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February 25, 2007

How Embarrassing

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Trope: One of the two major divisions of figures of speech (the other being rhetorical figures). Trope comes from a word that literally means 'turning'; to trope...is, figuratively speaking, to turn or twist some word or phrase to make it mean something else" (490). (Examples: Metaphor, metonymy, personification, simile, and synecdoche)

Shame on me for not already knowing this word! And I call myself an English major!?! I had heard it before and probably seen it more times than I can count. But, boy am I glad I looked it up because all of the above examples of trope I am quite familiar with and I have to admit I have always misidentified them as rhetorical strategies. Wow, do I feel stupid now. What I don't understand is why in high school they don't tell you that figures of speech are divided into two major divisions!?!?! And with simile, metaphor, and personification being some of the most frequently identified figures of speech you think I would have been more familiar with this term, but no. I always hear about rhetorical figures, never trope. I'm glad I am aware of it now and will no longer continue embarrassing myself by confusing these two divisions.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 25, 2007 11:35 PM

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