Stylistic Devices

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SELECTED STYLISTIC DEVICES FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING

  • Alliteration
    Repetition of words beginning with the same consonant sound. “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.”
  • Anadiplosis
    Starting a sentence with same word or phrase that ended the preceding sentence
    When I reached the top of the mountain, I could feel the clouds. The clouds were surrounding me…
  • Anaphora
    • Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive clauses or sentences
      MLK: I have a dream that the sons and daughters of slaves…I have a dream that someday little children…
  • Antanaclasis: Repeating a word or word root but using it with two different meanings. Just because the mall has empty space doesn’t mean the space is empty
  • Antithesis: Sentence constructed with contrasting words or phrases to assert a point & deny it’s oppositeSome people say race doesn’t matter, but others believe it is all that matters.
  • Assonance: Repetitive use of words that have the same vowel sound. Lie, deny, and villify.
  • Chiasmus
    Reversing the order of words or phrases to highlight contrasting ideas Some people live to eat; others eat to live.
  • Enallage: Conscious use of grammatical mistakes. “Ain’t no way I’d ever go out with him.
  • Hyperbole
    Gross exaggeration for effect
    He was such a good cook that I gained twenty pounds from that one dinner.
  • Malapropism
    Using an incorrect word that sounds similar to the correct word
    Along with abstinence, many health professionals condom safe sex (I mean condone)
  • Metaphor
    A word or phrase that suggests similarity, likeness. “Darkness tiptoed in with the stealth of burglar
  • Onomatopoeia: A word with pronunciation that sounds like what it means. “I zapped him with my electric wit.
  • Parallel structure: Repetition of the same phrase to create rhythm and suggest logical coherence. “World religions suggest we achieve spiritual awakening by renouncing worldly ties. They say we should renounce material possessions, renounce family, renounce friends, and even renounce ourselves.
  • Pun: A humorous expression constructed by using similar sounding words to express contrast or similar meaning. Tyson—Holifield fight was called the “bite of the century
  • Simile: An explicit comparison between unlike things using the words like, as, as if. “Darkness swept over as if she’d pulled a blanket pulled over her head

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