Free Resources for
Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks
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Reading: Advertising Glossary
FORMULA – a speaker uses various formula to show sympathy,
encouragement, acknowledgement etc. eg. mm, yes, no, really, well,
fancy, of course, certainly, indeed.
- the repetition of consonants. "The fair breeze blew, the
white foam flew. The furrow followed free. We were the first that
ever burst Into that silent sea ...." (Coleridge)
STRUCTURES - sentences which we correct as we are saying them, see
- Two possible meanings, both correct, eg. "Is your head
swollen?" Ambiguity is often humorous.
- A break in the grammatical structure of a sentence. In speech a
speaker may have become confused and unable to finish the sentence
correctly. eg. The word is easily defined if you take a sentence
such as this will have to break in the grammar.
- a figure of speech in which words or ideas are brought into
contrast by being balanced one against another. eg. Power corrupts;
absolute power corrupts absolutely. Better to reign in Hell than
serve in Heaven.
- the placing of one noun or noun-equivalent beside another in a
sentence to add description or explanation. The noun (or
noun-equivalent) must be equal in function and bear the same
relation to the rest of the sentence as the original noun. eg.
Alexander, the coppersmith, did very much evil. The second stage -
the translation of forecast pressure distribution into forecast
weather - was most difficult.
- a word, spelling, construction etc. that is old fashioned eg.
methinks, thee, quoth (archaic).
- the repetition of vowel sounds. This is less obvious and softer in
effect than alliteration. eg. /a/ s / u/. "In Xanadu did Kubla
Khan A stately pleasure dome decree." (Coleridge)
- the mood pervading a literary work, often setting up in the reader
expectations as to the course of events. eg. Hamlet - tense and
fearful atmosphere comes largely from the tense and nervous dialogue
at the beginning. In Macbeth the witches create an atmosphere of
gloom and obscurity and prepare us for the mystery of the workings
of fate. Horror movies - music and scene often used.
- makes a person or product ludicrous or by exaggerating or
distorting prominent features - in cartoons, literature or
advertising. eg. Wemmick in Great Expectations.
- lines of poetry rhyming in pairs.
- a picture created in the reader's mind e.g a. Concrete Image -
created by accurate and evocative description b.Figurative Image -
created by the use of metaphor or simile.
- the humorous or mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the
opposite of what they normally mean. eg. Swift's Modest Proposal;
Dramatic Irony - a. the audience knows something that the characters
do not. b. when what happens is the opposite of what a character has
said - or is the same, but in a different sense eg. "you kill
- placing two contrasting words, ideas or images side by side to
highlight the contrast eg. Owen: "Anthem for Doomed
- makes fun of a serious work by imitating it.
- the art of diminishing a subject by making it ridiculous.
- the author's attitude to the subject matter or the intended
audience eg. satiric, condescending, humorous.
SENTENCE - a sentence made up of roughly equal parts eg. "The
Prime Minister is at home when he is overseas, and all at sea when
he is at home."
- an over-used and worn out expression: any phrase that is not fresh
and original. eg. to bury the hatchet, nose to the grindstone.
SENTENCE - A sentence made up of several parts (often in groups of
three) which rise to a climax in the final part. eg. I came, I saw,
I conquered, Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few.
- (neologism) a newly created word eg. prazz, vroom, nuke, nylon,
biro, background (as a verb).
- The 'collocation' of words refers to the regular patterns of co-occurence
in which words may be found in a given context; the way words are
found together. eg. We expect to see fish with chips, goods with
chattels, break with enter, blue with sky. In certain circumstances,
indeed, such items would be foregrounded if they did not occur
together. When this happens it is 'unusual collocation'.
- colloquial language is language suitable for conversation, is for
everyday speech rather than for formal written or spoken language.
So a colloquialism is an expression found in, and typical of,
ordinary speech. eg. 'I'll see you' 'He's a good joker', (very
- the creation of a new word by joining two words eg. timebomb,
blackout, sit-in. - see Coinage, Portmanteau.
- words carrying extra meaning in their associations (see Overtones)
eg. these words for "male human being" contain differing
emotional content: boy, youth, lad, fellow, chap, adolescent, joker,
- the basic or dictionary, meaning of a word.
- the shortening of the construction of a sentence by omitting a
word or words that might readily be supplied from the context. eg.
Jack fell down and (Jack) breaks his crown.
- a mild or vague expression used instead of a harsher or blunter
one. eg. queer-mad; make love; pass on; one's reward.
- given prominence. 1) A word, phrase, or image is foregrounded when
it is used unexpectedly. eg. "vision and revision" or any
metaphor. 2) Prominence can also be given with unusual patterning eg.
a recurring word in a poem, rhyme, rhythm.
- two words with the same form or spelling but different meanings
are homonyms eg.
- curved (the weapon, rainbow, n & v violin, bow-legged)
- overstatement - an extravagant exaggeration of fact. 'A cowboy
ordered a steak well done. When it was served he roared. "Do
you call that well done? I've seen critters hurt worse than that get
- every language has its odd, sometime idiotic ways of expressing
things. All the speakers of the language knew them but foreigners
often have trouble eg. He was knocked off. She was knocked off. He
knocked off. Don't knock it. Knock back a few. Knock on the door. He
was knocked back. He was knocked out.
