14 Curious Literary Terms (Part 2)

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.

ProsopopoeiaA 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.

 

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