15 Anaphora Examples: So Many Examples, So Little Time
If you’re looking for anaphora examples to master your understanding of this literary device, this post is for you!
After reading this post, you’ll be able to identify anaphora sprinkled throughout the lyrics of your favorite songs, lines of poetry, and famous political speeches. You might even be inspired to incorporate it into your own writing!
If you’re looking to distinguish anaphora from other similar literary devices, you’re in the right place.
If you’re looking for reasons anaphora is used in writing (or where it’s applicable in your own writing), look no further.
And If you’re looking for a definition of anaphora, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Read on, my friend!
What is Anaphora?
Anaphora, pronounced [a – naf – o – ra], is a literary device that lends emphasis to words through deliberate repetition of similar words or phrases at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.
In persuasive verbal or written works, anaphora also acts as a rhetorical device that engages the emotions (pathos) of the audience.
Repetition for emphasis is a common writing technique. To distinguish anaphora from other literary devices, let’s compare it to its variants.
Epistrophe: The Opposite of Anaphora
The antonym of anaphora is epistrophe, which is the rhetorical repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive sentences or clauses. Epistrophe functions very similarly to anaphora in poetry or speeches, creating a rhythm that draws more attention and emphasizes an idea or statement.
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address ended in epistrophe:
“- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Symploce: Combination of Anaphora and Epistrophe
A blend of anaphora and epistrophe, symploce is the rhetorical repetition of words or phrases at the beginning and end of successive sentences. President Bill Clinton’s “A Time of Healing” speech after the Oklahoma City bombing included symploce:
“When there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it. When there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it.”
Repetition and rhythm are at work here again, with minor tweaks to phrases to emphasize the contrast between right and wrong.
15 Anaphora Examples
Now that we’re familiar with what anaphora is, some examples of anaphora in literature, poetry, rhetorical speeches, song lyrics, and movie scripts will help demonstrate its contextual effect.
Let’s dive in!
Anaphora Examples in Literature
One of the most memorable openings of classic literature kicks off our list of examples.
The first sentence of Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Tale of Two Cities”, draws in the reader with a rhythm of anaphoric phrases (including symploce):
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way”
J.D. Salinger used anaphora (and the Rule of Three) in “The Catcher in the Rye“ to emphasize Holden’s emotions regarding his brother’s gravesite:
“It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place.”
Similarly, John of Gaunt’s monologue in Shakespeare’s play, “Richard II” contains many phrases starting with “this”, referring to England:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,…
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land”
Anaphora Examples in Poetry
Repetition is a structural element in poetry that helps to convey the tone or meaning behind the words to the reader.
Anaphora is one of many rhetorical tools that achieves this effect.
See how Maya Angelou intensified her will to overcome in her poem, Still I Rise by itemizing repeated forms of mistreatment using the phrase “you may”:
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise”
In the closing of her inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman punctuated her hope for unity and healing by repeating the phrase “we will”.
Further, repetition of the distinct phrase “we will rise” (alluding to Maya Angelou’s poem) figuratively unifies citizens across various regions of the country.
“Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west.
We will rise from the windswept northeast,
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover.”
Conversely, anaphora can emphasize opposing ideas.
For example, Robert Frost began his poem, Fire and Ice with anaphora and alliteration to recognize stark differences of opinion regarding the world’s end.
“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.”
Anaphora Examples in Speeches
Rhythm is often used to help audiences link concepts and emphasize the speaker’s point of view. Anaphora engages and lifts audiences with its rhythmic quality, and is especially effective in political speeches.
In his June 4, 1940 “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” address to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill asserted his conviction to resist the anticipated Nazi invasion:
“…we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”
Another famous example is from Martin Luther King Jr. when delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the non-violent civil rights March on Washington in 1963.
Anaphora underscored the urgency for change in the text of his speech:
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality”
He continued by sharing a vision for the future with successive phrases starting with “I have a dream”, concluding with his steadfast statement of faith.
