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Level Two Words

Page history last edited by Jayson Yeagley 13 years ago

Below are level two words.  These words should be studied in terms of: Definition and example



Quest 1

 Acrostic [uh-kraw-stik]-a poem in which the initial letters of each line can be read down the page to spell either an alphabet, a name, or some other concealed message

Aesthetics [es-thet-iks]-Philosophical investigation into the nature of beauty and the perception of beauty, especially in the arts; the theory of art or of artistic taste.

Ambiguity [am-bi-gyoo-i-tee]- Openness to different interpretations: or an instance in which some use of language may be understood in diverse ways.  Sometimes known as 'multiple meaning.

Angst [engk-stuh]- Anxiety or dread used by the philosphers; a popular theme in youth music and literature.

Anthem [an-thuh m]-  a term used to denote a song or reprise in which the words affirm a collective identity expressing attachment to some nation, institution, cause, or philosophy.

Anticlimax [an-ti-klahy-maks]- An abrupt lapse from growing intensity to triviality in any passage of a storyline, or descriptive writing, with the effect of disappointed expectation or deflated suspense. 

Anti-hero/Aniti-herione- A central character in a dramatic or narrative work who lacks the qualities of nobility and magnanimity expected of traditional heroes

Apostrophe [uh-pos-truh-fee]- A rhetorical figure in which the speaker addresses a dead or absent person, or an abstraction or inanimate object.

Arbitrary [ahr-bi-trer-ee]- Lacking any natural basis or substantial justification.  The relationship between the signifier and its signified has no natural bond.

 Archaism [ahr-kee-iz-uh-m]- The use of words or constructions that have passed out of the language before the time of writing; or a particular example of such an obsolete word or expression.



Quest 2

Archetype [ahr-ki-tahyp]-A symbol, theme, setting, or character type that recurs in different times and places and embodies elements of universal human experience.

Avant-garde [uh-vahnt-gahrd]-dedicated to the idea art as experiment and revolt against tradition.

Baroque [buh-rohk]-Eccentric or lavishly ornate in style; the most artificial poetic style.

Binary Opposition [bahy-nuh-ree  op-uh-zish-uh n]-The principle of contrast between to mutually exclusive terms: On/off, up/down, right left.

Black Comedy-a kind of drama in which disturbing or sinister subjects like death and disease are treated with amusement.

Cadence [keyd-ns]-The rising and falling rhythm of speech, especially that of the balanced phrases in free verse.

Canon [Kan-uh n]-A body of writings recognized by authority and approved by critics deemed suitable for academic study

Carpe diem [kär'pě dē'ěm]-latin phrase for Seize the day or make the best of the present moment.

Chronicle [Kron-i-kuhl]-A written record of events presented in order of time and updated regularly over a prolonged period of time

Closure [kloh-zher]-A sense of completion or resolution at the end of a literary work.


Quest 3

Coinage-a newly invented word or expression

Collage-a work assembled wholly or partly from fragments of other writings like in an artistic collage

Collective Unconscious-inborn unconscious psychic material common to humankind, accumulated by the experience of all preceding generations.

Colloquialism-the use of informal expressions appropriate to everyday speech rather than to the formality of writing.

Conceit-an unusually far-fetched or elaborate metaphor or simile presenting a surprisingly apt parallel between two apparently dissimilar things or feelings

Courtly Love-a highly stylized code of behavior popular chiefly from the 12th to the 14th century that prescribed the rules of conduct between lovers, advocating idealized but illicit love, and which fostered an extensive medieval literature based on this tradition.

Cut-up-a technique used by the novelist William S. Burroughs where written text is cut into segments which are reshuffled at random before being printed in the resulting accidental order.

Deconstruction-applied to the study of literature, that questions all traditional assumptions about the ability of language to represent reality and emphasizes that a text has no stable reference or identification because words essentially only refer to other words.

Denouement-The clearing up of the complications of the plot in a play or story

Digression-a temporary departure from one subject to another more or less distantly related topic before before the discussion of the first subject is resumed.


Quest 4

Double Entendre-meaning double meaning

Embedded-a frame narrative; tale-within-the-tale

Empiricism-the belief in observation and experience as the basis of knowledge, rather than logical deduction.

