English Terminology – Part 3

This is Part 3 of the English Terminology series!

1. Anthropomorphism

Refers to the technique where human characteristics are given to animals. You can contrast this to personification, where you give human characteristics to inanimate objects. Animated films often use anthropomorphism.

For example, the characters in Ice Age are anthropomorphised.

The relationships developed upon the journey is portrayed through the anthropomorphised characters of Manny and Sid.

2. Nominalisation

Refers to where a verb is turned into an abstract noun. It can make the sentence sound more sophisticated, academic and universal – but it can also make it sound more awkward or confusing, if improperly used. It’s effect is often to make the tone more formal, strong and universal.

For example, “Women are usually represented badly in media” would become “The representation of women by the media often quite bad”. The verb “represented” becomes the abstract noun “representation”.

Sadat uses nominalisation throughout his speech in order to create a universal and timeless message.

3. Metonymy

Refers to a type of figurative language where something is named to represent something else that is closely related.This may be frequent “sayings” or phrases.

For example, if someone “hits the bottle”, it means they drink too much.

Antony’s metonymy “Lend me your ears” in Julius Caesar is part of the rhetoric of his speech.

4. Aposiopesis

Refers to a type of rhetorical device, where there is an unfinished sentence usually followed by an ellipsis.

For example, “I really wanted to go today, but…” is an aposiopesis.

The author uses frequent aposiopesis to allow the audience to arrive at their own implications and conclusions.

5. Aporia

Refers to a type of rhetorical device, where the speaker debates about something with him/herself.

For example, “How can I describe her behaviour? Is she angry? Is she arrogant?”.

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