“With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together”
A few years later, Robert F. Kennedy mirrored MLK’s anaphoric words when announcing the assassination of his friend:
“What we need in the United States is not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness; but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another”
Anaphora Examples in Songs
Like poetry, anaphora cements the message within song lyrics and binds repeated words with rhythm.
Notice how anaphora strengthens the certainty of Sam Cooke’s love by accentuating his ambivalence about more tangible subjects in his 1960 R&B tune, Wonderful World:
“Don’t know much about history,
Don’t know much biology.
Don’t know much about a science book,
Don’t know much about the French I took.
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a wonderful world this would be”
Johnny Cash wrote the music and lyrics for “I Walk the Line” with repeated “I keep” phrases that illustrate his strong devotion to his wife while on tour:
“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine, I walk the line”
“Some Nights” by Fun is another song about being away from home, but anaphora in the lyrics suggests a cadence of change and internal doubts.
“Some nights I stay up
Cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off”
Sting’s lyrics for The Police’s 1983 hit, “Every Breath You Take”, certify his sinister obsession with his ex-lover through an anaphoric (and rhyming) list of everything he’s watching about her.
“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you”
Anaphora Examples in Movies
In the movies, anaphoric lines draw attention to characters and amplify the dramatic effect of their words.
For example, In “Casablanca”, Rick Blaine, dejected over seeing his lost love Ilsa, utters this memorable quote:
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Likewise, audiences are still captivated by Sean’s monologue in the 1997 “Good Will Hunting” park bench scene, where anaphora structures his script, highlighting the distinction between intelligence and education.
Listen for the successive lines:
“If I asked you about art…If I asked you about women…If I ask you about war…And if I asked you about love…”
Why Use Anaphora?
Clearly, anaphora is an impactful literary tool. But why use it?
The beauty of anaphora is that it leverages the simple mechanical component of rhythm to encourage an emphasized impact to the audience.
Rhythm captures our attention and helps our internal metronome process information and anticipate what’s coming next.
Our senses heightened, we perceive a greater emphasis on concepts, ideas, and emotional expression.
Where to Use Anaphora for Emphasis
As a writer, enhance your skillset by using anaphora to :
draw your audience’s attention to something
uplift or enliven your audience
elevate the artistic effect of a character trait
highlight a pivotal moment
emphasize a concept
project your point of view or state of mind
express a strong emotion
list similar or contrasting concepts or ideas
Anaphora subtly and elegantly drums words into your audience’s heads. Present your words in rhythmic, anaphoric form to captivate your audience and enhance your writing repertoire.
Take Inspiration From Anaphora Examples
Literary devices like anaphora give words a helping hand in expressing emphasis or emotion that words alone can’t do.
Our anaphora examples show how to identify anaphora (and other similar literary tools) while demonstrating an effective persuasive technique that’ll amplify your future writing projects.
Be inspired to add more emotion.
Be inspired to effectively stress your point of view.
Be inspired to connect and engage with your audience.
More drama. More rhythm. More impact.
Be inspired to add more firepower to your words with anaphora!
The post 15 Anaphora Examples: So Many Examples, So Little Time appeared first on Smart Blogger.
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15+ Chiasmus Examples & Definition: Write Like Yoda, You Will
Let me guess.
You’re searching for chiasmus examples to clear up the fuzz surrounding its meaning.
After all, chiasmus isn’t exactly a word you hear every day.
But truthfully, though?
This literary technique is more common than you might think. You’ve probably seen it countless times without even realizing it.
Everyone from William Shakespeare to JFK to Martin Luther King used chiasmus to enhance their message.
And the best part:
It’s one of the easiest yet powerful ways to transform your writing.
Have I got your attention?
Excellent. How about we start with the definition?
Chiasmus is a two-part sentence or phrase, where the second part is a reversal of the first.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is a simple example of this literary device.
I need to clarify something, though.
Chiasmus doesn’t have to use the same wording in both phrases to qualify as a chiasm.
