American Speeches Terms and Vocab

  1. abstract
    language describing ideas and qualities rather than observable or specific things, people, or places. the observable or "physical" is usually described in concrete language (ex: love, honor, liberty)
  2. ad hominem
    an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentious made thereby appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect. a fallacious ad hominem argument has the basic form: A makes claim B, therre is something objectionable about A, thetrefore claim B is false
  3. allusion/ alluding/ allusive
    a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. (allusions sometimes made to Biblical or mythological people, places, or etc)
  4. analogy
    an explanation based upon a comparison that explains or describes one subject by pointing out its similarities to another subject
  5. anaphora
    device of repetition, in which the same expression (word or words) is repeated for effect at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences
  6. anecdote
    a short, often autobiographical, narrative told to achieve a purpose such as to provide an example, an illustration, or a thematic truth
  7. anticipation
    in agumentation, a presumption of the opposition's agument(s)
  8. antithesis
    • a direct contrast of structurally parallel word groupings, generally for the purpose of contrast (ex: sink or swim; "Burtus: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more")
    • in argumentation is a second argument of principle brought forawrd to oppose a first preposition or thesis
  9. aphorisim
    a statement of some general principle, expressed memorably by condensing much wisdom into few words ("without pain there is no gain" Benjamin Franklin)
  10. appease
    to bring to a state of peace or quiet, to calm, to pacify, to concilliate
  11. bandwagon
    aka argumentum ad populum- to appeal to an audience to join the majority, to join that which is attracting growing support
  12. chiasmus
    parallel structure in inverted/mirror form (a-b-b-a), "not all readers become leaders, but all leaders must become readers"
  13. circular reasoning
    an argument in which the conclusion is based upon the validity of the aplication of the first premise. the argument may well be sound, but the mistake it makes is that the argument merely assums what it is trying to prove
  14. colloquial
    language used in or characteristic of familiar and informal and/or unacceptably informal conversation
  15. concilliation
    an act that serves to reconcile and appease
  16. concrete (examples, symbols)
  17. characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events that are specific, particular, real, tangible
  18. condescending
    to assume an attitude of superiority
  19. cynicism
    having or showing the attitude of being contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives reflecting a belief taht human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest
  20. deductive reasoning
    the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises
  21. deference
    respect and esteem paid to a superior elder
  22. didactic
    a term used to describe fiction or nonfiction that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model of correct behavior or thinking. a tone intended to instruct or moralize
  23. dispassionate
    not affected by personal or emotional involvement
  24. ebb
    a point or condition of decline, retreat
  25. elevated
    being morally or intellectually on a high plane
  26. ellipsis
    the deliberate ommision of a word or words implied by the context and by the parallel structure (to err is human; to forgive, divine)
  27. emphatic
    tending to express oneself in forceful speech or to take decisive action
  28. entreaty
  29. equivocal
    subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse; undecided
  30. erudiate
    displaying extensive knowledge aquired chiefly from books; profound, recondite, or bookish learning
  31. euphemism
    a device where being indirect replaces directness to avoid embarrassment or unpleasantness (passed away for died)
  32. exhortative
    giving warnings or advice: making urgent appeals
  33. fawning
    to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner; obsequious
  34. first person
    the use of pronouns related to the forms of I
  35. hortatory sbjunctive
    the use of "let us" as an argumentative device designed to increase audience affiliation
  36. hyperbole
    a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
  37. imminent
    forthcoming, about to happen
  38. imperious
    befitting or characteristics of one of eminent rank or attainments: arrogance, commanding, domineering
  39. incongruous
    incompatible, not conforming, inconsistent within itself
  40. inductive
    inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances
  41. invective
    of, relating to , or characterized by insult or abuse
  42. lexicographer
    an auther or editor of a dictionary
  43. ludicrous
    meriting deriseve laughter or scorne as absurdly, inept, false, or foolish
  44. maxim
    a general truth, fundamental principle, or rule of conduct
  45. metaphor
    a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else
  46. mollifying
    to soothe in temper or disposition; appease
  47. non sequitor
    an inference or conclustion that does not follow from the premises or evidence
  48. nostalgic
    a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period of irrevocable condition
  49. objective
    expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as percieved without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations
  50. paradox
    an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it
  51. parallelism
    the repetition of a grammatical structure
  52. pathos
    that quality in a real situation or in a literary work which evokes sympathy and feelings of sorrow and pity, usually indicationg a helpless suffereing caused by outside forces
  53. pedantic
    a tone that manifests reliance on book learning and formal rules over understanding or experience of practical affairs
  54. pejorative
    tending to disparage or belittle; depreciatory
  55. post hoc ergo propter hoc
    "after this, therefore because of this" a post hoc is a fallacy that occurs with the folloqing form: A occurs before B, therefore A is the cause of B
  56. reductio ad absudum
    "reduction to the absurd" this fallacy reduces a complex argument to an overly simple one: love it or leave it; you're either against us or for us
  57. second person
    the use of forms of the pronoun you
  58. sine qua non
    an essential condition or element; an indispensable thing; an absolute prerequisite
  59. subjective
    modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background; opposite of objective
  60. syllogism
    a form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premis, a minor premise, and a conclusion
  61. third person
    the use of forms of the pronoun he or she
  62. underscore
    emphasize, stress, underline
  63. understatement (meiosis)
    saying less than is actually meant, generally in an ironic way
  64. vehement
    marked by foreful energy; intensely emotional
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American Speeches Terms and Vocab