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AP Language and Composition Terms Terms to use for primary targets of analysis

In the world of AP exams, the pneumonic device DIDLS is used to help students remember the devices they can (or should) analyze. DIDLS represents the first five of these terms. Tone is an important additional device for this list. 1. Diction—The choice of words in oral and written discourse. Remember that you will need to modify this word as you use it, so that you won't merely refer to the writer's general use of diction (since all writers use diction—a synonym for "words"), but you'll refer to the writer's use of some particular form of diction, such as the diction of common speech, poetic diction, lofty diction, lowly diction, common diction, academic diction, theological diction, etc. Look at the words that jump out at you. Here are some more ways to evaluate diction: words can be monosyllabic (one syllable in length) or polysyllabic (more than one syllable in length). Words can be mainly colloquial (slang), informal (conversational), formal (literary) or old-fashioned. Words can be mainly denotative (containing an exact meaning, but it’s rare to need to include the dictionary definition in your analysis) or connotative (containing suggested meaning). Words can be concrete (specific) or abstract (general or conceptual). Words can euphonious (pleasant sounding, e.g., languid, murmur) or cacophonous (harsh sound, e.g., raucous, croak). You aren’t going far enough at all in precision if you only note that a word sounds negative or positive. Be precise in defining its diction. Also, diction isn't the same as imagery. If you point out a word like "beating" and call it diction, you're misusing the term. It's a tactile image. Note the imagery definition and see the distinction. 2. Image—A word or phrase representing something that can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt. Remember that any writer worth reading will be using vivid imagery, so your pointing out that the writer is using "vivid imagery" doesn't take you very far. Also, you can just assume that it’s known that a writer uses vivid imagery so the reader can sense it. That, too, isn’t something to note. Instead, examine the imagery and see if any one of the senses is being imaged more than the others. Then you could write about the writer's gustatory images, or her visual images, or her kinetic images, or her auditory images, etc. Once you’ve decided what sense is being accessed, then think about the appropriateness of that sense for conveying the meaning of the image. Remember, the anatomy of an image—the tenor (the idea being conveyed) and vehicle (the concrete image that carries the meaning). Image is the global term that covers figures of speech such as metaphor, simile, personification and allegory. Hence, if you note that you'll analyze imagery and metaphor, you're misunderstanding that a metaphor is an image. 3. Details—facts that are included as well as those that are omitted. AP essay prompts sometimes ask you to evaluate the writer's use of details. In this form of analysis, you'll look critically at what the writer chose to include as a way of telling the story or painting the picture. Equally important will be your assessment of what the writer chose to leave out of the picture or the story. You’ll find that your treatment of detail gets very close to your treatment of imagery.

sensuous. dull. the way an author chooses to join words into phrases. native. puritanical. Why is the sentence length effective for conveying the idea or theme? What variety of sentence lengths are present? Sentence beginnings: do you see variety or pattern in the arrangement of ideas in sentences or in paragraphs. indecent. Parallelism show equal ideas. Ellipses: a trailing off. It has some similarities with diction. casual. pretentious. Also. esoteric. but it's a more global impression of a whole piece. Compound sentence (two phrases joined by a conjunction). happening now. pedantic. Dash: interruption of a thought. obscure. AP essay prompts will also ask you to evaluate a writer's use of language. These are words that describe the entire body of words in a text. rustic. trite. detached. idiomatic. clear. poetic. lyric. Loose Sentence: details after the subject and verb. Interrogative (a question—speculative or tentative). affected. academic. conventional. expect to be asked some questions about how an author manipulates syntax. sounds. common. Syntactic structures: Juxtaposition: normally unassociated ideas. vernacular. and ideas used more than once. Construction of sentences to convey attitude: Declarative (assertive): a statement. colloquial. precise. intelligible. In the multiple choice section of the AP exam. learned. stereotyped." In this case. connotative. insincere. Language—the overall use of language. intellectual. provincial. simple. educated.4. exact. righteous. clauses. Sentence type: simple sentence: one subject and one verb. refined. obtuse. Syntax—structural or grammatical elements—is not the same as diction. Rhetorical question a question that expects no answer. scholastic. emotional. formal. not isolated bits of diction. common. undiscerning. didactic. or pattern of words. experienced. vulgar. ostentatious. Complex sentence (clauses placed in subordination). In the essay section. some prompts will ask you to analyze how the writer uses the "resources of the language. for rhythm and/or for emphasis. Syntax—The organization of language into meaningful structure. informal. euphemistic. and sentences. you should analyze all the techniques you see that apply. cultivated. melodious. tame. luscious. insipid. moralistic. romantic. Consider the following patterns and structures: Sentence length. homey. Repetition: words. cultured. unpolished. Examples of descriptions of language include the following: artificial. scholarly. for rhythm. an interjection of a thought into . every sentence has a particular syntax. pompous. dull-witted. relaxed. precise. words or phrases placed next together. you will need to analyze how syntax produces effects. suggestive. grotesque. unofficial. concrete. everyday. figurative. 5. rustic. slang. bookish. going off into a dreamlike state. folksy. for emphasis. tasteless. coarse. plain. banal. Punctuation is also included in the evaluation of syntax. passionate. reflection on a past event. academic. Periodic Sentence: details before the subject and verb. Imperative (authoritative): a command. homespun.

