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to the most important booklet that youll get all


The words contained in this glossary only provide the basis for
quality analysis. Do not make the mistake of assuming that one
need only learn a proportion in order to grade well in all
assessments on an A-level English Language course. All terms
MUST be learnt as early as possible; it is evidently better to be
as familiar as you can with the terms.

Read this over and over, get your family or friends to test you,
practise attributing these terms to texts you read... whatever it
takes, just make sure you learn these terms (of which there are
approximately 200YAY!).

Common noun a naming word for a thing that is tangible, e.g. chair, penguin, man,
arsonist, murderer, ghost, crumpet, trumpet.

Abstract noun a naming word for an idea, concept, state of being or belief, e.g.
tidiness, sadness, antidisestablishmentarianism, love, politics, Marxism.

Proper noun a naming word for a specific example of a common noun (often are
names of places or specific people), e.g. Bob, Eiffel Tower, Burnley, Wayne Rooney.

Verb a word that represents an action or process: in simple terms a doing word.

Active verb a word that represents a physical action, e.g. jump, run, kill, slap, kiss,
make-love, wallop, sleep.

Stative verb a word that represents a process that is often only mental, e.g. think,
love, ponder, believe, (to) fear.

Auxiliary verb a verb that has to be used with another verb in order to create
present participles or the future tense, e.g. DID you go?; I AM going; you WILL

Modal verb an auxiliary verb that express a degree of either possibility or
necessity, e.g. might, could, must, should, may.

Adjective a describing word that modifies a noun.

Adverb a describing word that modifies all types of word, excluding nouns.

Superlative an adjective that displays the most extreme value of its quality, e.g.
most, biggest, smallest, worst, furthest, farthest, quietest, zaniest. Most of the time
superlatives end with -est.

Comparative an adjective that relates one thing in some way to another and
usually ends in er: bigger, smaller, further, farther, quieter, zanier.

Definite article the.

Indefinite article a or an.

Pronoun a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence, e.g. him, her, it, he,
she, I, you, me (self-reflexive pronoun), they.

First person pronoun I, and the first person plural: we, our, us.

Second person pronoun you.

Third person pronoun him, her, he, she, it, and the third person plural: them,

Possessive pronoun (1st, 2nd or 3rd person depending) my, mine, our, your, his,
hers, theirs.

Demonstrative pronoun this, that, those.

Monosyllabic lexis words of one syllable.

Polysyllabic lexis words of two or more syllable.

Imperative sentence mood when a sentence is issuing a command.

Declarative sentence mood when a sentence is making a statement.

Interrogative sentence mood when a sentence is asking a question.

Exclamatory sentence mood when a sentence conveys a strong sense of emotion,
sense of alarm or overly strong emphasis.

Register the level of formality of a text.

Tenor the tone, or the relationship between author and reader and how it is

Attitudes The opinions expressed in the text.

Content What the text is about.

Context Things outside the text which may shape its meaning, e.g. when it was
written, who wrote it.

Form the structure and shape of a text.

Themes the recurring ideas and images in a text.

Colloquialism Informal language usage, e.g. bloke, fella, lass, bog (toilet), arse,
bum, grub, scram,

Exclamation a one word sentence (always a minor sentence) with an exclamation
mark at the end.

Ellipsis when parts of a written structure are missing. In texts, sometimes they are
indicated by three full stops in a row, denoting perhaps a significant pause... Do you

Syntax the way words form sentences (the ordering of them to create meaning).

Parenthesis an aside within a text created by sectioning off extra information
between brackets, dashes or between two commas.

Parenthetic commas, dashes or brackets see above.

Rhetorical question a question designed not to be answered, perhaps to pique
interest or make a point; a stylistic choice.

Hypophora when a rhetorical question is immediately followed by an answer in a
text, e.g. Is this the best film ever? You bet it is!

Hyperbole deliberate over-exaggeration of things for effect.

Litotes deliberate downplaying of things for effect.

Parallelism/patterning the creation of patterns in a text, through repetition of
words or phrases (phonological parallelism) or by balancing meanings (semantic
parallelism) for deliberate effect.

