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Glossary of Terms

Term Definition Example/s

allegory a story or situation which stands for another situation, and fable such as the Hare and the Tortoise
the whole story is symbolic.
alliteration repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words slippery snake slithered
allusion use of a reference to another story or text, either directly Achilles heel means a weak spot. This is a
or by implication reference to the story of Achilles, the Greek warrior
analogy a comparison demonstrating the similarities between to allegories, fables, parables are examples of
things, people, situations. It can be an extended analogies used in narratives
metaphor or simile that continues to provide all the
reasons why.
antagonist traditionally defined as an opponent the bad guy or anti-hero
anthropomor The representation of animal characters with human Mickey Mouse, Toad (Wind in the Willows)
phism characteristics
antithesis the opposite or contrast. Involves the balancing of one my soul soars; my body is grounded
point of view against its opposite.
assonance repetition of vowel sounds within words go home Joe
appropriation the process of taking a text from one context and using it Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – Gurinda
in another context, allowing new insights into the original Chadra’s Bride and Prejudice
caesura a pause within a line of verse to what was being said ... He was all hooks, my
and we were just the things he caught ... I can hear
him now
(extract from ‘The Tackle Box’ by Bruce Dawe)
characterisati the way in which a character is created and developed includes explanation as to background, physical
on during a text appearance, personality, strengths/weaknesses,
speech and thought
chronology refers to the sequence of events related to time linear, flashbacks
cliches a phrase or expression which was once novel, but has love at first sight, deep and meaningful, more than
been used so often that it lacks real meaning meets the eye, believe it or not
colloquial words and phrases that belong to everyday speech and How’s things?
composer the person who has created a text Artist – painting, cartoonist
Author - literature
composition the way that a whole visual text has been put together consideration of what has been included and what
and the arrangement of elements within the text has been left out
connotations the feelings, emotions, subleties suggested by a word or Father – formal relationship
phrase, as opposed to the word itself. The extra meanings Dad – casual, close relationship
that we (readers/receivers) of texts apply to words. Daddy – close, affectionate relationship with a
young child
Home – (a building) warmth, love, belonging,
Loser – an insulting term implying the person is
context that which is happening in the world in which a text is social context = employment & intellectual status
composed, as well as in the world of the responder. historical context = time period
cultural context = nationality/ethnicity
couplet a two-line section of verse, often rhymed to make a But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
rhyming couplet All losses are restored and sorrows end. (Sonnet
30, Shakespeare)
deconstructio the breaking down and analysis of a text study of the parts of a text eg humour, music,
n setting
demand Used in visual texts when a figure gazes directly out of the
image at the reader demanding a response
denotation The basic or dictionary definition of a word (see Loser: person or thing that loses (see connotation)
dramatic a situation where readers or viewers (and possibly some of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. When
irony the characters) have knowledge that is hidden from a Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged sleep, he assumes
character her to be dead and kills himself. Upon awakening
to find her dead lover beside her, Juliet then kills
emotive language specifically chosen to evoke and emotional positive – gorgeous, delicate, lovely
language response from the reader/listener. Commonly used in negative – vain, fastidious, easily damaged
news media, advertising and persuasive texts.
empathy to identify with the feelings/emotions of another person
enjambment Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence or clause Perchance shall dry your pities; but I have
over a line-break. It is derived from the French word That honourable grief lodged here which burns
meaning “to straddle”. Worse than tears drown. (Shakespeare – ‘A
Winter’s Tale’)
euphemism an expression to avoid directly saying something dying – kicked the bucket, croaked it
distasteful, unpleasant or confronting redundancies – down sizing, genocide – ethnic
features details of the language used in a text prose – paragraph structure, sentence
construction, punctuation, imagery, word choice
poetry – stanza, imagery, rhyme, rhythm
Term Definition Example/s
figurative language that goes beyond the basic, factual meaning of a See simile, metaphor, personification
language word and makes a comparison that cannot be understood
as really true – See similes, metaphors, personification
form the medium of production. Form can also describe the text spoken, written or visual. News report, drama
type. script …
framing the way that the subject is placed within a visual text
genre categories of literature and films. Each genre has certain science-fiction, westerns, drama, comedy, action,
conventions that influence the composer’s choice of romance, crime …
subject matter, structure and language. The responder’s
understanding of the text is enhanced through
knowledge/expectations of genre conventions.
hyperbole the deliberate use of exaggeration for effect Hot of the press! I’ve told you a thousand times!
icons someone or something that is widely recognised in society Don Bradman, Vegemite
as encompassing valued ideals or attributes
idiom an expression or way of speaking which is peculiar to a He hit the sack. (He went to bed)
language (local people understand it to mean something
other than its literal translation)
imagery when words create a picture in the responder’s mind crisp dry paddocks (gives reader a sense of the
drought conditions)
intertextualit the relationship between other texts similar format or allusion to another text
irony o a tone that indicates that the responder is not intended o sarcasm
to read the text as it appears
o dramatic irony o when the audience knows more that some or all
o other types include contradictions of the characters
o a vegetarian who worked at McDonalds, or a
flight attendant who was afraid of enclosed