happy. To misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning. peaceful. vexed. punctuation (dashes.another. 9. Tone—The author's attitude toward the subject begin written about. poignant. In analyzing literature. Good authors are rarely monotone. dramatic. childish. upset. boring. fanciful. complimentary. 7." The dominating ethos or tone of a literary work. equal ideas. objective. colons). shocking. especially in expository or argumentative writing. The tone is the characteristic emotion that pervades a work or part of a work—the spirit or quality that is the work's emotional essence. but in nonfiction. Mood—the emotional tone in a work of literature. zealous. yet. an observer uses an external point of view. A story told in the first person has an internal point of view. Colon: a list. sweet. lugubrious. hollow. The voice existing in a literary work is not always identifiable with the actual views of the author (cf. and language all contribute to the understanding of tone. sentimental. sarcastic. The following are some clues to watch for shifts in tone:      key words (but. joking. periods. for emotion. horrific. condescending. didactic. Semicolon: parallel ideas. mocking. although). cold. imagery. Capitalization for emphasis (unless it's written in the time period before the regularization of spelling). a result. confused. Italics for emphasis. frivolous. 10. the insight it offers into life. Exclamation point for emphasis. a piling up of detail. or an author might have one attitude toward the audience and another toward the subject. a definition or explanation. vibrant. apologetic. 6. . dreamy. sad. nevertheless. audacious. sharp contrasts in diction. Theme—The central idea or message of a work. Voice—Real or assumed personality used by the writer or speaker. A speaker's attitude can shift on a topic. giddy. candid proud. silly. nostalgic. somber. look for shifts in tone. An enriched vocabulary enables students to use more specific and subtle descriptions of an attitude they discover in a text. An appreciation of word choice. 8. narrator and persona). detached. however. Here is a short list of simple but helpful tone words: angry. sentimental. humorous. Example: "She assumes the voice of a housewife. changes in sentence length. bitter. joyful. urgent. afraid. seductive. allusive. Think of the mood of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories versus the mood of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon. Usually theme is unstated in fictional works. sympathetic. A list of tone words is one practical method of providing a basic tone vocabulary. details. paragraph divisions. the theme may be directly stated. tired. pitiful. restrained. provocative. benevolent. sharp. contemptuous. irrelevant. Point of view—The relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to the story or subject matter of a poem.