Repetition the repetition of words or phrases (see parallelism)

Tricolon/tripling grouping in threes, either through repetition or through
structures (either within a sentence or paragraph). This can be for emphasis or to
add a sense of gathering momentum to a point being made.

Imagery a descriptive or metaphorical use of language to create a vivid picture.

Pre-modification a descriptive technique where the descriptive words come before
the thing they are describing, e.g. the big, fat wad of cash spewed from his
inadequate pocket.

Post-modification - a descriptive technique where the descriptive words come after
the thing they are describing, e.g. the wad of cash, big and fat, spewed from his

Metaphor a comparison that states that something is actually something else.
Take a leaf out of her book or Im a demon driver.

Simile a comparison that states that something is like or as something else. I
drive like a demon or hes as big as a house.

Synecdoche a metaphor that states that something is only a small constituent part
of itself, even though we commonly understand otherwise, e.g. a new set of
wheels (car) or hes behind bars (prison)

Analogy explaining something in terms of something else.

Allusion to refer to something indirectly or metaphorically.

Pathetic Fallacy when the environment or weather mirrors emotions.

Personification a device in which the non-human is given personal and human
qualities, e.g. the trees danced in the wind.

Extended metaphor when a metaphor continues throughout a text with recurring
references to the compared item.

Homeric/epic simile see extended metaphor and apply to simile. The Homeric
part refers to Homers Odyssey to connote length and recurrence.

Symbolism using figurative and metaphoric language, items or incident in a way
that means that certain things represent other things, e.g. a colour could represent
the sadness of a character or a volcano erupting could symbolise the political
infighting of the townspeople beneath the volcano.

Lexis another word for the word word!!!

Field specific lexis the language of a certain area (be it vocation, activity or subject
etc), e.g. field specific lexis for computing would include mouse, monitor, RAM,
gigabyte etc; field specific lexis for English Language would include everything in this

Lexical set the selection of relative lexemes from a text. One can take a lexical set
of field specific lexis, modifiers, proper nouns or whatever would support a
statement an English student would like to make about a text.

Lexical bundle a recurrent sequence of words or a collection of words that,
through repetition of use, just naturally go together, e.g. I dont think, would
you mind, I dont want to.

Semantics the meaning of words.

Acronym words created by the initials of other grouped words, e.g. the UN, NATO,

Synonym an alternative word choice that has the same or a very similar meaning,
e.g. a synonym of horror is fright.

Homophone different words that sound exactly the same when said out loud (be
very careful of these with regards to your spelling), e.g. theyre, their, there; new,
knew, no, know; need, knead, kneed; led, lead.

Homonym when one word has multiple meanings, e.g. great can mean both size
and positivity; cool can mean both coldness and a cool dude; heavy can mean
physical weight or the seriousness of a situation.

Archaism a word that, over time, has fallen out of common usage. Older ones
include zounds, thus, betwixt etc, however slang can become archaic as new
generations opt to choose new terms for things: dig it, bodacious and radical are
perhaps examples of this.

Juxtaposition the placing together of elements (whether text, image etc) for some
conscious effect, whether that be complimentary or contrasting.

Antithesis when ideas contrast or oppose one another; a semantic contrast in a
text. Often used in reasoned arguments or to create emphasised contrast.

Binary opposites elements of a text that hold opposite ends of a notional scale e.g.
hot/cold, big/small, loud/quiet.

Oxymoron The use of apparently contradictory words in a phrase, e.g. peaceful
war, hot ice.

Collocations words that, through usage just naturally go together. We collectively
understand they are inextricably linked, e.g. Laurel and Hardy, fish and chips, salt
and vinegar, John, Paul, George and Ringo, fire and ice, broad grin, broad backed.

Asyndetic Listing the listing of elements that excludes any form of co-ordinating
conjunction. The prefix a basically means absence of.

Syndetic listing the listing of elements that features a co-ordinating conjunction.

