Language Technique Alliteration

Definition The repetition of consonants at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals An allusion is a reference to, or representation of, a place, event, literary work, myth, or work of art, either directly or by implication. A construction involving a break in grammatical sequence - particularly common in conversational speech where we jump from one thought to another without using linking grammar. Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.

Example Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness. - Milton. Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. - Alfred Tennyson. “I bathed in the Euphrates…” - A Negro Speaks of Rivers makes use of historical allusion. I warned him that if he continues to drink...what will become of him? Should we go to the...Oh my God, did anyone just see that? The analogy between the heart and a pump.

Effect In regular writing and speech, alliteration provides emphasis, and sometimes aids in memory because it is catchy and perhaps humorous. For instance, if you title your speech "The Menace of Money" rather than "Money is Bad," people will be more likely to remember it. In poetry, sometimes it adds to the spoken form of a poem as well (many poets consider the spoken form of a poem part of the art). It allows the author to incorporate other texts into their own text and therefore imports new meanings. It is often used for humorous effect or to create an 'in-joke' where the reader gains satisfaction by 'getting' the reference and seeing themselves (and possibly the product in question) as witty and intelligent. Sometimes used for rhetorical effect. It adds a pause where the reader/listener can think and take the sentence in. It also helps to represent true human speech and how we think in fragmented, non-logical patterns.




Comparing one thing to another to simplify the meaning of it. This process often creates simple images for the reader/listener to consider in order to help them understand more complex ideas. Using two strongly contrasting ideas in juxtaposition can create tension and can also draw the readers attention to the space inbetween the two extremes.


The direct or exact opposite

Hope is the antithesis of despair.

Language Technique Assonance

Definition The repetition of vowel sounds which in turn creates internal rhyming within phrases or sentences. Assonance together with alliteration (repeating the beginning letter of a word) and consonance (repeating the ending of a word sound) serves at the building blocks of verse. A balanced sentence is a sentence which employs a parallel structure of approximately the same length and importance. It is a sentence with two clauses of fairly equal length and clarity.

Example 1) Do you like blue? 2) And murmuring of innumerable bees 3) Hear the mellow wedding bells

Effect Assonance helps with the flow of the verse (especially in poetry), however it is used a lot in advertising to catch consumers' eyes. Assonance can help to tie the verse together with the correct rhythm, and it also pushes the words forward. The main effect of a balanced effect is to highlight the differences and the similarities in the sentence. It also parallels the two parts of the sentence to highlight the important ideas within the sentence as well.

Balanced Sentence


A trite or overused expression, often a figure of speech whose effectiveness has been worn out through overuse and excessive familiarity.

Circumlocuti on

An indirect expression which uses more words than necessary to express an idea.

1) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... 2) White chickens lay white eggs, and brown chickens lay brown eggs; so if white cows give white milk, do brown cows give chocolate milk? 3) Control it before it controls you 1) Can't get a word in edgewise 2) Saved by the bell 3) Take the day off 4) Wearing your heart on your sleeve 5) You're no spring chicken "An electronic cupboard with a series of drawers to put your food in to make it cold." (refrigerator) "He is no longer with us." (he died)

A cliché is used in modern culture for an action or idea which is expected or predictable, based on a prior event. It is likely to be used pejoratively. A cliché may sometimes be used in a work of fiction for comedic effect. Circumlocution can be used as a form of euphemism, implying that the author is reluctant to mention a particular word or idea due to it being upsetting to themselves or their audience. It may add ambiguity which can have a humorous effect or make an idea seem more significant than it actually is. By extending an idea, the author is also able to create suspense.

Colloquialis m

An informal expression that is more often used in casual conversation than in formal speech or writing - often only makes sense in the country or culture

"Friends of the chancellor revealed that he had described Labour MSPs as disappointing 'numpties,'" - a

of origin.

colloquialism meaning idiots. She was recently dumped by her fiancé. "Sweet as"

Language Technique Connotatio n

Definition Connotation is an emotional meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language, i.e. emotional association with a word.

Example A stubborn person may be described as being either strongwilled or pig-headed. Although these have the same literal meaning (i.e. stubborn), strongwilled connotes admiration for the level of someone's will, while pigheaded connotes frustration in dealing with someone. "Fierce-throated beauty! Roll through my chant with all thy lawless music, thy swinging lamps at night." – from Walt Whitman’s “To a Locomotive Winter”

Effect By making careful word choice based on connotations, a writer can easily change how we view a character or product. An advertiser will always ensure they use words with strongly positive connotations to paint their product in a positive light - by investigating



A disagreement, whether in terms of sounds (as in music) or a conflict of people’s opinions or actions. A lack of harmony. In poetry dissonance is the deliberate use of inharmonious syllables/words/phrases in order to create a harshtoned effect. A less offensive term used to replace a word considered offensive, rude or harsh. These are statements that have been exaggerated used to provoke a vivid image or a strong impression. However, they

Dissonance is used deliberately in poetry to create a harsh-toned effect.

“The wrong side of the blanket” – born out of wed-lock. “Pushing up daisies” – dead. “Powder your nose” – go to the bathroom "I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse right now" - whereas the speaker probably physically could never eat an entire horse.

The purpose of a euphemism is to be able to communicate a message in a less direct or less offensive way, so as to make the situation less awkward or uncomfortable. Hyperbole's often have a comic effect and are useful for the author to show the extremity of a character's feelings or attitudes. It blows things up to abnormal proportions so that the reader becomes aware of the author's desire to draw attention to a certain aspect within their writing.



are not meant to be taken literally. These are verbs used to give orders/commands. Imperatives are used when you want people to listen to you and follow your instructions. It gives the speaker a sense of authority. It can occasionally . Definition

Give me the pen" - there is no hint of a question asked; this is a demand “Give” is the imperative here.