jargon technical language or words associated with a particular megs, gigs, bits (computer jargon)
topic scoop, stop-press, by-line (journalese)
juxtaposition when two things are placed side-by-side in order to if one needs to consider the concept of darkness
contrast them or draw attention to their differences or one needs to first consider light (to deduce the
similarities absence of light)
metaphor a type of image where something is said to be something The moon was a ghostly galleon
mise-en- how a film/stage scene is physically constructed includes use of lighting, props, costumes,
scene placement of characters, choice of lenses,
placement of cameras
mood the ‘feeling’ or atmosphere of a setting or the text itself. A canoe ride down rapids could be described very
positively and convey an exhilarated mood.
Alternatively the speed, and power of the water
could be described in such a manner as to create a
mood of fear and panic.
motif a recurring subject or theme in a work of art, music or the ‘splashes’ of colour that appear periodically in
literature the dark setting of Gotham City in ‘Batman’
narrator the person or voice who tells the story 1st person – the story is told by a character IN the story
3rd person limited – the story is told by an anonymous voice that
reveals some aspects of the story
3rd person omniscient – the story is told by an anonymous voice that
sees, hears and knows everything about all the characters and their
offer Visual texts in which the figure possesses an indirect gaze
that does not address the reader directly.
onomatopoei where the sound of the word itself imitates the sound bang, thump, screech, clank, pop
a being described
paradox a seemingly contradictory statement that contains a truth you have got to be cruel to be kind
or opinion
parody an imitation or mimicking of a text, especially using The Chook from Snowy River (The Man from Snowy
exaggeration to create humour River)
personificatio giving human qualities/characteristics to non-human the icy fingers of the wind
n objects
perspective the angle from which you view a text looking over the shoulder of one character to see
the face of another
protagonist central or main character the hero or subject of the text
pun a play on words, often where the words have two Lifesavers advertisement – “Get a hole lot more
meanings out of life”
reading path the movement/path of a viewer’s gaze around a visual
register the type of language chosen for a particular purpose, difference in language used by a young person
audience and context. when speaking with their friends compared to
speaking with their parents
rhetorical a question asked for which no answer is expected. It is “Do we want our children using drugs?”
questions expected that everyone will agree with the only one “If Steven jumped off a bridge, would you?”
possible answer and point being made by the speaker
rhyme the repetition of sound at the ends of words fast and last, behind and kind
rhythm the combination of stressed and unstressed syllables in I had written/ him a letter/ which I had for / want of
the way words are presented or said better
salience the prominence given to particular elements within the
composition of an image. Typically it is certain visual
techniques that create salience.
Term Definition Example/s
satire where the text pokes fun at something for the purpose of Frontline satirises current affairs programs and
criticising or ridiculing it. Cartoons are often satirical their ethics, Strictly Ballroom satirises ballroom
sibilance The presence of strongly emphasized s, sh, ch, z, j sounds "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each
in speech to create a hissing sound. purple curtain" Edgar Allen Poe
simile comparison of two objects/things using the words ‘like’ or Tom was as quick as a fox
‘as’ The diamond dazzled like the sun
slang language that is not really correct but created by bikers, chicks
particular groups in particular times
structure the organisation of a text (layout or sequence) narrative – orientation, complication, resolution
linear or non-linear arrangements
symbol/symb symbolism occurs when something in the text stands for rose – beauty
olism something abstract, such as an emotion or idea snake - evil
tenses refer to the time things occur past – John walked to school.
present – John is walking to school
future – John will walk to school
theme central idea or argument death, money, love
tone the overall mood or attitude of the text. It is often a good sarcastic, persuasive, serious, jovial
indicator of the author’s purpose in composing the text
vector lines the thing in a visual text that directs the eye of the a pointing finger directs the responder to the
responder around the text object, a line of people in a queue will direct the
responder to the beginning/end of the queue.
word choice the deliberate selection of words used by a composer to The horrific attack has left the residents in a fury.
produce a particular effect on the responder

appropriated text A text which has been taken from one context and translated into another. The process of translation
allows new insights into the original text and emphasises contextual differences between the two
context The range of personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace conditions in which a text is responded
to and composed.
conventions Accepted practices or features which help define textual forms and meaning.
genre A category of text that can be recognised by specific aspects of its subject matter, form and language.
meaning in and This expression implies that meaning variously: resides in texts, is a dynamic process through which
through texts responders engage with texts, and
· involves the incorporation of understanding gained through texts into a wider context.
textual integrity The unity of a text; its coherent use of form and language to produce an integrated whole in terms of
meaning and value.

Techniques to consider in varying texts:

generally  text structure or layout  word choice, perspective
 imagery (language & visual language)  narrative technique
film  camera angles  acting, casting
 sound  music
 editing  special effects
short story  narration  structure
 language techniques  characterisation
feature article  language techniques  structure
 layout of article  graphics
 headline  photos
painting, photos  visual images  composition
 colour  vectors
 texture
poem  poetic techniques such as rhyme, rhythm, word choice, sound devices, imagery, metaphors

song  language and poetic techniques

 musical setting
 tone
website  language techniques  links
 visual images  interactive options
 sound