Glossary

Alliteration

The repetition of the initial sounds of words.

Antithesis

Rhetorical strategy that uses contrasting statements in order to make a rhetorical point.

Clichés

Phrases or expressions that, because of overuse, have lost their rhetorical power.

Colloquialisms

Words or phrases used in informal speech but not typically used in formal speech.

Communication

Attempts to reproduce what is in our minds in the minds of our audience.

Generic “he” or “man”

Language that uses words such as “he” or “mankind” to refer to the male and female population.

Hedges

Powerless phrases such as “I thought we should,” “I sort of think,” or “Maybe we should” that communicate uncertainty.

Heterosexist Language

Language that assumes the heterosexual orientation of a person or group of people.

Hyperbole

The use of moderate exaggeration for effect.

Jargon

The specialized language of a group or profession.

Language

The means by which we communicate—a system of symbols we use to form messages.

Man-linked Terms

Terms such as “fireman” or “policemen” that incorrectly identify a job as linked only to a male.

Metaphors

Comparisons made by speaking of one thing in terms of another.

Qualifiers

Powerless words such as “around” or “about” that make your sentences less definitive.

Regionalisms

Customary words or phrases used in different geographic regions.

Sexist Language

Language that unnecessarily identifies sex or linguistically erases females through the use of man- linked terms and/or the use of “he” or “man” as generics.

Similes

Comparisons made by speaking of one thing in terms of another using the word “like” or “as” to make the comparison.

Slang

Type of language that most people understand but that is not considered acceptable in formal or polite conversation.

Spotlighting

Language such as “male nurse” that suggests a person is deviating from the “normal” person who would do a particular job and implies that someone’s sex is relevant to a particular job.

Tag Questions

Powerless language exemplified by ending statements with questions such as “Don’t you think?” or “Don’t you agree?”