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What Is This Figurative Trick Called? (1 Viewer)

TheMightyAz

Mentor
We have metaphors, similes, personification and the such but what is this called? I'll add later information to the OP

The oil lamps were so weak, light from a candle would shame them.

  1. Simile. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two separate concepts through the use of a clear connecting word such as “like” or “as.” Examples of simile are phrases such as “He was wily as a fox,” or “I slept like a log.”
  2. Metaphor. A metaphor is like a simile, but without connecting words. It simply posits that two separate things are the same. For example, “He was a wily fox,” or “She cried a river of tears.”
  3. Implied metaphor. Metaphor takes a few different forms. Sometimes the object of comparison is purely implied rather than directly referenced, such as in the phrase, “He barked commands at the team,” which implies comparison to a dog.
  4. Personification. Personification projects human qualities onto inanimate objects, or perhaps animals or natural elements. “The wind howled,” “The words leapt off the page,” and “Time marches on” are all examples of personification.
  5. Hyperbole. Hyperbole is extravagant, intentional exaggeration. “I have a million things to do today” is a common example of hyperbole.
  6. Allusion. Allusion is when a text references another external text—or maybe a person, place or event. It can be either explicit or implicit. “We’ve entered a Garden of Eden” is an allusion to the biblical place, for instance.
  7. Idiom. Idioms are non-literal turns of phrase so common that most people who speak the same language know them. English examples include, “He stole her thunder” and “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
  8. Pun. A pun is a play on words. It exploits the different meanings of a word or its homonyms, usually to humorous effect. A well-worn example of a pun is: “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”
  9. Onomatopoeia. In onomatopoeia, words sound like the thing they describe. Sound effects like “tick-tock” and “ding-dong” are everyday examples, as well as words like “zap” and “hiccup.” Sometimes individual words are not onomatopoeic, but they will become so in the context of the words around them, as in Edgar Allan Poe’s “suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
  10. Alliteration. Many experts also consider alliteration an example of figurative language, even though it does not involve figures of speech. Rather, alliteration is a sound device that layers some additional meaning on top of the literal language of the text. It occurs when a series of words start with the same letter sound, such as “wicked witch” or “from forth the fatal loins of these two foes.” This can help build imagery or mood, hence the connection to figurative language.
As well as:
  • assonance - the "ur" sound in "purple" and "curtain"
  • consonance - the "s" sound in "uncertain" and "rustling"
  • alliteration - the "s" sound at the beginning of "silked" and "sad"
And sibilance:

 
Last edited:

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
We have metaphors, similes, personification and the such but what is this called?

The oil lamps were so weak, light from a candle would shame them.
I'd call that a personification. From Google:
  1. the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I'd call that a personification. From Google:
  1. the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
That's an interesting point. I have used the word 'shame' there so yes, I can see what you mean.

edit: I reckon you're right.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Personification popped into my head, and that was before I scrolled to subsequent posts. I'm not saying it's right though. If it is personification, it's not as in-your-face as some I've read.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I get that, but you're still making a comparison between the two objects and using that as an explanation for how dim the oil lamp is.
Analogies tend to be made up of similes and metaphors. Regardless of the quality of the light, I'm still comparing one light to another. If I were to compare someone's eyes to two jewels then that would be an analogy because neither are the same but one still reflect on the other.

This whole conversation has sent me down the rabbit hole and I've discovered I use nearly all figurative tricks. Idioms and puns are the only ones I don't use.

  1. Simile. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two separate concepts through the use of a clear connecting word such as “like” or “as.” Examples of simile are phrases such as “He was wily as a fox,” or “I slept like a log.”
  2. Metaphor. A metaphor is like a simile, but without connecting words. It simply posits that two separate things are the same. For example, “He was a wily fox,” or “She cried a river of tears.”
  3. Implied metaphor. Metaphor takes a few different forms. Sometimes the object of comparison is purely implied rather than directly referenced, such as in the phrase, “He barked commands at the team,” which implies comparison to a dog.
  4. Personification. Personification projects human qualities onto inanimate objects, or perhaps animals or natural elements. “The wind howled,” “The words leapt off the page,” and “Time marches on” are all examples of personification.
  5. Hyperbole. Hyperbole is extravagant, intentional exaggeration. “I have a million things to do today” is a common example of hyperbole.
  6. Allusion. Allusion is when a text references another external text—or maybe a person, place or event. It can be either explicit or implicit. “We’ve entered a Garden of Eden” is an allusion to the biblical place, for instance.
  7. Idiom. Idioms are non-literal turns of phrase so common that most people who speak the same language know them. English examples include, “He stole her thunder” and “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
  8. Pun. A pun is a play on words. It exploits the different meanings of a word or its homonyms, usually to humorous effect. A well-worn example of a pun is: “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”
  9. Onomatopoeia. In onomatopoeia, words sound like the thing they describe. Sound effects like “tick-tock” and “ding-dong” are everyday examples, as well as words like “zap” and “hiccup.” Sometimes individual words are not onomatopoeic, but they will become so in the context of the words around them, as in Edgar Allan Poe’s “suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
  10. Alliteration. Many experts also consider alliteration an example of figurative language, even though it does not involve figures of speech. Rather, alliteration is a sound device that layers some additional meaning on top of the literal language of the text. It occurs when a series of words start with the same letter sound, such as “wicked witch” or “from forth the fatal loins of these two foes.” This can help build imagery or mood, hence the connection to figurative language.
As well as:
  • assonance - the "ur" sound in "purple" and "curtain"
  • consonance - the "s" sound in "uncertain" and "rustling"
  • alliteration - the "s" sound at the beginning of "silked" and "sad"
 
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