Phonological features any devices used that relate to sound, e.g. alliteration,

Onomatopoeia when a word is spelled exactly as the same as the sound it
describes kaboom, drip, plop, quack, miaow.

Consonance the repetition of double consonants in the middle of words, e.g. Id
better buy more butter before I go out and post these letters.

Assonance the repetition of vowel sounds, e.g. you should wear a hood while you
chop the wood good. Assonance can create rhyme.

Alliteration (guttural, lateral, sibilant, bilabial/plosive, dental, aspirant, fricative)
the repetition of consonant sounds in a text, often at the beginning of words. You
must always correctly label the exact type of alliteration as listed above.

Plot the structured cause and effect of incidents experienced by a protagonist that
makes a story interesting: the exposition, the complication and the resolution.

Exposition the parts of a story (usually early on) where the writer gets across all
the information about the situation of a character, who they are, where they are and
what the status quo is before the plot begins in earnest. It should always be as
subtle as possible, which usually means avoiding expressing exposition through

Narrator the voice that tells a fictional story. Can be a first, second or third person
narrator (see personal pronouns to find out more).

Protagonist the character the reader is meant to identify with the most and follow
through the story. The hero (or anti-hero).

Anti-hero a protagonist who isnt always morally virtuous but has enough qualities
to endear themselves to a reader.

Antagonist the character who opposes the goals of the protagonist.

Dialogue the presentation of characters speech.

Monologue - a type of poem or a prolonged piece of drama where one character
delivers a speech that reveals their innermost feelings. Dramatic monologues can
infer an addressee or audience who the speaking character is relating to.

Soliloquy see monologue.

Dramatic irony When the audience is aware of more than one of the characters in
either a play or a piece of fiction to create a dramatic effect.

Ambiguity when there can be more than one possible meanings or outcomes in a
story, creating a sense of intrigue.

Anthropomorphism when an animal takes on the characteristics of a human being,
e.g. wearing clothes, buying cakes and talking.

Suspension of disbelief the readers ability to take for granted fantastical aspects
of fiction in order to enjoy the story.

Genre category of fiction or type of text, e.g. romance, horror, thriller, magazines,

Audience who the text is aimed at.

Purpose the reason the text has been produced, e.g. to entertain, inform etc.

Foreshadowing the hinting at things to come through early elements of a story.

Mimesis mimicry. A story, for example, may mimic the gasping breath of a pursued
protagonist by using short, sharp, sentences and lots of aspirant alliteration.

Pastiche a piece of art or writing that imitates a form or genre to generate

Satire a piece of writing or art that pokes fun at the societal establishment.

Neologism a newly invented word.

Portmanteau a newly invented word, created by merging two words together, for
example snozcumber (from schnoz and cucumber) or chillax (from chill out and

Compound words a word created by utilising two existing words separated by a
hyphen, e.g. global-village, bone-headed, to go-straight. There are compound
versions of nouns, adjective, adverbs, verbs.

Clipping colloquial omission of parts of words to create a more casual alternative,
e.g. cause, bra, pram.

Rhetoric an example of persuasive language, arguably including advertising.

Stereotype a label for a social group, utilising certain characteristics of group
members and applying it to everyone within the grouping.

Taboo language words that are considered socially unacceptable to say in polite,
civilised society, e.g. swear words or words that are politically incorrect.

Connotation the associations that can be gleaned from words.

Denotation the literal meaning of the words.

Irony language that conveys a meaning other to than that literally expressed by the
words, usually for humorous effect.

Sarcasm the use of language in an ironic way with the express purpose of
offending or wounding the recipient in some way.

Euphemism the polite way to say something not normally considered socially
appropriate, usually to refer to going to the toilet, death etc. I need a tinkle, I need
the little boys room, hes pushing up daisies, shes gone to meet her maker.

Dysphemism an unnecessarily extreme way of saying something, not normally
socially appropriate. It could incorporate taboo language or contain too much

information than necessary. Youre husband had his head blown off and there was
blood everywhere.

Headline the large text/title of a newspaper article. Often these can incorporate
word play and alliteration.