Check out this example:
“And these tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them,” said Walt Whitman in Song of Myself.
Notice how both parts are reversed for contrast?
The wording may be different in both parts, but the phrase is still chiastic.
The Difference Between Chiasmus & Antimetabole
I’ll be upfront with you.
There’s a ton of debate in the literary community about the relationship between chiasmus and antimetabole. Some people argue that they’re synonyms. Some people argue that they’re not.
So which is it?
Well, antimetabole is actually a subtype of chiasmus. But, not every chiasmus is an antimetabole.
Let me explain.
Antimetabole reverses the exact same wording in successive clauses.
For example, JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
And there you have it.
That’s the critical difference between antimetabole and chiasmus:
Antimetabole has to use the same wording to be considered an antimetabole.
It has more flexibility because it can use different words.
For instance, a chiasmus phrase can simply reverse similar concepts or ideas and still maintain its chiastic structure.
Want an example?
Emiliano Zapata said:
“I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”
Easy enough, right?
Let’s dive into a few more examples.
15+ Chiasmus Examples
The word chiasmus was originally Greek for “crossing” or “X-shaped.” It gained popularity in the mid-17th century when writers discovered just how impactful this literary technique is.
Let me show you.
Examples of Chiasmus in Literature
Not surprisingly, poets regularly use chiasmus to add a lyrical effect to their poetry. Plus, their verses are more memorable when they repeat words in reverse.
For example, in Paradise Lost, John Milton used a chiasmus when he wrote:
“Adam, first of men,
To first of women, Eve”
Milton starts with repetition by using the phrase “first of.” Then he contrasts opposing genders by using “men” and “women.”
And as it turns out?
Milton was a big fan of chiasmus as a literary technique. In another verse from Paradise Lost, he wrote:
“The mind is its own place and, in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.”
We can learn a lot from writers like John Milton.
His poem, Paradise Lost, is more than just the biblical story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. It’s full of literary terms that’ll show you how to be a more persuasive and interesting writer.
But he’s not alone. Other poets used chiastic statements, too.
For example, in Lord Byron’s Don Juan, he wrote:
“Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.”
Examples of Chiasmus in Religion & Philosophy
Want to hear something interesting?
Many books of the Old Testament were originally written as Hebrew poetry. This includes Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
So what makes a Hebrew poem poetic?
You see, parallelism is another way to describe chiasmus. In a nutshell, parallel phrases express a single idea in two or more different ways.
For example, in Proverbs 11:19-20, we read this chiasmus:
“The wicked man earns an empty wage, but he who sows righteousness reaps a true reward. Genuine righteousness leads to life, but the pursuit of evil brings death.“
Another example comes from Matthew 23:12, where Jesus said:
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.“
In Mark 2:27, Jesus also used a chiasmus when he said:
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
God intended the Sabbath day to be a blessing to man. It’s a day for spiritual refreshment and rest.
Examples of Chiasmus in Pop Culture
Let’s face it.
Actress, Mae West, was famous for her one-liners. She was witty, funny, and entertaining to watch.
In fact, one of West’s most classic catchphrases was also an example of chiasmus. She said:
“It’s not the men in my life; it’s the life in my men.”
The truth is, Mae West was the queen of using literary devices to craft lines that made her a superstar.
In modern film, though, Yoda has taken the crown as the king of chiasmus — he switches words around constantly.
For example, in The Empire Strikes Back, Master Yoda said:
“Once you start down the dark path, forever it
will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”
Here’s a clip of Yoda speaking using a chiasm:
I don’t care what anyone says. Yoda is the man.
Chiasmus isn’t just limited to the big screen, though.
Crosby Stills, Nash & Young sang a famous song titled “Love the One You’re With” that featured this chiasmus:
“And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey,
Love the one you’re with.”
Truer words were never spoken.
Examples of Chiasmus in Comedy
There’s one thing for sure:
The movie Mean Girls has become a cult classic, and it hasn’t even been around 20 years yet.
