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Figure of Speech



There are many ways of communicative skills mankind have learned among years and many of them are logically arranged to manifest and create emotions towards the individual on which the human will speak with. Language can offer a variety of words that can be arranged in different orders based on what the person wants from the exchange of the information by speaking. Most of the words have a self-meaning, but when some words are brought to be related with other words in the same phrase they can disclose a very lethal power. All the words are subject to be managed on phrases that are used to express positive feelings but, also all of the words are subject to be used for negative purposes.

There is a certain protocol for arrangements of words that can be used to evoke phrases supporting meaning that is entirely other than the words themselves. You might have heard the expression “It’s a figure of speech.” But, what would they mean with it? It offers certain talkative pattern that can be refreshing and fun, but for some who are not native English speakers , this patter can be very confusing due to it depends of the literal meaning of the words and their certain arrangements. Here below are some of the most common figures of speech and what they mean.

Figure of Speech

For our knowledge enrichment there is a vast existence of information out there waiting for us, ready to be known. But we have to first acknowledge at its full potential some of the basic ways of communication we have. It is very easy to understand, because is something that we have been doing since we were kids, but now is time to let us know how to really use our basic communication skill; to bring positive results towards the world itself.




It is very awesome name and for some it might sound even boring, but it is a name that represents a very common figure of speech that involves the usage of words that will begin with the same sound. For example we have this alliteration “Jesse’s jaguar is jumping and jiggling jauntily.” One of the much information you can extract from this sentence is that the series of words in a row (or close) have the same first consonant sound. Let this be to identify the event when alliteration occurs.

-Sarah sells sea shells down by the sea shore.

-Peter’s piglet pranced priggishly.

-Garry’s giraffe gobbled gooseberries greedily getting good at grabbing goodies.



This figure of speech, being the oldest apparatus, will use a specific clause at the beginning of each sentence or event to make a statement. It consist of the repetition of the first part of the speech, along the whole speech, (can also be used for writing), in order to achieve an artistic effect. For example we have this Anaphora “Good night, good day, good luck and good upon you.” The repetition of the word “good”, with the intonation of a phrase, attempts to create the most of emotional sentiment effect among the ones who are listening. These arrangements of words evokes emotional feelings to the listeners and when the emotion passes away, so the feeling as well.

Mostly used to accommodate emphasis on the idea we want to implant to the listener for self-affirmation.

-Buying diapers for the baby, feeding the baby, playing with the baby, sleeping the baby; this is what your life looks like when you have a baby.”



The word itself defines the resemblance of sounds also called vowel rhyme, were the same vowel sounds are used with different consonants manipulating them. It is a figure of speech that focuses the vowel’s sound within the phrase also used to express a great effect or impact towards an individual. For example we have “Hear the mellow wedding bells” by Edgar Allen Poe, in this case repeating the e over and over for a greater effect. Here below are some common assonance examples.

-Try to light the fire.

-I feel depressed and restless.

-Ulysses went here and there and everywhere.




This figure of speech will make things seem much bigger that they really were using grandiose depictions of daily events. The purpose is to magnify beyond the limits of truth, to overstate or to represent disproportionately the common life events which adds humor to the story. It can be found in literature and oral communication.

“I’ve told you a million times”

“Your bag weights a ton!”

“This plane goes faster than the speed of light!”



Categorized as an apparatus of speech and literature, this figure of speech attempts to use a word in a literal sense that simplifies what has just been said. The way to use it is to disclose a phrase or a sentence with some words exactly compounded by words that with different intonation may mean differently of what it is been said. It is used more frequently in events to establish fun at situations that the other collective individual sees as a very serious matter. There are lots of characteristic that Irony can show up to. An example can be: “This is a war room!”

-Irony of events is when the outcome of a certain situation is the opposite of the one which was initially expected. For example, a person who claims to be vegan will not avoid a pepperoni pizza because he is hungry. It includes contradictions and unpleased contrast for the viewer.

-Irony of the cosmic will be when an individual is earning lots of currency (when gambling) and suddenly he loses it all for example. It is when the people cannot see the results or effects of their actions and out of the blue they will hit their forehead. It includes events that are out of the individual’s control.