Semantics—the branch of linguistics that studies the meaning of words. Analogies can also make writing more vivid. / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage" (Shakespeare). explicit. 12. or realist movement. .11. incisive.] by which the little surface corners and edges of men's secret and solitary lives may be joined for an instant now and then before sinking back into the darkness [.] while he learned the language (that meager and fragile thread [. Style—the consideration of style has two purposes: An evaluation of the sum of the choices an author makes in blending diction. "[. a poor player. . or a literary movement. An analogy can explain something unfamiliar by associating it with or pointing out its similarity to something more familiar. laconic.]" (Faulkner). 17. 18. Metaphor—a figure of speech that compares unlike objects. . such as the romantic. Classification of authors to a group and comparison of an author to similar authors. Trope—a generic name for a figure of speech such as image. Conceit—a witty or ingenious thought. A fanciful expression. imaginative. "Life's but a walking shadow. commonplace. rambling. and their relation to one another. Terms for Figures of Speech 13. figurative language. succinct. syntax. and other literary devices. Extended metaphor—A series of comparisons between two unlike objects. . . etc. often stated in figurative language. the word is used not in its literal sense. We can analyze and describe an author’s personal style and make judgments on how appropriate it is to the author’s purpose. 16. and metaphor. bombastic. Catachresis—a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere. their connotations. their historical and psychological development. . but in one analogous to it. An implied comparison achieved through a figurative use of words. or intellectually engaging. symbol. . transcendental. 14. a diverting or highly fanciful idea. simile. By means of such classification and comparison. we can see how an author’s style reflects and helps to define a historical period. A conceit displays intellectual cleverness as a result of the unusual comparison being made. 15. Analogy—A similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them. Some authors’ styles are so idiosyncratic that we can quickly recognize works by the same author. Styles can be called flowery. usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects. such as the Renaissance or the Victorian period.

Did you bring your Hawthorne today? . "I'm not going to tell you what will happen if you miss curfew tonight. but with thirsty ear" (MacArthur). The substituted term generally carries a more potent emotional impact. Personification—A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics."I listen vainly. 19. I'm not even going to talk about turning off the television for a month. "What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young" (George Bernard Shaw). Paradox—an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense. 21. However. 24. On the AP exam." 22. or scene—that represents something more abstract. I'm not going to talk about taking away your cell phone. Symbol/symbolism—Generally. character. the horn in Ramah. "The U. The vehicle and the tenor already have a relationship outside the text. Olympic athletes) won three gold medals" o the author for the work. Ellipsis—Omission of a word "Blow the trumpet in Gibeah. Usually a symbol is something concrete—such as an object.S. anything that represents itself and stands for something else. action. The pen (metonymic for writing) is mightier than the sword (metonymic for war) o the container for the thing contained and vice versa. (metonymic for the U. Occupation—the rhetorical strategy of claiming the intent of silence on a subject and then naming the subject. as is the jungle in Heart of Darkness. Metonymy—(Greek “changed label” or “substitute name”) A figure of speech that uses substitution. often at length. but that may yet have some truth in it. The substitution might be done in several ways: o substituting the instrument for the agent. symbols and symbolism can be much more complex. I'm not going to talk about taking the keys to your car.S. 20. However." 23. It is the substitution of one word for another which it suggests. a work’s symbols may be more complicated. try to determine what abstraction an object is a symbol for and to what extent it is successful in representing that abstraction.

26. by denying the contrary of the thing being affirmed.o the sign (symbol) for the thing signified. 25. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song title." 27. In literature. phrase." (substituting the clothing of the priest for name “priest”) “The White House (metonymic for president) declared” rather than “the President declared” "By the sweat of thy brow (metonymic for physical labor) thou shalt eat thy bread.” is an example.” Different from metonymy. with charity for all" (Lincoln). or sentence. or the name of a material stands for the thing itself. etc. as in pigskin for football. Litotes—litotes—a form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity. 28. Ex: The sight of red ants makes you itchy. Tautology—repetition of an idea in a different word. in an orchestra as “the strings. to refer to a car as “wheels”. “doublet and hose (metonymic for male) ought to show itself courageous to petticoat (metonymic for female)” "He is a man of the cloth. synesthesia refers to the practice of associating two or more different senses in the same image. " "He is not a bad dancer." " War is not healthy for children and other living things. "With malice toward none. Synecdoche—(A form of metonymy). (notice both clauses mean essentially the same thing) It is what it is. to refer to the violins. Terms for rhetorical strategies . "A few unannounced quizzes are not inconceivable. Litotes is the opposite of hyperbole. synesthesia—when one kind of sensory stimulus evokes the subjective experience of another. A figure of speech using substitution in which o o o a part signifies the whole (fifty masts for fifty ships) or the whole signifies the part (days for life. as in "He lived his days under African skies"). To refer to a boat as a “sail”. violas.” (metonymic for earning one’s sustenance) o the cause for the effect and vice versa. in which one thing is represented by another thing that is commonly physically associated with it (but is not necessarily a part of it). “Taste the Pain.