And you know what?
The movie even has its own designated day. Social media and movie fans around the world celebrate October 3 as “National Mean Girls Day.”
That said, it’s no surprise that this movie uses chiasmus to inject humor into the script.
Here’s a prime chiasmus example from the movie:
“Laura, I don’t hate you because you’re fat. You’re fat because I hate you.”
Check out this clip:
Another chiasmus example comes from Dorothy Parker. She said:
“I’m not a writer with a drinking problem; I’m a drinker with a writing problem.”
Parker was a poet and writer who was known for her wisecracks and witty comments.
Speaking of witty comments, Yogi Berra was well known for those too.
Berra was a famous American baseball player for the New York Yankees. And in March 1986, he was trying to tell Houston journalists that he wasn’t responsible for all the comments attributed to him.
Or, as Yogi put it:
“I really didn’t say everything I said.”
This chiasmus statement was later featured in the LA times because of how funny it was.
Examples of Chiasmus in Speeches
Make no mistake.
John F. Kennedy’s speeches are chock-full of rhetoric. He used everything from anaphora, antitheses, repetition, and more to express his ideas.
And it worked.
He gave us two prime chiasmus examples when he said:
“Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”
“Mankind must put an end to war – or war will put an end to mankind.”
So that begs the question:
Why did JFK use literary devices like chiasmus so much?
Because it allowed him to persuade his audience and leave a tremendous impact on the world.
The use of rhetorical devices also made his quotes memorable, hence why they’re still repeated decades later.
Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian politician, was also no stranger to the benefits of such rhetorical devices.
Here’s one of his famous chiasmus examples:
“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.”
I’d say he had a point, wouldn’t you?
Chiasmus goes hand in hand with several literary devices like parallelism, antithesis, and juxtaposition.
For starters, a chiasmus is a type of inverted parallelism.
Now, inverted parallelism happens when word order or grammatical structure is reversed in two phrases.
And surprise, surprise:
Antithesis is another literary device used alongside chiasmus. Like chiasmus, antithesis juxtaposes two opposing concepts.
But how does chiasmus differ from antithesis?
Well, antithesis creates a contrast between words or ideas. Chiasmus, on the other hand, reverses grammatical structure or wording in successive phrases or sentences.
Take this antithesis example from Neil Armstrong:
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
“Small step” and “giant leap” are opposites.
But here’s the deal:
Chiasmus isn’t just about placing related concepts together for contrast. Instead, chiasmus takes it a step further by actually swapping the order of the parts.
Remember our Mae West example from earlier:
“It’s not the men in my life; it’s the life in my men.”
See the difference?
Why Use Chiasmus in Your Writing?
Writing, if done well, can open the hearts and minds of your readers.
It can also inspire them to take action, entice them to buy a product or service, or relate to them on a deeper level.
Don’t just take it from me, though. Even Forbes believes in the power of writing, having recently published an article calling writing the “most important skill” to have in business.
So now you’re asking:
How can I stand out amongst the sea of other content creators?
How can I create content so good that it resonates with people?
Well, it might be easier than you think.
Successful writers — the ones who grow a fan base of loyal readers — use literary techniques like chiasmus.
And guess what?
You can too. When you use chiastic patterns in your writing, you can:
Enhance your prose by emphasizing your message
Make your content more memorable and quotable
Add structure or poetic form to your writing
Draw attention to unique ideas
That, my friend, is why you want to use chiasmus in your writing. Because it gives you an edge that makes your content more memorable, punchy, and quotable.
So now the question becomes…
How Can I Apply These Chiasmus Examples to My Writing?
If you want to add more gusto to your writing — and I mean really take it to the next level — then you’ll need examples and inspiration.
The next time you see a chiasmus example you like — hopefully, you found a few in this post — put it in your swipe file for safekeeping. Then, when you’re ready to write, revisit your examples and let them inspire your own powerful words!
Successful artists and writers have been doing this for ages.
Now it’s your turn.
