AP English Vocabulary

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  1. Connotation
    The implied or associative meaning of a word as opposed to the literal meaning of the word
  2. Denotation
    The literal meaning of a word - its dictionary definition
  3. Pedantic
    Characterized by an excessive display of learning or scholarship
  4. Simple
    Word choice characterized by simple, common words
  5. Monosyllabic
    Word choice characterized by words with one syllable
  6. Polysyllabic
    Word choice characterized by words with multiple syllables
  7. Euphonious
    • Word choice that is characterized by pleasant, harmonious sounding language
    • Achieved through the use of vowel sounds in words, which are more easily pronounced than consonant sounds
  8. Cacophonic
    • Word choice that is characterized by harsh, unpleasant sounding diction
    • Achieved through the use of consonant sounds, especially those with hard sounds, like the “K,”  “P,” and “D.”
  9. Literal
    Word choice that is marked by words used in exact accordance with their dictionary definitions
  10. Figurative
    Word choice in which words used do not convey their actual, dictionary meaning
  11. Active
    • Wordchoice that communicates an action
    • Characterized by active verb voice
  12. Passive
    • Word choice that communicates a state of being
    • Characterized by passive verb voice
  13. Overstated
    • Word choice that communicates an intentional exaggeration
    • Makes use of hyperbole
  14. Understated
    • Word choice that creates a deliberate misinterpretation of “less.” 
    • Makes use of litotes
  15. Colloquial
    • Informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing 
    • the diction of  the common, ordinary people, especially in a specific region or area
  16. Formal
    • Word choice marked by language appropriate for important situations or occasions
    • Marked by particular attention to etiquette
  17. Nonstandard
    Word choice that does not conform with rules for pronunciation, grammatical  construction, or usage generally accepted by educated members of a population
  18. Allusion
    A reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
  19. Ambiguity
    Allows for two or more simultaneous interpretations of a word, phrase, action, or situation, all of which can be supported by the context of a work
  20. Anachronism
    Something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time
  21. Aphorism
    A figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction
  22. Invective
    An intensely vehement, highly emotional verbal attack
  23. Juxtaposition
    Placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast
  24. Malapropism
    • The mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar
    • “The doctor wrote a subscription”
  25. Shifts
    A change in person, tone, type of diction, or another element of a piece of writing that may change the effect of a piece
  26. slang
    Informal, nonstandard word choice composed typically of coinages, randomly changed words, and extravagant, especially sarcastic or humorous, figures of speech
  27. jargon
    The specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or profession
  28. Analogy
    • A comparison of two different things that is similar in some way
    •  if two or more things agree with one another in some respects, they will probably agree in other respects.
  29. Apostrophe
    A figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction
  30. Cliché
    An expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off
  31. Conceit
    • A comparison of two unlikely things that is drawn out within a piece of literature, in particular an extended metaphor within a poem
    • A fanciful, elaborate, surprisingly unusual, or particularly clever extended metaphor
  32. Epithet
    • A term used to point out a characteristic of a person
    • Homeric epithets are often compound adjectives ("swift-footed Achilles") that become an almost formulaic part of a name.
    • Epithets can be abusive or offensive but are not so by definition
    • For example, athletes may be proud of their given epithets ("The Rocket")
  33. Euphemism
    An indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
  34. Hyperbole
    Intentional exaggeration to create an effect
  35. Imagery
    The use of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses
  36. Irony
    • The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning
    • incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs
    • Irony is used for many reasons, often to create poignancy or humor.