Tagline beneath the headline, there may be a slightly smaller sentence, designed
to clarify the gist of the story.

Subheading usually a one or two word, emboldened phrase that breaks up the
main article, often foreshadowing what is to come later in the story.

Caption part of a multi-modal text, these will be juxtaposed with an image. Often
they are used to say something witty or humorous, maybe punning or taking out of
context the image in question.

Grab quote an enlarged example taken from the text, usually a sensationalised
piece. It attempts to draw the readers eye, engender curiosity, and thus make the
reader read the story.

Slogan a catchy line, often a minor sentence, that sums up an advert, sticks in the
mind, and makes the product, ultimately, seem more appealing.

Pun a play on words: SupercallygoballisticCelticareatrocious Caledonian Thistle
beat Celtic 5-0; Celebrity Big Blubber Wally the Whale dies in the Thames, right by
the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Journalese the sensationalised language that is particular to tabloid newspapers,
e.g. slam, probe, spat (as in fight), shocker.

Multiple modifiers doubling and trebling up of adjectives is used frequently in
tabloid newspapers and also other genres of text.

Clich when language is used over and over until it becomes so well known that it
loses its original potency, e.g. at the end of the day, Im over the moon, he was as
quiet as a mouse.

Idiom a saying, often a clich where the words that make up the saying do not
have the same meaning as the overall semantic effect, e.g. Im over the moon; youre
taking the Mickey; hes pushing up daisies; youre having a laugh.

Malapropism when a speaker accidentally uses the wrong word that sounds the
same, or like it should belong in their sentence/utterance: The worlds my lobster; I
will illiterate you from my memory.

Text speak the phonetic spelling of text too long to type out in full on a mobile

Orthography the method of spelling/correct spelling we would refer to the non-
standard orthography of words from the past in comparison to how we write them

Etymology the origin of a word or the history of how it came to be.

Ampersand the symbol &, arguably more prominent in the past.

Non standard capitalisation you may see in very old texts, capital letters being
allocated mid-sentence to words other than proper nouns, perhaps for emphasis, or
perhaps arbitrarily. Look at the specific text in question and put forward your own
reasoning for it.

Archaism/archaic language a word that has fallen out of common usage or is old
fashioned. These can also include slang words that have fallen out of the youth

Anachronistic language language that seems out of time. For example, something
may be written in a very old fashioned way for stylistic reasons, say a fantasy style
novel, yet it may contain dialogue that would appeal to a modern young audience,
using slang etc. Its like when you spot an extra wearing a digital watch in a historical

Semantic shift the shift in a words meaning over time, e.g. sick evolves to
become something other than illness but a slang reference to something positive..

Inverted syntax when the ordering of words is rearranged to create an alternative
weighting to a sentence. Think of Yoda on Star Wars Good with the force, he is.

Slang colloquial language, often coined by the younger generations to imprint their
own social identity on the language and differentiate themselves from the perceived

Globalised vocabulary in the 20th Century, in the advent of mass-media, social
mobilization and international travel, there have been an influx of new words and
phrases that we now take for granted, e.g. kebab, cab, sushi, karaoke, knish, talk to
the hand, zombie, savoir-faire.

Discourse the study of spoken language.

Mode the mode of the text is how it is presented. Is it in the written or spoken
mode? Whichever mode it is, it will be governed by differing rules and structures.

Vocabulary the amount of words available to an individual.

Paralinguistic features literally beyond language. The things that aid
communication but dont literally constitute language, e.g. body language, facial
expressions, laughter, sighs, whispering.

Prosodic features the sound effects of spoken language. Things like stress,
intonation and pitch.

Stress the emphasis placed on certain words, through volume, significant pauses
beforehand, or inflexion.

Intonation the rise and fall of an individuals natural speaking voice or the variation
or tune to keep listeners interested. These naturally differ from nation to nation as
different languages have different intonation qualities.

Pitch the rise or fall of the voice. High pitch is squeaky and low pitch is deep.

Turn taking co-ordinated and rule governed co-operation between two or more
participants of a conversation.

