” associated with spoken language, but it can also be found in written language where the use of such interjections will be a sign of low style.

Irony: To say one thing and mean the opposite.

Chiasm: The sender swaps different parts of a sentence around in the following sentence. Example: Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Litote: An understatement that has something humorous about it. Example: As the fisherman wins 1,000,000 in Lotto: “It is nice with a few extra hands”.

Pleonasm and tautology: The two concepts cover linguistic phenomena that are hard to distinguish. They both cover forms of repetition, but the difference lies in that where tautology is an expression of the use of synonyms that say almost the same, then pleonasm is the expression of the use of a superfluous word – that is to say the same. You could say that pleonasm is a ‘failed’ form of tautology.

Tautology really means saying something that is obviously true and cannot be doubted. But in rhetoric, the term is used when saying the same thing in different ways, and therefore repeating oneself. It is an application of a form of synonyms. Example: “He is a boom muscle bundle”

Pleonasm occurs when you have two words for the same thing, and one word is actually superfluous, such as “You need to back more,” “I want a cordless cellphone”, “Get a free gift” or “Nine different cars were involved in the accident ”(nine cars are different cars).

Rhetorical questions: Asking a question that does not need to be answered and which will not be answered. The answer to the rhetorical question is apparently self-evident (from the sender’s perspective), which is why it does not need to be answered. Most often, therefore, rhetorical questions will be linked to some basic notions, some immediately indisputable truths, which the sender believes cannot be disagreed with.

Sarcasm: To suppress or to say one and to say the opposite, as in the case of the irony, but the sender tries to demean another so that it gets a tone of spit towards another.

Example: The teacher to the student: “Well, of course you should have 12 when you have completed a half page assignment.”

Post Author: Windy Le

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