Compare to pathos. It works hand in hand with ethos. Sometimes an author engages all five senses in description. Wit—the quickness of intellect and the power and talent for saying brilliant things that surprise and delight by their unexpectedness. Persuasive writing is a type of argumentation having an additional aim of urging some form of action. place. Those means of persuasion can be generally divided among logos (the logical appeal. useful for moving the audience to action. invent. bathos—the use of insincere or overdone sentimentality. but it isn’t the same as humor. rhetoric—the ancient art of finding the best available means of persuasion. by presenting sound reasoning. a higher form of emotional appeal. or the world at large. 32. relevant evidence. discussion. Verisimilitude—Similar to the truth. 36. Persona—The role or façade that a character/speaker assumes or depicts to the reader. ethos (the ethical appeal. or visually present a person. (b) The purpose of argumentation is to prove the validity of an idea. 33. and pathos (the pathetic or emotional appeal. 34. and appropriate discussion. conventions. 3o. or point of view. 31. considered the strongest appeal by the Greeks). 35. otherwise known as the credibility of the speaker or the moral claims of the argument). the quality of realism in a work that persuades readers that they are getting a vision of life as it is. It often uses humor. but dangerous when used merely to manipulate the audience's actions or thoughts by use of its emotional vulnerabilities). This writing mode frequently uses the tools of descriptive writing. and purposes of the major kinds of writing.29. Descriptive writing may be straightforward and objective or highly emotional and subjective. Dramatic irony—A circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character. and argument that thoroughly convince the reader. event or action so that the reader can picture that being described. good descriptive writing can be sensuous and picturesque. The four most common rhetorical modes (often referred to as “modes of discourse”) are as follows: (a) The purpose of exposition (or expository writing) is to explain and analyze information by presenting an idea. the ethical attitude of this speaker. a viewer. d) The purpose of narration is to tell a story or narrate an event or series of events. rhetorical modes—This flexible term describes the variety. the power to comment subtly and pointedly on the foibles of the passing scene. The AP language exam essay questions are frequently expository topics. (c) The purpose of description is to recreate. Grotesque—Characterized by distortions or incongruities .

it is simply cruel or banal. .”) 38. “Milton. Pathetic fallacy—Faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or non-human objects. pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment. An emotionally violent. Prince Hal calls the large character of Falstaff “this sanguine coward. 42. (For example.” sarcasm involves bitter. When well done. also.” In “Ode to a Grecian Urn. 44. and thoughtful statement. such as liberty or love. Sarcasm—From the Greek meaning “to tear flesh. a sudden turn from the general audience to address a specific group or person or personified abstraction absent or present. 39. William Wordsworth addresses John Milton as he writes. 43.” Keats addresses the urn itself: “Thou still unravished bride of quietness.37. thou shouldst be living at this hour: / England hath need of thee. A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction. witty. circumlocution. 41. Epigram—A concise but ingenious. when poorly done. often implying ridicule or light sarcasm. this bedpresser. Aphorism—A short. verbal denunciation or attack using strong. this huge hill of flesh. Irony—a mode of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is stated. It is an address to someone or something that cannot answer. Periphrasis—The use of an unnecessarily long or roundabout form of expression. Julius Caesar. Judge. abusive language. how dearly Caesar loved him. in Henry IV. O you gods. In “The Rape of the Lock. a denunciation.” "For Brutus. this horseback breaker. but not all ironic statements are sarcastic (that is. caustic language that is meant to hurt or ridicule someone or something. Apostrophe—Direct address. There stands a structure of majestic frame. usually to someone or something that is not present. Invective—a direct verbal assault. forever crowned with flowers. Which for the neighb’ring Hampton takes its name (Pope)." Shakespeare. Many apostrophes imply a personification of the object addressed. intended to ridicule). It may use irony as a device.” Pope elaborates the statement “Hampton court is on the Thames near Hampton”: Close by those meads. The effect may add familiarity or emotional intensity. Where Thames with pride surveys his rising towers. 40. was Caesar's angel. sarcasm can be witty and insightful. as you know.