Adjacency pair a moment in turn taking where one utterance constrains the
response in some way, e.g. a question leads to an answer; a suggestion leads to an
acceptance or declination.

Back channelling the process of giving feedback through encouraging noises and
positive comments when a speaker is talking to encourage them.

Running repair the process of socially organising a conversation if two people find
that they have been talking simultaneously.

Topic marker an utterance that establishes the topic of a conversation.

Topic shifter an utterance that moves a conversation on to another topic, e.g.

Interrupted construction the breakdown of an utterance where half way through
the speaker will completely change tact, focus or even topic and move onto
something else, sometimes abandoning the original utterance mid word. Explain in
detail how these have occurred.

False starts The speaker realises the beginning of an utterance isnt working and so
effectively re-starts by rephrasing.

Hesitation indicators moments in discourse that indicate that the speaker is in
some way playing for time. This can be seen in certain forms of stuttering and in
fillers such as um, err and ahh when the speaker is thinking of the next thing to say.

Fillers the insertion of words, phrases or noises into a speakers discourse, e.g. like,
yknow, sort of, right. These can be due to the individuals own idiolect or convey
some subliminal conversational purpose, depending on the context.

Latch-ons when a speaker takes their turn immediately after the preceding speaker
has finished speaking leaving no, or little, pause. This can be due to an attempt for
conversational dominance or a degree of familiarity between the speakers, among
other reasons.

Overlaps when one speaker speaks over another.

Glottal stops the omission of (usually) dental sounds in the middle of words like
butter, letter, better etc, in pronunciation. Occasionally these can occur at the ends
of words like what.

Non-fluency features any feature which would indicate that the speaker is not
speaking with fluency for whatever reason, e.g. someone might stammer if they are
under severe pressure, or a foreign speaker may invert syntax or elide certain words
from their utterances.

Tag question a question tagged onto the end of an statement, e.g Its cold, isnt

Vocative a direct reference to another speaker in discourse, e.g. Bob, can you...

Elision the omission of a vowel or syllable in the pronunciation of a word OR the
omission of a vowel at the end of a word when the subsequent word begins with a
vowel (as apparent in northern pronunciation), e.g. its either one or tother.

Code switching the ability of a speaker to alter the register or clarity of their
speech to suit a different social situation.

Received Pronunciation the typical pronunciation associated with the social elite
of Britain. The Queens English etc.

Accent The manner of pronunciation particular to a certain geographical region.

Regional Dialect the actual words used and the spoken grammar which is
particular to a certain geographical region.

Sociolect the vocabulary and spoken grammar which is particular to a certain social

Idiolect the speech patterns of an individual.

Alternate rhyme
Eye rhyme
Internal rhyme
Petrarchan or Italian
Shakespearean or
English sonnet
Verse Type

Lines of poetry where the rhyme is on every other line

A mid-line pause
A two line verse (often rhyming)
A change in the structure of the sentence to place emphasis
on a closing sentence element.
Run-on lines
Where the rhyme looks like it should rhyme but the sound
is not exactly the same.
A change in the structure of the sentence to place emphasis
on an opening sentence element
The structure and shape of the text
A unit of poetic meter containing one unstressed syllable
followed by one stressed syllable -/
Where the rhyming sound occurs within a line of verse
An eight line verse
A unit of poetic meter containing five feet (10 syllables in
A poem of 14 lines, divided into an octet and a sestet,
written in iambic pentameter, rhyming abbaabbba cdecde
(sestet may vary)
A four-line verse
The pattern of syllables and stresses within poetry
A six-line verse
A poem of 14 lines, divided into three quatrains and a
couplet, written in iambic pentameter, rhyming abab cdcd
efef gg
The division of lines in a poem, also called a verse
The type of poem e.g. sonnet, lyric, ballad, ode, narrative
poem etc.
The turning point in a sonnet