The post 15+ Chiasmus Examples & Definition: Write Like Yoda, You Will appeared first on Smart Blogger.
from SEO and SM Tips https://smartblogger.com/chiasmus-examples/
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15+ Diction Examples for Any Voice and Style (Formal & Informal)
Looking for diction examples to inspire your next writing project?
Ready to add some interest and flair to your prose?
While diction is a pretty straightforward literary element, seeing it in action makes it easier to understand.
That’s why we’ve come up with numerous examples to illustrate the varieties of diction and the ways it can enhance your writing.
By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of what diction is, the different types of diction, and how it can help you be a better writer.
Let’s dive in.
What is Diction?
Diction is a literary device used by writers to convey their message in a specific style and tone.
In other words, diction encompasses the distinct word choices, tone, and style used by a writer.
You see, the style and tone of a story can change dramatically according to the writer’s choice in vocabulary — and we’ll see why that matters in a second.
Likewise, diction can also describe a style of writing particular to a writer.
For example, a fictional story set in Paris during WWII will have different diction than a story set in New York City in 2021.
Stephen King’s diction differs from John Grisham’s because they are writing for different audiences.
And even though Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel are both romance authors, their styles, or diction, are different because they each make word choices unique to the way they write.
What is the Purpose of Diction?
Diction is choosing your words with care to direct a story, establish a background, or set a tone.
A presidential speech will almost always have a formal tone.
Compare that to a webinar script where, even for an expensive product, it will come across as more casual (even as the speaker demonstrates authority on the topic).
Some literary terms are closely related to diction, but they mean different things.
For context, and to get a better understanding of diction, let’s review these terms.
Idiom has two meanings.
Idiom is sometimes used as a synonym for diction, meaning the words a writer uses.
It can also refer to a phrase that has a different meaning than the words would imply.
Break a leg does not mean that someone literally wants you to break your leg.
Break a leg is an example of an idiom that means good luck.
Once in a blue moon doesn’t really refer to the moon turning blue.
It means something that happens infrequently.
Dialects can be divided into two groups: regional dialect and social dialect.
Regional dialects refer to how people in different regions speak differently, while social dialects refer to how people from different social backgrounds speak differently.
An example of regional dialect would be the word y’all.
Though I haven’t lived in the south for almost 20 years, I grew up there, and I still use the southern dialect of y’all in my writing & speech.
My extended family in New York knows what I mean when I say y’all, but they’d never use the expression themselves. Being Northerners, they’d say you guys.
Charles Dickens used social dialect to set a tone for his stories.
Take a peek at the quote below and note how Dickens wrote Sam Weller’s speech patterns to reflect his social standing in Victorian England.
Based on his dialect, can you guess if Sam was a wealthy person or someone from the working class?
From The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens:
“That’s the pint, sir. Out vith it, as the father said to the child, wen he swallowed a garden.”
If you guessed working class, you’re right!
See how Sam Weller’s Cockney dialect reveals his working-class background?
Jargon is a type of language specific to a particular group or profession, like law, business, or medicine.
Outsiders find it more difficult to understand than normal language because they haven’t been exposed to the same vocabulary.
Now, when jargon becomes too difficult, it can alienate readers.
For example, if you’ve never started a blog or online business, phrases like click-through rate (CTR) or search engine optimization (SEO) might be puzzling. But once you’ve been blogging a while, those terms become a regular part of your vocabulary.
7 Types of Diction with Examples
Formal diction word choices are very specific and proper.
In response to a request that you do something, formal diction might sound like, “I will address that issue right away.”
Alternatively, using informal diction, the response would be more casual like, “You got it.”
Both sentences mean the same thing, but they convey distinct tones.
Pedantic diction is when a writer uses unnecessarily long words, more complex sentence structures, or archaic words to show their intelligence.
This comes across as pretentious, making the reader feel like they’re being talked down to, and also making them less interested in what the writer has to say.
Sheldon Cooper of the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory is an excellent example of someone using pedantic diction.