- an order or command. You will go to town - - - - - Go to town!
Subj. + (aux) + verb ---- - - - - Verb + -----.
MARKER - an attention holding or attention gaining device found at
the beginning of an utterance eg. "Well ... I believe that
- unusual order in the parts of a sentence , 1. In sentence
structure - A train he is not , S V - He is not a train ---- S V
2.In group structure - the body beautiful N adj - the beautiful body
det adj N.
- the specialised language used by a specialised occupation eg.
airline pilot, lawyer, plumber, business letters.
- (logogram) a sign or symbol in shorthand. it is a particular form
of symbol which presents in a graphic way a word or group of words,
eg. Radio Avon.
CO-ORDINATED CLAUSES - a long sentence, made up of what could have
been short sentences, but which are sometimes strung together in
speech. eg. We will meet at five and pool our material and see if we
can reach a conclusion and afterwards send the books back but I
can't stay long.
- an unstated comparison of one thing with another. One thing is
said to BE another. eg. The boy hared around the track.
SENTENCE - a sentence that is complete in itself but which does not
contain a finite verb. eg. What? Eh/ Closed until further notice.
- the correspondence of sound with meaning. The sound of the word
resembles the meaning of the word. eg. his, buzz, rustle, pop.
"A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch and blue spurt of a
lighted match". Browning) "The moan of doves in immemorial
elms, and murmuring of innumerable bees". (Tennyson).
- additional meaning that a word has to convey to users of that
word. These associations may be developed in three ways.
Names: some names develop associations, Diana, Jesus, Adolf,
Value Judgement: some words have implied value judgements, eg.
slouch, gawky. a) Purr words: words with favourable value judgements
are often called purr words. b) Snarl words: words with unfavourable
value judgements are often called snarl words.
Words associated with a particular resister. eg. terrific,
- a figure of speech where two words or phrases of opposite
significance are placed consecutively to highlight the contrast - D
Thomas. "My youth is bent by the same wintry fever", eg.
bitter sweet, a sour sweet love, Macbeth - 'a joyful trouble to
- a statement that seems absurd and self-contradicting but which is
in fact true eg. Donne: One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And
Death shall be no more, Death, thou shalt die. Wordsworth: The child
is father of the man.
- a metaphor or simile in which an inanimate object or an abstract
concept is given HUMAN qualities. eg. The mountains marched to the
VERBS - in informal speech we often use a phrasal verb rather than a
more formal, more exact single word verb, eg. shake out takes out -
remove, extract sort out - decide, arrange pick over - select
WORDS - two words combined, in form and meaning, into one, f,
JABBERWOCKY eg. slithy = lithe + slimy, chortle = chuckle + snort.
Also Eurasia, Australasia.
- when the modifying words come after the HEAD eg. the defence of
the free world HEAD POST MODIFICATION God the Father almighty HEAD
POST MODIFICATION Thou, who takes away the sins of the world HEAD
POST MODIFICATION. PREDICATE - the verb and everything after the
subject, eg. Dante hated flies. I hate orange curtains. The dog
- A noun-group must have a headword, which may be pre-modified (ie
have modifying words before it). eg this dreadful suicidal wall.
- the use of two words with the same sound (homophones) for humorous
effect eg. the mortician's description of his client as a grave man.
QUESTION - a statement in the form of a question: a question asked
not to gain a reply, but to achieve a rhetorical emphasis stronger
than a direct statement, eg. "Now could things be worse? There
is nothing left to go wrong."
- the identity of the final accented vowel and all following sounds
in two words. eg. still-hill, bore-more, ending-bending. Effects: to
create a pleasant sound to enhance or contribute to meaning, to bind
a verse together, to emphasise a word, to make it memorable.
RHYME - where the words that rhyme are not at the end of lines, but
one is in the line of the following line. eg. Coleridge: "In
mist or cloud, on mast of shroud, It perched for vespers nine: While
all the night, through fog-smoke white glimmered the white
(Meter) - The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in
language, especially poetry. eg "Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again".
- the comparison of two things is stated. One thing is said to be
the LIKE or the same AS the other. eg "The boy ran like a
- the use of specialised words and phases within a specific social
group eg. bikies, Porridge: nurk, screw, con, stretch, nick, fuzz,
bird = prison sentence. Rhyming slang - flowery dell - cell, captain
cook/butcher's (hook) = lock.
- something that stands for something else eg a crown, red cross,
- a form of irony in which something is deliberately represented as
being much less than it is. Swift: "Last week I saw a woman
flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her
appearance for the worse". Twain: "The reports of my death
are greatly exaggerated."
CONTRACTIONS - instead of the full verb, eg I'll, we'll, can't,
"FILLER" VERBS - verbs used commonly in conversation which
do not carry much specific meaning eg. got.