  37. situational irony
    When events end up the opposite of what is expected
  38. verbal irony
    What the author/narrator says is actually the opposite of what is meant
  39. Metaphor
    A figure of speech in which a comparison is expressed without using “like”, “as”, or “than”
  40. extended metaphor
    • A series of comparisons within a piece of writing
    • If they are consistently one concept, this is also known as a conceit
  41. Metonymy
    • Substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with
    • “The pen (writing) is mightier than the sword (fighting)
  42. Oxymoron
    An expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined
  43. Paradox
    An apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth
  44. Personification
    Endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics
  45. Pun
    A play on words, often achieved through the use of words with similar sounds but different meanings
  46. Simile
    A comparison of two things using “like,” “as,” or other specifically comparative words
  47. Synesthesia
    • Describing one kind of sensation in terms of another
    • “a loud color”
    • “a sweet sound”
  48. Synecdoche
    • Using one part of an object to represent the entire object
    • for example, referring to a car simply as “wheels”
  49. Understatement (litotes)
    • The deliberate representation of something as lesser in magnitude than it actually is
    • a deliberate under-emphasis
  50. Deductive reasoning
    • Reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case
    • Moving from the general to the specific
  51. syllogism
    • A three-part deductive argument in which a conclusion is based on a major premise and a minor premise
    • “All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal”
  52. Inductive reasoning
    • Deriving general principles from particular facts or instances
    • Moving from the specific to the general
  53. Warrant
    In the Toulmin argument analysis system, the statement of belief, value, principle, and so on, that, when accepted by an audience, warrants or underwrites ones claim
  54. Logical fallacies
    A misconception or misunderstanding resulting from incorrect reasoning
  55. ad hominem
    An argument attacking an individual’s character rather than his or her position on an issue
  56. begging the question
    • An argumentative ploy where the arguer sidesteps the question or the conflict, evades or ignores the real question
    • supporting a claim with a reason that is really a restatement of the claim in different words.
  57. doubtful authority
    A person who is not a legitimate authority on a subject speaks about it in a way that makes him/her seem like a believable source
  58. either/or reasoning
    Assuming there are only two sides to a question, and representing yours as the only correct one
  59. false analogy
    Assuming that because one thing resembles another, conclusions drawn from one also apply to the other
  60. hasty generalization
    • Offering only weak or limited evidence to support a conclusion
    • Making a generalization based on too little evidence
  61. non-sequitur
    • An inference that does not follow logically from the premises
    • literally, “does not follow”
  62. oversimplification
    Giving easy answers to complicated questions, often relying on appeals to emotion rather than appeals to logic
  63. Order
    Sequence of the subject and predicate of a sentence
  64. interrupted sentence
    Sentence structure that occurs when the writer interrupts the typical subject-verb-complement order by inserting some other element between any of these parts
  65. inverted sentence
    Switching of the customary word order; for example, placing an adjective after the noun it modifies
  66. cumulative/loose sentence
    A sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases
  67. parallelism
    The use of similar forms in writing for nouns, verbs, phrases, or thoughts
  68. Balanced
    • Characterized by parallel structure
    • two or more parts of the sentence have the same form, emphasizing similarities or differences
  69. Antithesis
    A statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced in parallel construction
  70. Chiasmus
    • A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed
    • "Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary"
  71. periodic sentence
    • a long sentence in which the main clause is not completed until the end
    • “Looking as if she were being chased by demons, ignoring all hazards, the child ran.”
  72. Sentence types—purpose
    • The intended function of a sentence
    • to tell, to exclaim, to command, or to question
  73. declarative
    a sentence that makes a statement or declaration
  74. imperative
    The mood of a verb that gives an order
  75. interrogative
    • A sentence that asks a question
    • Indicated by a question mark
  76. exclamatory
    • A sentence that makes an exclamation, sometimes conveying a strong emotion
    • Indicated by an exclamation point
  77. Sentence types—structure
    Classification of sentences based on the number of dependent and independent clauses a sentence contains
  78. simple
    A sentence consisting of one independent clause and no dependent clause
  79. compound
    A sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions
  80. complex
    A sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause
  81. compound-complex
    • A sentence with at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses
    • which can also be called subordinate clause
  82. Omission
    Leaving out part of a sentence to create an effect
  83. ellipsis
    • The omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from the context
    • Some people prefer cats; others, dogs
  84. asyndeton
    A construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
  85. Addition/repetition for effect
    Adding or repeating words or phrases to emphasize a point
  86. anadiplosis
    • The repetition of the last word of a preceding clause
    • The word is used at the end of a sentence and then used again at the beginning of the next sentence
  87. anaphora
    The repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences
  88. epistrophe
    In rhetoric, the repetition of a phrase at the end of successive sentences
  89. polysyndeton
    The use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural
Card Set
AP English Vocabulary
english vocabulary
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