Here’s a glimpse of Sheldon’s pedantic diction in action:
Sheldon: “I’m writing an appeal to the faculty senate so that I can move on from string theory.”
Leonard: “How’s it going?”
Sheldon: You tell me. “Dear esteemed colleagues. As you may know, I have requested to change my field of study. My decision to do so is, I believe, in the best interest of science. At your convenience, I’d be happy to explain it to you in words you’ll understand.”
Colloquial diction is the use of informal words or expressions associated with a specific region or time period.
Now, writers use colloquial diction because it helps a sentence sound more natural and relaxed — it also adds personality to dialogue, making it rich and memorable.
“She’s fixin’ to go to the store sometime soon.”
Fixin’ is a southern colloquialism that means getting ready.
For anyone not from the south, this sentence translates to:
“She’s getting ready to go to the store soon.”
Notice how the former sentence has more depth and personality than the latter sentence? Also, did you picture two completely different speakers? That’s the power of colloquial diction.
Slang is a type of informal language originating with one group of people that eventually makes its way into the greater lexicon.
Slang words tend to be generational and last only for a short period.
For example, slang from the 1970s, like far out or groovy for cool, is rarely heard today.
Some examples of current slang terms would be tea for gossip, shady for suspicious, or ripped for physically fit.
Abstract diction is the description of emotions or ideas.
Now, with abstract diction, you can use metaphors and other figures of speech to present concepts that may be difficult to understand.
To illustrate this, let’s look at the concept of love.
Love is intangible — you can’t describe its physical appearance and it doesn’t have features you can highlight. But, as a writer, you paint a picture of love with abstract diction.
For example, take these powerful words from Aristotle:
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
See how something as abstract and intangible as love becomes more concrete and tangible?
Concrete diction uses specific and detailed words to vivid imagery for the reader.
For example, if you were telling someone about the dinner, you had at the new restaurant in town, you could say, “I had the steak.”
Or you could say, “I had the marinated flank steak, sauteed asparagus with aged gouda, and roasted fingerling potatoes. Then for dessert, we had butterscotch banana splits. It was amazing!”
Which description paints a more detailed image of your meal?
Poetic diction is the use of language to evoke a mood or feeling.
Specifically, poetic diction relies on repetition, alliteration, figurative language, and other devices to create an emotional response in the reader.
Although poetic diction is most often used in poetry, it can be found in other forms of writing, such as song lyrics or even advertising copy.
The poem Up In a Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson is a good example of poetic diction.
“How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!”
Examples of Diction in Literature
We can find many examples of diction in literature.
For example, look at Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.”
Huck’s diction reflects his casual, boyish manner and lack of formal education. Notice how Twain uses diction to set a mood for the story?
Contrast that with Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores.”
Nick has a far more formal way of speaking — it’s cultured and sophisticated and sets a very different tone for Fitzgerald’s story.
And then let’s look at To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.”
While Atticus Finch normally has a more reserved manner of speech, when he is talking to his daughter, Scout, his tone and cadence change. He’s more relaxed speaking to her, using phrases like “get your goat.”
Final Thoughts on Diction Examples
Now that you’ve seen some examples of diction in literature and other writing, are you ready to add this literary device to your writing toolkit?
Whether you’re freelance writing for a client or writing blog posts for your own business, diction is a great way to add some life and variety to your prose.
Which type of diction will you try first?
The post 15+ Diction Examples for Any Voice and Style (Formal & Informal) appeared first on Smart Blogger.
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20 Aphorism Examples that Prove Knowledge is Power
Alright, show of hands.
How many times have you heard one of the following aphorism examples?
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “Curiosity killed the cat.” “Practice what you preach.”
Too many times to count, right?
They’re inspirational quotes. They’re in social media captions all over the web. They’re written in countless books and passed down as folk wisdom.
Aphorisms are so common that we hardly think twice about them.
But not today.
Today, I’ll define aphorism and show you how these handy little sayings make your writing more memorable.
