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Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech

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Figures of Speech
Figures of Speech

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Published by: Charlotte Faye Lacambra on Mar 09, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A figure of speech is the use of a word or a phrase, which transcends its literal interpretation. It can be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification, or synecdoche. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution. In literature and writing, a figure of speech (also called stylistic device or rhetorical device) is the use of any of a variety of techniques to give an auxiliary meaning, idea, or feeling.
Roles of Figures of Speech
a. Ornamentation Who has ornaments around their house? What would your home be like without them? It is the same with your writing. You have the power to ornament it - or not. Figures give beauty and variety to what we wish to say and lift it from a commonplace / monotonous level. Without Figures of Speech our writing would be plodding and boring.  b. Clearness A complex subject can best be conveyed by an analogy.
Four Major Figures of Speech
a. Similarity Simile / Metaphor / Allegory / Fable / Parable / Personification  b. Contrast Antithesis / Oxymoron / Epigram / Irony / Sarcasm / Innuendo / Hyperbole / Litotes / Euphemism / Pun c. Association Metonymy / Synecdoche d. Arrangement Interrogation / Apostrophe / Repetition / Pleonasm / Bathos [Anticlimax] / Climax
An effective way of communicating a complex abstract idea / notion is to emphasize how it resembles something else - preferably something which is familiar and concrete. In everyday life, we often use Similarity to get our point across.
A. Simile
 Simile is an explicit, open, overt comparison. It brings out the 'likeness' between two things. Similes are clearly
indicated by the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ (as if, as though).
Examples: Like: My love is LIKE a red, red rose. Your teeth are LIKE stars (they come out at night!) He is LIKE a mad dog. She was shaking LIKE a leaf. The Assyrians came down LIKE a wolf on the fold. A face LIKE a frightened sheep As: AS brave AS a lion I wandered lonely AS a cloud When Shakespeare wanted to convey the abstract 'quality of mercy', he used a simile: The quality of mercy is not strained, / It droppeth AS the gentle rain from Heaven upon the earth beneath.
Metaphor is an implied, hidden, covert comparison. In some ways it is a CONDENSED SIMILIE. The words 'like' and 'as' are not especially used.

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