Imperatives demand action and so are really valuable for advertisers as they can be used to incite action in the reader. This creates a sense of immediacy in the writing in an attempt to get people to go out and buy now!

Languag e Techniqu e Irony



A form of sarcasm. For example hypocrisy, deception.

An example of this: "If a tow truck got towed away it would be an ironic situation."

The effect of irony is a dry humorous one.


Technical language specific to a particular area or subject.

“I have a 5gb RAM.”

Malapropi sm

A substitution of a word for a word with a similar sound.


A metaphor is an analogy between two objects or ideas,

"Why not? Play captains against each other, create a little dysentery in the ranks." - the correct word here would be dissension, our understanding of this makes the speaker look foolish. "Her hair is straw"

The effect of jargon is to sound intellectual. This is particularly useful for advertisers who want to play up to people's desires for the latest technology. Jargon makes the product seem more advanced and so not only plays on people's desires for the latest tech, but also includes the reader in the ad as the reader must know what the word refers to if they are to fully understand the intention of the ad. The effect of malapropism is to create a comic effect. It often shows the lack of education of a speaker who is trying to sound more intelligent than they actually are.

The effect of this is to create a poetic and descriptive imagery. This has particularly emotive effect - the choice of

conveyed by the use of a word instead of another.


A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated.

"Broadway" as a substitute for the word 'musical' or the theatre district in New York.

metaphor determines how we see the object. It determines whether we see it positively or negatively, as beautiful or ugly, etc. Advertisers will aim to use metaphors that associate their products with objects and emotions that have positive connotations in order to make their products seem more desirable. The effect here is to draw on cultural knowledge to make a point more informally. It links somewhat to metaphor as it uses words that have more imagery attached to them Broadway has much more flamboyant and sophisticated imagery attached to it than saying 'the theatre district'.

Language Technique Onomatopoei a

Definition The formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent. Is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. A statement or proposition that seems selfcontradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

Example the moan of doves in immemorial elms, And murmuring of innumerable bees.

Effect You can imagine the sounds of the animals easily . Creates atmosphere by bringing sound into the writing and therefore drawing on a different sense response from the reader.


"And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true" “Agree to disagree”

Intentionally used for rhetorical effect, by emphasising the contradictory terms used. The effect is also for humour The confusion that arises in these statements draws the readers attention to the statement The effect of a paradox is initially to confuse the reader in order to gain their attention - this is similar to how oxymoron's work. The effect is less humourous here and demands that the reader engage with the statement in order to make sense of it. The 'oddness' of the statement gives it memorable qualities and associations of cleverness, which can be valuable tools for advertisers.


"War is peace." "Freedom is slavery." "Ignorance is strength." (George Orwell, 1984) "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."


A recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.

Personificatio n

Personification is a metaphor in where an animal, object or abstract idea is given human qualities.

In ‘The Sixth Sense’, a motif is the colour red. The character Cole wears a red jersey, a red balloon floats up toward the attic in the birthday party scene, Bruce Willis's character Malcolm jiggles a red doorknob several times. " the house was mocking me.." "I could feel the sand tickling my toes.."

Motifs convey important themes or ideas in literature or film. Can be used to connect different scenes or points in time. In advertising a motif may link a number of different ads in order to connect them together as a single campaign. This allows TV, web and print advertising to link together and work together to further bombard the consumer with a single campaign rather than individual, fragmented ads. Personification is able to bring inanimate objects and ideas to life, possibly making them more dramatic, appealing and interesting. It can also promote a new way of looking at something and helps the author to convey a certain mood. In the case of animals, Personification can make their emotions and appearance seem more relevant to humans and can also help the author to convey a specific idea about them.

Language Technique Polysyllabic words

Definition A word consisting of more than three syllables.

Example "extraordinary", "polysallabic", "irrepressible"

Effect the use of polysyllabic words adds sophistication and the effect this has on the reader is that it makes what the seller is trying to sell seem more complex. it also gives more definition to the product and better describes the product. A pun can be used as a comedic device bringing humour to a text which can help the text become more informal or draw the reader in by ‘sharing’ a joke with them. It can also be used to help make something more memorable – Tiecoon Tie Shop for example.



The humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words. The simple repeating of a

“Have you heard about that online origami store? It folded.” “The student was an aggressive learner - he hit the books.”

“I rise

This is a simple device that is used to draw attention to a

Rhetorical Question

word, within a sentence or a poetical line, with no particular placement of the words, in order to emphasise. This is such a common literary device that it is almost never even noted as a figure of speech. It is a figure of speech in form of a question without the expectation of a reply.

I rise I rise” – Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise Langston Hughes’ repetition of the word ‘river’ in A Negro Speaks of Rivers "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?" “Does my sassiness upset you?” – Maya Angelou in Still I Rise. 'The road was like a ribbon of moonlight.'

particular idea. It could be closely related to the idea of motif in the way that it brings a reader/viewer back to a familiar element in a text and so allows them to draw links between different parts of a text – or different parts of an advertising campaign. Repetition helps an audience see what is important to take note of or remember.

The question is posed for its persuasive effect. It asks the reader to consider whether their 'answer' to the question fits in with what the speaker is suggesting. It asks the reader to more deeply consider an issue that they may not have taken time to consider properly. The effect is to create an unusual, interesting, emotional or other effect using the words ‘like’ and ‘as’. It is closely linked to the effect of metaphor and the way that images tie in to certain emotional responses. Advertisers will want to create images that make their products seem more desirable to their readers.


when you compare two nouns (persons, places or things) that are unlike with ‘like’ or ‘as’. It is a form of comparison which allows the two ideas to remain distinct in spite of their similarities.

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