Are you in?
Let’s get started.
What is an Aphorism?
An aphorism is a literary device that uses a short, clever saying to express a general truth.
The term aphorism originates from late Latin aphorismus and Greek aphorismos.
Now here’s the big question:
How do aphorisms differ from adages and proverbs?
Truthfully, there aren’t huge differences between the three. That’s why aphorisms, adages, and proverbs are synonyms for each other.
But one key difference is that for a phrase to be truly aphoristic, it needs to be a short statement.
Repeat after me:
Brevity is the key.
Proverbs, on the other hand, can be much longer than aphorisms and adages.
Take this proverb, for example:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
It’s a great saying, but it’s not something you’d necessarily repeat over the dinner table.
Now compare that proverb to this famous aphorism:
“The early bird gets the worm.”
See the difference?
Both sayings highlight the benefits of waking up early. But, the aphorism is short and sweet.
Now that we’ve covered the aphorism definition, are you ready for more examples?
Your wish is my command.
20 Aphorism Examples
Aphorisms often use metaphors or creative imagery to express ideas.
And since they’re universal truths about life, they help persuade your reader to accept your message. We see this in literature all the time.
Examples of Aphorism in Literature
Do you believe that a penny saved is a penny earned?
If you do, you agree with George Herbert’s famous aphorism from his book, Outlandish Proverbs.
The original dictum said, “A penny spar’d is twice got,” but it’s adapted over the years for modern English.
Another aphorism that’s adapted is, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
This quote originated from Thomas Howell in New Sonnets and Pretty Pamphlets.
It originally read, “Count not they chickens that unhatched be…”
Don’t count on things that haven’t happened yet because something unexpected could occur.
It’s better safe than sorry, right?
Speaking of being safe, that’s another aphorism example that you’ve probably heard before.
“Better safe than sorry” is a piece of wisdom from Samuel Lover’s book, Rory O’More.
It reminds us to take precautionary measures, so we don’t end up with bad results.
Examples of Aphorisms for Success
Here’s a classic Japanese saying for you:
What does it mean?
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
This famous motto highlights the truism that life is full of ups and downs.
So what do you do?
You get up and keep trying. Because let’s face it, perseverance is the key to success in life.
Another success aphorism comes from Chris Grosser:
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
Thomas Jefferson also mirrored this general idea when he said, “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
Examples of Aphorism in Film
It’s become one of the most viral memes on the internet.
What am I referring to?
The part in Star Wars where Yoda says, “There is do, or do not. There is no try.”
It’s one of my favorite aphorisms because it’s simple but yet powerful.
Take a look:
Luke’s having a tough time, and he’s discouraged.
But Yoda isn’t having it.
He knows that Luke should either decide that he can do it or decide to quit.
Another example comes from Spider-Man, where Uncle Ben turns to Peter Parker and says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Check it out:
The idea is simple.
If you can do something, then you need to do it for the good of others.
Michael Corleone from The Godfather II disagreed with that. He played the villain in the movie that famously stated:
“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It’s one of the most recognized aphoristic statements today. See for yourself:
Examples of Aphorism in Politics
George Washington is known for his wise sayings.
He once stated, “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
This aphorism is short and sweet, but it teaches us a valuable truth:
Life is too short to surround yourself with toxic people.
Washington also said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
This is especially true if the excuse is a lie. Washington’s message was that it’s wiser to be upfront and deal with the consequences.
We’ve all probably had to learn that the hard way.
This also reminds me of a precept by Sir Edwin Sandys, a politician who helped establish Jamestown, Virginia.
Sandys said, “Honestie the best policie,” which in modern English is…
Yup, you guessed it.
“Honesty is the best policy.”
Like George Washington, Sandys believed that telling the truth is always the way to go.
Aphorism Examples in Everyday Speech
Let me ask you:
Have you ever felt frustrated when other people didn’t meet your expectations?
Napoleon Bonaparte could relate.