Enjambment-the running over of the sense and grammatical structure from one verse line to the next without a punctuated pause

Epiphany-a sudden spiritual manifestation in which the 'whatness' of a common object or gesture appears radiant to the observer; sudden insight

Erasure-the placing of a concept under suspicion by marking the word for it as crossed, in order to signal to the readers that it is both unreliable and at the same time indispensable

Futurism-movement that rejects all previous artistic traditions and conventions in an attempt to express the dynamism and speed of machine age

Icon-a sign that stands for its object mainly by resembling or sharing some features

Idiom -a phrase that cannot be translated literally (ex. go fly a kite)

In Medias Res-latin for 'in the middle of things'; starting off a narrative at an exciting part in the middle of the action


Quest 5

Inversion-The reversal of the normally expected order of words in order to make a point or keep a rhyme scheme intact

Jingle-A brief set of verses with strong, repetitive rhythm and emphatic rhymes that are sometimes memorable but nonsensical (With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino).  Sometimes used in TV or Radio adverts.

Lament-any poem expressing profound grief or mournful regret for the loss of some person, former state, or for some other misfortune

Lampoon-An insulting written attack upon a real person, in verse or prose, usally involving caricature and ridicule.

Limerick-an English verse form consisting of five lines rhyming aabba.  Usually a self-contained humorous poem.

Local Color Writing-a kind of fiction that came became popular during the 19th century, and was devoted to capturing unique customs, manners, and speech of a particular regional community.

Malapropism-a confused, comically inaccurate use of a long word or words.  Example would be “the very pine-apple of politeness” instead of “the very pinnacle of politeness”

Muse-A source of inspiration to a poet or other writer, usually presented as a female deity.

Naturalism-a more deliberate kind of realism in novel, stories, and movies, usually invovling a view of human beings as passive victims of natural forces or social environment.

Nonsense Verse-a kind of humorous poetry that amuses by deliberately using strange non-existent words and illogical ideas.





Quest 6

Oratory-The art of public speaking.

Novella-a fictional tale in prose, intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novel.

Philistine-A person devoted narrow-mindedly to material prosperity at the expense of intellectual and artistic awareness or ignorantly uninterested in culture and ideas

Pirate-Published without the author’s permission by some other person who thereby steals part of the author’s potential income from a written work.

Pathos-The emotionally moving quality or power of a literacy work or of particular passages within it; emotion-based.

Palandrome-A word that remains the same if read backwards like Madam, eye, tenet, racecar.

Paradigm-In the general sense, a pattern or model in which some quality or relation is illustrated in its purest form.

Paratactic-Marked by the juxtaposition of clauses or sentences, without the use of connecting words; has the effect of being corrupt.  Example: I’ll go; you stay her

Poetic Justice-the morally reassuring allocation of happy and unhappy fates to the virtuous and the vicious characters respectively.

Oral Tradition-The passing on from one generation to another via songs, chants, proverbs, and other verbal compositions spread by word-of-mouth.




Quest 7 

Polemic- a through written attack on some opinion or policy, usually within a theological or political dispute.

Portmanteau- a word concocted by fusing two different words together into one.  Example: Brunch for breakfast and lunch, “motel” (motor and hotel), Chillax (chill and relax).

Proverb - A short popular saying of unknown authorship, expressing some general truth or superstition: “Too many cooks spoil the broth.  Many writers incorporate proverbs into their work!

Recto-The front side of a printed sheet: Thus the right-handed (and odd numbered) page in a book (verso is the left or even side).

Reductionism- The tendency to explain away the complexities of a literary work as the products of a single, much simpler cause.

Repartee- A rapid and witty response in conversation, especially one that turns an insult back on its originator.

Rhapsody- In the modern sense, a work or passage expressing ecstatic or uncontrolled emotion, often in a loosely structured fashion.

Saga- Various kinds of tales with an emphasis on feuds and family histories

Screenplay- The script of a film, comprising dialogue and narration with instructions for sets and camera positions.

Semantics- The philosophical or linguistic study of meanings in language.



Quest 8 

Tragic Flaw-the defect of character that brings about the protagonist’s downfall in a tragedy 

Tragicomedy-a story that combines elements of tragedy and comedy, either by providing a happy ending to a potentially tragic story or by some some more complex bending of serious and light moods. 

Travesty- A mockingly undignified or trivializing treatment of a dignified subject. 

Trope- a figure of speech, especially one that uses words in senses beyond their literal meanings

---somehow changes the meaning of the words such as simile, metaphor 

The Uncanny- A kind of disturbing strangeness evoked in some kind of horror story and related fiction. 

Unreliable narrator- a narrator whose account of events appears to be a faulty, misleading, biased, or otherwise distorted so that it departs in some sense from the truth. 

Vernacular- The local Language or dialect of common speech; or written in such a local language or dialect. 

Weltanschauung- German term for a ‘world-view’ that is either the philosophy of life adopted by a particular person or the more general outlook shared by people in a given period. 

Zeitgeist- German term for ‘time-spirit’ or spirit of the age as it refers to the prevailing mood or attitude of a given period




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