When analysing a text, the worst thing you could possibly do is dive
straight in and start analysing. There are things you need to consider
before you start writing in order for you to successfully structure
your work and analyse in sufficient depth to succeed on this course
to the required level.
First, you must GASP at the text, whatever it may be. Youve probably
guessed that GASP is one of those horrible acronyms, but it should help you
remember the process of initial consideration.
G Genre what type of text is it? Is it a leaflet, advertisement, piece of
rhetoric, transcript of somebody singing in the bath, shopping list, or maybe a
piece of high literature what is it? Once, youve answered this question, you
should begin thinking about the general linguistic conventions of such a text.
A Audience who is it written for (specifically)? So, its an advert for
chocolate, for example, but who is the target audience? Is the text trying to
appeal to men and women, old or young, rich or poor?
S Subject what is the text about? If it is an article, what is the subject
and will that have an effect on the language used?

Purpose what is it trying to do overall?

So imagine if you were confronted with, say, an introduction to a Jamie Oliver

cook book - you may be able to make the following statement:

(G) The text is the introduction to a cookbook by Jamie Oliver where he

directly addresses the reader and welcomes them in a friendly tone. (A) It
is written for people with a direct interest in cooking and, because of his
informal and approachable manner on television, it could be assumed that
a lot of people would read this who might be initially intimidated by the
notion of cooking. (S) The text details the contents of the book and what
the reader can expect from the overall publication. (P) Overall it is
attempting to entice perhaps browsers in bookshops to make a purchase,
or for people who have bought the book to take a chance on some of the
more difficult recipes within.

After thinking about the GASP you need to write your analytical essay. To
do this you will need to apply the CLIPO framework. CLIPO is not a hard
and fast rule that must be applied; however you must include all its
elements in some form within your analytical work.
C CONTEXT you need to begin your essay with a rundown of the
contextual factors that will shape the thrust of your discussion. Who has
written the text, when was it written etc? In essence, you can make this
opening to the essay something resembling the GASP paragraph.
L LEXIS or the language used. Make analytical comments on
grammar, syntax, imagery, lexical choices etc.
I INTERACTIONAL FEATURES - how does the text interact with the
audience. Look at the graphology. Are there any typographical features.
Does it address the audience directly using first person pronouns? Does it
utilise images? Are modal elements juxtaposed for effect?
P PHONOLOGICAL FEATURES are there any sound effects utilised by
the text? Is there alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia,
phonetic spelling etc?
O OVERVIEW sum up your findings and perhaps evaluate the
effectiveness of all the features that you have analysed in relation to the
points you made in the CONTEXT section, referring once again to GASP.

In theory, now you have the makings of a decent essay.

However, there is one last framework that you have to now
apply to this skeleton in order to flesh it out and proclaim
Im a top notch essay!

At school, you will probably have been told to use POINT, EVIDENCE &
EVALUATION when analysing texts.
Were going to be a little bit more grown up here at College (well, a bit
anyway) so from now on well use CQA. Once, youve GASP(ed) and
planned your analytical essay with CLIPO, every single point you make
must follow thusly:
C COMMENT okay, so youve spotted a feature of language so now
you need to mention it. Go on write a declarative sentence. Thats all you
need to do. Just come out and say it!
Q QUOTE oh? Does the text really utilise synecdoche to create a
parallel image to the central notion that the concept of robots symbolise a
whole totalitarian society of emotionless drudgery. What an excellent
comment. Although an examiner will always want proof that you know
what youre talking about and that you arent trying to merely create a
good impression with waffled terms. Prove it! Follow up your comment with
a direct quote from the text to support your astute claims.
A ANALYSIS Going good so far. Youve commented well and proved it
with a quote. Now analyse the quote in depth. Discuss the effect of the
notion youve outlaid in the comment and relate it to GASP. For example,
why is it using metaphor? How does the metaphor work? Why will the
intended audience appreciate this particular metaphor? Is it a clich? If it is
a rather commonly understood metaphor, used in wider circles, then what
effect does this have on the audience? Is it usual for this type of text to
utilise imagery like this?

This is how you write a good essay. This is how you

get the top grades. This booklet is just about the
best thing ever remember love it, hug it and itll
just hug you right back.