-Dramatic irony it is most commonly seen at the horror films. You know by the actions of the actor that something will pop up and finish the scene. It is when the audience is smarter than the characters. Now days when people are watching a horror movie they tend to laugh about the nervous that the dramatic irony brings.

-Socratic Irony is most related to the teaching form the great world academia and the Socratic teaching method which encourage the students to think and present opposing perspective while the teacher plays fool. For example the professor will not explain any key concepts of the course, but instead he expects the students to read their assignments and to find knowledge themselves.

At the end we have Sarcasm which is a popular way of irony where the user tries to attack with a statement at something or someone. This can be funny and cute, but also, at the same time it can be hurtful and humiliating.



We also have the Metaphor.

The use of this figure speech will be watched when comparing two statements that are not alike but the individual finds some final goal knowledge to make them alike. It is used to make a statement comparison between two events. For example “The wind behaves as an angry witch today” it compares the way the individual is receiving the wind, against the attitude that and angry witch could have. Some kid friendly metaphor could be: “Ben’s temper was an active volcano, ready to explode.” It refers that Benjamin can express his madness as a volcano could erupt.



This figure of speech will make a point about to things that compared are not really the same to each other. For example, let’s place a famous line form the movie Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you will never know what you are going to get.” A simile statement will be used only to make an emotional point about something. Metaphor and Simile difference is that you can actually hear the word “like” in the sentence.



It comes to show when you realize that an individual had just choose to use one word that has a similar shared meaning with other word to refer to something. For example, we can use the word crown to refer to royalty. And also could be used in a sentence to give information about something like “the crown has taken advantage of the enemy’s losses” but we know that the crown cannot even walk, it has to be wear, but we know that it refers to the royal heir.



It refers to the words that will actually sound like what it means. The capacity that humans have to transform the audible information into textual information can be very useful. For this instance we have some examples like “kapow! Ouch, fizz, hiss.” All of these words are meant to describe the word very much like the sound itself.



This is used to contradict the speech itself in the same event. For example we have George Orwells from 1984 that said “War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery.” We all know that this isn’t true; they represent an interesting paradox that will make people to really thing about what they have just read.



The state of giving an inanimate object the qualities of a living thing for example, we can say that the sun smiled at us.



Even at the most serious event there is, in time, the necessity or the aperture for fun. To play is something that our body actually needs. Remember we use the word “play” to tell someone to handle the job at ease. Well, this figure of speech adds the playground into the field. To play with the words as you use different senses of the same word, or to even pronounce the word with a different sound that make up the word, to finally create something fun and interesting, we have Pun. For example we have this “I would like to go to Holland someday. Then we add the pun “wooden shoe?” that actually means “wouldn’t you?

These events are brought to be subtle and can be really tough to recognize during a session or a conversation, unless you are really listening for them.



A way to call a whole existence we use this type of speech for example, when we refer to the alphabet we say the “ABC” or we even encounter the phrase “new set of wheels” regarding a car. It is used more frequently in journalism as a type of shorthand. A great example is “9/11” to talk of the whole tragedy that occurred in the United States on September the 11th, 2001.



In this situation we present a thing or event that is being discussed and we make them seem much less important than they really are. For example we have “an atomic blast is somewhat noisy.”  This figure of speech can often be used to perform a comedic effect.

“The 1906 San Francisco earthquake caused some damage.”

“It was windy in New Orleans back when hurricane Katrina was up to.”


The antithesis will show up as a contradiction which pits two ideas against each other in a balanced way “you are easy on the eyes, hard on the heart.” An example taken from a country song that show up on how this figure of speech works teaching that something can be more than one thing at the same time.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.



We say euphemism to the words that are considered to be used to soften the message. We say “passed away” instead of using “died” or “killed.” We encounter more examples like “misunderstanding” to be used instead of “fight” or “argument.”



This figure of speech place two words together that would contradict each other. “Military intelligence,” “civil war” and “ silent yell.” This will encourage the humor in a situation.


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