This independent clause is preceded by a phrase or clause that cannot stand alone. but good satire. Irony is a tone). literary. There are many more possibilities. and a work may simultaneously use multiple layers of allusion. I arrived at the San Diego airport. followed by dependent grammatical units such as phrases and clauses. 48. subject-verb-object. I arrived at the San Diego airport after a long. sentence. Terms for Analyzing the Rhetoric of Syntax 49. the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support. A work containing many loose sentences often seems informal. or mythical. and sarcasm. 'What shall I do?'" Luke 16 46. The main idea of the sentence is presented first and is then followed by one or more subordinate clauses. parody. "Then the steward said within himself. relaxed. The effects of satire are varied. Satire—A work that targets human vices and follies or social institutions and conventions for reform or ridicule." Satire is a genre or a style. or do. is thought provoking and insightful about the human condition. place. i. such as an event. of a word. Allusion—A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known. or conversational. often humorous. the clause would be a complete sentence. 51. religious. Ambiguity—The multiple meanings. either intentional or unintentional. phrase. topical.45. Allusions can be historical. . caricature. bumpy ride and multiple delays. If a period were placed at the end of the independent clause. It can be recognized by the many devices used effectively by the satirist: irony. In other words. Aporia—expression of doubt (often feigned) by which a speaker appears uncertain as to what he should think. Loose sentence—A sentence that follows the customary word order of English sentences. book. Elliptical construction—A sentence containing a deliberate omission of words.. hyperbole. 50. say. Periodic sentence—A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end." (The verb was is omitted from the second clause).e. The opposite of loose sentence. bumpy flight and multiple delays. The effect of a periodic sentence is to add emphasis and structural variety. After a long. depending on the writer’s goal. In the sentence "May was hot and June the same. It is also a much stronger sentence than the loose sentence. or work of art. myth. (Do not use interchangeably the words "satire" and "irony. A type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) comes first. wit. 47. or passage. understatement.

"We shall not flag or fail. because. He has called . who.” The antecedent of “it” is . Clause—A grammatical unit that contains both a subject and a verb. An independent. (The Italicized phrase is the subordinate clause. Japan invaded Manchukuo—without warning. A dependent. ? [answer: “all truth”]. Epistrophe—repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses. we shall defend our island. He has forbidden . Italy invaded Ethiopia—without warning. clauses or lines. this word group contains both a subject and a verb (plus any accompanying phrases or modifiers). we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. or main. In 1935. we shall fight on the beaches. Antecedent—The word. . it does not express a complete thought. The AP language exam occasionally asks for the antecedent of a given pronoun in a long. phrase. clause expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence.] As slow I walk [. 54. A question from the 2001 AP test as an example follows: “But it is the grandeur of all truth which can occupy a very high place in human interests that it is never absolutely novel to the meanest of minds. since. 53. . we shall fight in the hills. We shall go on to the end. ten years ago. Also called a dependent clause. We shall never surrender" (Churchill). . "As from my tent [. whatever the cost may be. we shall fight on the seas and oceans. complex sentence or in a group of sentences. Hitler occupied Austria—without warning. if. These easily recognized key words and phrases usually begin these clauses: although. Anaphora—the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases. needing to be developed but never to be planted. in the lowest as in the highest. cannot stand alone as a sentence and must be accompanied by an independent clause. In 1939. how and that. we shall fight on the landing grounds. or subordinate clause." 55. but unlike the independent clause. the non-italicized part of the sentence is the independent clause). unless. Hitler invaded . .  Subordinate clause—Like all clauses. where. we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. . Later in 1939. or clause referred to by a pronoun. . even though. We shall fight in France. . The point that you want to consider is the question of what or why the author subordinates one element. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia—without warning.]" (Whitman). . it exists eternally. by way of germ of latent principle. as soon as. when. He has dissolved . . "In 1931. . the subordinate clause depends on a main clause (or independent clause) to complete its meaning. while. the subordinate clause cannot stand alone. . "He has refused . . Example: Yellowstone is a national park in the West that is known for its geysers.52. . . In 1938.

