Aposiopesis, Enthymeme, Portmanteau . . . What Are They?

shutterstock_106059710-620x789All writers have a style, but most writers are not aware of, nor can they name, ALL of the literary devices they use as they write. There are the obvious—those with familiar names:

simile, metaphor, alliteration, hyperbole,

and others not as familiar.

For example, if you wrote:

“Sophia, don’t you dare leave me or I’ll—”

you would be using a literary device called aposiopesis. It means to leave a sentence unfinished to allow the reader to determine its meaning.

If you wrote:

“Your fingerprints were all over the knife, and that proves you killed her.”

you would have made use of a device called enthymeme— meaning to persuade readers by using implied arguments.

Are you familiar with these?

never_ever_ever_give_up___tipo_by_hamdanhasan-d688epdEpizeuxis: words or phrases that repeat in a quick succession for emphasis. This device draws the reader’s focus to a specific thought, idea or emotion.

Stop it! Stop it! That’s all you ever do, apologize, apologize apologize!”

Portmanteau: the linking and blending of two or more words to form a new word that shares the same meanings as the original words.

“Jen, please, can we have Thanksgiving dinner at our house? Last year, your sister served tofurkey and broccoflower!”

(The website, unique-names.com features a word mixer to help you have fun creating your own portmanteaus.)

1426_5-tips-for-getting-caught-up-on-your-legendary-cloakTmesis: dividing a phrase or word into its components by inserting another word/phrase in the middle of that phrase or word.

“How did I end up here? Well, that’s a whole nother story.”

How about the following literary devices? Do you know what they mean? You will find the answers, along with an extensive list, on the website, Literary Devices.

  • Anthropomorphism
  • Personification
  • Zoomorphism
  • Hypophora
  • Snark
  • Chiasmus

Until next time . . . happy writing!

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