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Glossary of Grammatical & Rhetorical Terms

An extensive glossary of grammatical and rhetorical terms used in the study of the English language. Definitions are accompanied by examples and by cross-references to expanded discussions elsewhere on About.com Grammar & Composition.
  1. Abbreviation - Buzzword (230)
  2. Cacography - Cut Spelling (204)
  3. Daffynition - Dysphemism (121)
  4. Echo Question - Eye Dialect (114)
  5. Fable - Hysteron Proteron (160)
  6. Icon - Lower Case (217)
  7. Main Clause - Oxymoron (170)
  8. Paired Construction - Quotative (235)
  9. RAS Syndrome - Systrophe (288)
  10. Taboo - Zimbabwean English (171)

100 Key Grammatical Terms
Drawn from our extensive Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms, this collection provides a quick review of the basic terminology used in the study of traditional English grammar. For a more detailed examination of the word forms and sentence structures introduced here, click on any of the terms to visit a glossary page, where you will...

Language Lessons From "The Simpsons"
Can wisecracks from the likes of Sideshow Bob, Krusty the Clown, and Linguo the Grammar Robot endure alongside passages from Shakespeare, Twain, and Churchill? Probably not. But for your momentary edification and amusement, here are some brief language lessons from "The Simpsons."

There's a Name for It
You'll find many familiar names in our Glossary of Grammatical & Rhetorical Terms--names for the traditional parts of speech, logical fallacies, and figures of speech, for example. But even diehard language lovers may be surprised by some of the weird, witty, and wonderful items we've collected. Here are 20 of our favorite linguistic terms.

There's Another Name for It
As noted in the first edition of There's a Name for It, you'll find many familiar words and expressions in our extensive Glossary of Grammatical & Rhetorical Terms. But you'll also find some less familiar terms--playful words like "squish" and "gadzookery" alongside such obscurities as "iterative," "antonomasia," and "matrix." All provide...

There's a Name for It (Part Three)
Hobson-Jobsonism, lazy pronouns, burlesque metaphors, and garden-path sentences: you'll find definitions and examples of these and many more witty and wonderful language-related terms here in part three of There's a Name for It.

What Is a Ghost Word?
"Phantomnation" is a perfect example of a ghost word--a word that exists only in a dictionary and has never actually been used.

Top 25 Grammatical Terms We Should Have Learned in School
If you're in the mood to brush up on your grammar, this page is for you: brief definitions and examples of 25 of the most common grammatical terms.

Figures, Tropes, & Other Rhetorical Terms
These lists are intended to help you identify figures, tropes, and other rhetorical strategies and devices.

Top 20 Rhetorical Terms That We Never Learned in School*
There are hundreds of figures and tropes. And while we may not recognize their names, we use and hear many of these devices every day. So let's take a look at 20 uncommon words (most of them Latin or Greek) for some fairly common rhetorical strategies.

Uncommon Terms for Common Rhetorical Strategies
As a sequel to the article "Rhetorical Terms That We Never Learned in School," here are 20 uncommon words for some fairly common rhetorical strategies.

Monty Python's "Announcement for People Who Like Figures of Speech"
Monty Python's "Announcement for People Who Like Figures of Speech" not only identifies over 30 figurative devices but deftly and accurately illustrates most of them as well. To assist readers who may not be acquainted with such exotic figures as hypallage and zeugma, we have conscientiously annotated the Python team's disquisition with links to definitions and additional examples in our Glossary…

Rhetorical Study Questions: Figures of Speech in Context
These ten study questions invite you to consider some of the functions of figurative language in the context of particular poems, essays, speeches, and other texts.

AP English Language and Composition Exam: 101 Key Terms
On these two pages you will find brief definitions of 101 grammatical, literary, and rhetorical terms that have appeared on the multiple-choice and essay portions of the AP English Language and Composition exam. For examples and more detailed explanations of the terms, follow the links to the expanded entries in our Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms.

Review Quiz: Top 20 Figures of Speech
This quiz should help you to understand and remember the terms and concepts introduced in our page on the Top 20 Figures of Speech.

The Big Quiz on Figures of Speech in Advertising Slogans
In this review quiz, we have collected 35 of the best known slogans introduced by advertisers over the past century. Your job is to choose the one figure of speech that each slogan most clearly illustrates.

Review Quiz: Rhetorical Terms
This quiz should help you to understand, distinguish, and remember many of the rhetorical terms in our glossary.

Quiz on Commonly Confused Figures of Speech
This review quiz should help you to remember and distinguish the names of some of the less well-known but still important figures of speech.

Grammatical & Rhetorical Terms: Bibliography
A list of works consulted for definitions of grammatical and rhetorical terms.

Copyediting Terms
Copyediting is the work that an editor does to improve a manuscript and prepare it for publication. Here we reveal some of the jargon of the copyediting trade: 140 terms and abbreviations used by editors in their efforts to produce copy that is clear, correct, concise, consistent, and comprehensible.

Other Online Glossaries of Grammatical Terms
The four glossaries listed here are among the very best grammar glossaries available on the web.

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