The effects of parallelism are numerous. Asyndeton—lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases. This can involve. this is also an intentional comma splice). . (notice. moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue" (Barry Goldwater). it was the age of foolishness. it was the worst of times. and in council skill'd" (Addison). "Not that I loved Caesar less. 58. 56. clauses. Two corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels (a-b-a-b) but in inverted order (a-b-b-a). or words. 59. "Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always" (MacArthur). . this term comes from Greek root meaning “beside one another. it was the epoch of incredulity [. clause). And now Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand—and the United States—without warning" (Franklin D. "Renown'd for conquest. but that I loved Rome more" (Shakespeare).Also referred to as parallel construction or parallel structure.” It refers to the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words. from shape of the Greek letter chi (X). it was the age of wisdom. sentences. and for the people" (Lincoln). but frequently they act as an organizing force to attract the reader’s attention. Congeries—A heaping together and piling up of many words that have a similar meaning. The repetition of phrases or clauses of equal length and corresponding grammatical structure. but is not limited to. "a government of the people. Roosevelt). oafish. it was the epoch of believe. add emphasis and organization. Opposition or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction. . Isocolon—A form of parallelism. Antithesis—a form of parallelism. obnoxious. "The vases of the classical period are but the reflection of classical beauty. or simply provide a musical rhythm.]” (Dickens)." 60. or paragraphs to give structural similarity. “It was the best of times. repetition of a grammatical element such as a preposition or verbal phrase. 61. Chiasmus—a form of parallelism. by the people. "The bigger they are. phrase. the harder they fall. impolite. Parallelism—The repetition of identical or similar syntactic elements (word. phrases. "This morning you have been rude. the vases of the archaic period are beauty itself" (Sir John Beazley).Poland—without warning. "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." 57.

we cannot dedicate." (notice. “As we ran." 65. we cannot hallow this ground" (Lincoln). 'I don't know who killed him but he's dead all right. 64. 62.' and it was dark and there was water standing in the street and no lights and windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff and went out and found my boat where I had her inside Mango Bay and she was all right only she was full of water" (Hemingway). Polysyndeton—the repetition of conjunctions in a series of coordinate words. we sang and told jokes. conclusion: Therefore. "I said. construction). this sentence also uses anaphora). meet any hardships. phrases. rather than a subordinate. "Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist thy image" ( William C. A frequently cited example proceeds as follows: major premise: All men are mortal.” a syllogism (or syllogistic reasoning or syllogistic logic) is a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises (the first one called “major” and the second called “minor”) that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion. in a larger sense. bear any burden. this sentence is also an example of anaphora). 'Who killed him?' and he said."We shall pay any price. Logical Fallacies and Argumentative Flaws . "In silent night when rest I took" ( Anne Bradstreet). Hypotaxis—An arrangement of clauses or phrases in a dependent or subordinate relationship. "We ran. support any friend. 66. we sang. Bryant). oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty" (Kennedy) "But. Syllogisms may also present the specific idea first (“Socrates”) and the general second (“all men”). we told jokes. or clauses. often for the effect of emphasis or to maintain the meter. Socrates is a mortal. we cannot consecrate. "Happy I am" (Yoda). Parataxis—Clauses or phrases arranged independently (a coordinate. Syllogism—From the Greek for “reckoning together. 63. (notice. A syllogism’s conclusion is valid only if each of the two premises is valid. Inversion—The usual word order is rearranged. minor premise: Socrates is a man.

