A while back I devoted a blog post to the subject of curious literary terms. This is the second and final instalment. The following literary terms are presented in alphabetical order.
Beast Fable — A narrative with speaking animals for characters. These didactic texts aim to teach us lessons about morality. George Orwell’s Animal Farm is one beast fable we are all familiar with.
Bowdlerise — A form of censorship that entails removing perceived indecent, immoral and/or pornographic words/passages from a narrative.
Eye Dialect — The use of unconventional spellings to signify conventional pronunciation. For example, ‘She shud of left by now’ in place of ‘She should have left by now.’
Oneiromancy — The belief that the future can be predicted by analysing dreams.
Onomatopoeia — Words that mimic sounds, e.g. a buzzing bee, or a crackling fire.
Ornamentalism — An elaborate prose style in which the manner of narration is more important than its content. Vladimir Nabokov was an ardent devotee.
Pandect — A book purporting to contain all conceivable information on a given subject.
Portmanteau — A portmanteau combines two or more words to form a new word that expresses a single idea that is different from its component parts. Take brunch, a combination of two words, breakfast and lunch.
Prosopopoeia — A type of personification in which inanimate objects have the ability to speak.
Synecdoche — A device in which a part of a given thing represents the whole, or vice versa. If only I had some wheels (wheels are merely part of a car, but are representative of the whole).
Wanderjahr — A time in a character’s life when they diverge from their usual routine i.e. travelling, gap year etc.
Verbiage — Superfluous words in a sentence that detract from its impact.
Zeitgeist — The trends and fashions that represent the essence of a period in time.
Zoomorphic — Relating to a deity that is believed to take the form of an animal.