Glossary of Terms


  Personification   metaphorically represents an animal or inanimate object as having human attributes–attributes of form, character, feelings, behavior, and so on. Ideas and abstractions can also be personified.

-Frog named Dan’l Webster.

-@kenzo “but the thunder doesn’t even sound like itself. sounds like he is sick (the thunder #personification)”


Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provideamusement.

-@tc Lutz “When your parents accuse you of lying, just look them in the eye and say “Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy.” #LOL #humor

-“I found Simon Wheeler dozing comfortably by the bar-room stove of the old, dilapidated tavern in the ancient mining camp of Angel’s, and I noticed that he was fat and bald-headed…”


Analogy compares two things, which are alike in several respects, for the purpose of explaining or clarifying some unfamiliar or difficult idea or object by showing how the idea or object is similar to some familiar one.

-@pdubphoto A good #analogy is photographic FILM.

-“But as soon as money was up on him, he was a different dog; his underjaw’d begin to stick out like the fo’castle of a steamboat, and his teeth would uncover, and shine savage like the furnaces”


Simile is a  comparison between two different things that resemble each other in at least one way

– @sambody2luv I am as hungry as a pig. I am gonna eat like a pig. #simile

– “his underjaw’d begin to stick out like the fo’castle of a steamboat”


Hyperbole – the counterpart of understatement, deliberately exaggerates conditions for emphasis or effect.

– @te3esh There’s nothing worse than cold popcorn. #hyperbole

– ” And a dog might tackle him, and bully- rag him, and bite him, and throw him over his shoulder two or three times, and Andrew Jackson which was the name of the pup Andrew Jackson would never let on but what he was satisfied, and hadn’t expected nothing else and the bets being doubled and doubled on the other side all the time, till the money was all up; and then all of a sudden he would grab that other dog jest by the j’int of his hind leg and freeze on it not chew, you understand, but only jest grip and hang on till they thronged up the sponge, if it was a year.”


Antiphrasis –  One word irony.

– @3way You get rich and everything becomes free #irony

– “Smiley always come out winner on that pup, till he harnessed a dog once that didn’t have no hind legs, ”


Metaphor – compares two different things by speaking of one in terms of the other

– @WADEbbk – Its only in getting lost that we find ourselves #Metaphor

–  “Thish-yer Smiley had a mare the boys called her the fifteen- minute nag, but that was only in fun, you know, because, of course, she was faster than that and he used to win money on that horse, for all she was so slow and always had the asthma, or the distemper, or the consumption, or something of that kind. ”

In Mark Twains “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” humor and personification are two of many elements of writing that Mark Twain incorporates in this short story. These elements are used to give life to the story without them , their is no story. Personification is used to give the story some life with out it its just a story about a no named frog and dog.  Humor is used throughout the story but in moderation, it keeps us entertained but it doesn’t distract us from what we are reading in the story. Twain was able to fine a balance between life lesson and a life joke in “the celebrated jumping frog of calaveras county”, humor and personification are two of the many he has done so.

– Twitters is not a good place to find rhetoric. The examples I have used show cases where rhetoric can be studied but overall it is not the place to go if one needs a clear understanding of  for example literary terms. Many of the literary devices used on twitter were used wrong and it took a great deal of searching to weed out the good from the bad and applying it to my short story. What twitter can actually do is show us how bad we use literary devices to begin with. The study of speaking or writing effectively can be studied on twitter but the study will only show us how modern society uses it not the proper use of it.

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One Response to “Glossary of Terms”

  1. Kevin Ferguson says:

    Hi Jerry,

    Great examples– I noticed especially lots of simile in the examples you gave, even for other devices (in fact, you might revise your metaphor example, since it uses the word “like” . . .).

    I was hoping to hear more of an analysis of the rhetoric in Twitter. Do you think these rhetorical devices you found are the exceptions, or is Twitter a good place to find rhetoric? You might look at what Joe, Sasha, and Michelle D’s posts too.

    Last, If any of the words are quotations or paraphrases from other sources, you must identify where they came from by using quotation marks and naming the source. In particular, are your definitions of the literary terms your own words?