Imagine a fight in which one of the combatants sets up a man of straw. Begging the Question—a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. is the human use of fire "natural"? Is it "natural" for people to wear clothes? The vagueness of the notion of naturalness does not mean that it is useless. an appeal to nature which is based on a borderline case will be unsound because it will be unclear whether its premise is true or false. Appeal to nature—What is logically wrong with appealing to nature? One problem is that the concept of the natural is vague. First. 70. yet it is easy to lose track of it. This is especially clear in particularly blatant cases: "X is true. For instance. to call something "natural" is not simply to describe it. this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). Another problem is that the word "natural" is loaded with a positive evaluation. circumstances. The evidence for this claim is that X is true." 69. attacks it. Any argument in which the premises are logically unrelated to the conclusion commits this fallacy. Thus. this fallacy involves two steps. much like the word "normal. while others can be extremely subtle. This frequently occurs during debates when there is an implicit topic. then they would not be prohibited by the law. smoked herring. a "red herring" argument is one which distracts the audience from the issue in question through the introduction of some irrelevancy. Red Herring—This is the most general fallacy of irrelevance. Typically. and in the context is required to do so. By extension. which is red in color. 68. . However." So. since there are many clear cut cases of the natural and the unnatural. or actions of the person reporting the claim). This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because simply assuming that the conclusion is true (directly or indirectly) in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. then proclaims victory. Obviously. "If such actions were not illegal. Second. but instead attacks a position—the "straw man"—not held by his opponent or one which makes his opponent’s position seem simplistic or blatantly immoral. simply assuming a claim is true does not serve as evidence for that claim." "The belief in God is universal.67. After all. the real opponent stands by untouched. All the while. because it is memorable and vividly illustrates the nature of the fallacy. her circumstances. but to praise it. everyone believes in God. an attack against the character of person making the claim. or her actions is made (or the character." Some cases of question begging are fairly blatant. 71. is dragged across the trail of the fox to throw the hounds off the scent. Ad Hominem—a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. The Straw Man is a type of Red Herring because the arguer is attempting to refute his opponent's position. it applies to any argument in which the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. Straw man argument—one of the best-named fallacies. The name of this fallacy comes from the sport of fox hunting in which a dried.

Aspirates—strong breath or a release of a strong burst of air. and it is "loaded" with that presumption. 78. "The little boy lost his show in the field. evaluative meaning in addition to its primary. Loaded language—A word or phrase is "loaded" when it has a secondary. and which at the end of a syllable suddenly stops that breath.72. When language is "loaded. Loaded question—A question with a false. not caring. or question-begging presupposition. 76. thy will be done. Liquids—four of consonants are liquids: l. in ak. A loaded word is like a loaded gun. and r. 77. and its evaluative meaning is the bullet. z (as in buzz) and the blend sh (as in whoosh). " "and land so lightly And roll back down the mound beside the hole" (Robert Frost). with a stick whipping goldenrod" (Robert Penn Warren). Examples Unloaded Loaded Plant Weed Animal Beast 73. as k. Home he hobbled. They create a fluid sound. Assonance—The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds. “Phew!” 79. The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife. p. A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition. The problem with it is that the logic of the argument isn’t convincing the reader as much as the language is pushing the reader’s buttons. c ( as in certain). n. 80." it is loaded with its evaluative meaning. Sound elements 74. disputed. t. Onomatopoeia—The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning. Consonance—The repetition of two or more consonant sounds in a group of words or a line of poetry. 75. birds chirp. Sibilance—the sss sound produced through the pronunciation of the sibilants: s (as in hiss and his). Mutes—A mute is a consonant that cannot be sounded at all without a vowel. descriptive meaning. ap. m. The . Bees buzz. "Thy kingdom come. cows moo. at. thunder rumbles.

t. d. B. The term plosive is reserved for oral (non-nasal) stops: that is. —Lucille Clifton 81. Plosives—A stop. plosive. or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. g. and c hard— sound exactly alike. as if I sculpted it with my own hands. p.mutes are eight: b. Three of these—k. I did not. and c and g hard. q. [t]. [m]. and g hard stop the voice less suddenly than the rest. [k]. [n]. d . k. . stops with a release burst [p]. —I am accused of tending to the past as if I made it.

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