He once stated, “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”
Oftentimes, it makes sense to delegate tasks.
It’s easier to do it yourself rather than try to explain it to someone else.
Shifting gears a little, let’s talk about one of the world’s greatest aphorists – Benjamin Franklin.
He’s earned that title because he’s authored dozens of aphorisms.
One of his most notable is, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
People often use this quote when discussing health, but Franklin was talking about fire safety.
That’s not what you expected, was it?
Yup, he was reminding Philadelphians that preventing fires is better than fighting them.
Finally, “Actions speak louder than words” is another classic example.
The origins of this saying are open for debate, but it’s primarily attributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Other Common Examples of Aphorisms
Want a few more?
“A Jack of all trades is a master of none” is a familiar aphorism famously used by Robert Greene in his book, Greene’s Groats-Worth of Wit.
The complete quote was, “A Jack of all trades and master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Interestingly enough, this saying was initially intended as a compliment. It meant that the person was versatile and adept at many things.
But these days?
Not so much.
Today, calling someone a “Jack of all trades” is usually a jab because it implies that their knowledge is superficial.
Another memorable aphorism is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
This quote came from Wales, first appearing in an 1866 publication.
The original saying was, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”
Finally, “All things come to those who wait” is a good aphorism we’re all familiar with.
It originated from Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie’s poem Tout vient a qui sait attendre:
“’Ah, all things come to those who wait,’
(I say these words to make me glad),”
Now you might be asking:
Why is this stuff important?
Let’s talk about that.
The Purpose & Function of Aphorism
Aphorisms state universal truths about life that encourage reflection.
They’re easy to remember and pass down through generations because they’re concise.
Skilled writers use aphorisms to evoke big ideas in a relatable way. Because, if you can remind your reader of a quote they’re familiar with, then you can build upon a foundation of shared meaning.
Aphoristic statements also appear in everyday life, such as daily speeches made by politicians and leaders.
Their direct, witty approach is what makes these self-evident truths powerful.
Not only that, but you can use aphorisms in your writing to summarize your central theme.
If you’re writing about how to be a better writer, then the aphorism you might choose to summarize your advice could be, “Practice makes perfect.”
And get this:
Aphorisms can act as a guideline to help narrow the focus of your work.
For example, in The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop and Musaeus Grammaticus, the moral of the story can be summarized with the aphorism, “Honesty is the best policy.”
Your stories can benefit from this method too.
Pick an aphorism that relates to your message and use it to stay focused on your overarching theme. From there, you can build your story around it.
Ready to Use These Aphorism Examples In Your Writing?
You’re prepared to use these handy little sayings to make your prose more relatable.
But there’s no certain magic to sprinkling aphorisms into your writing. There must be a method to your madness.
So my advice?
Try this common approach used by children’s authors: Start by finding an aphorism that summarizes the main insight or “moral” of your story. Then use it as a guideline to stay focused on your general theme.
Build a storyline around that saying.
Give it a try!
As they say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
The post 20 Aphorism Examples that Prove Knowledge is Power appeared first on Smart Blogger.
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Allusion Defined: 25+ Allusion Examples from Literature & Life
The best allusion examples in literature, film, TV, and conversations demonstrate why this literary device is so powerful.
Not only do allusions capture attention and create a sense of shared understanding, but we can’t seem to help weaving them into our creations.
You probably use allusions more often than you realize.
And whatever you’re alluding to within your story, article, screenplay, speech, or conversation, you want your audience to feel that spark of recognition.
So what are some good allusions you can use to draw them in?
What is Allusion?
Put simply, an allusion is a reference to something outside the moment in which your scene, song, or statement takes place.
An external allusion (which most allusions are) refers to something outside your story but familiar to your reader.
An internal allusion refers to something earlier in your story, which you hope your reader noticed.
TLDR; an allusion is like a subtle reference to something.
It helps to have a working allusion definition.
But to really understand allusions, you need to see them in context and get a handle on some of their history as a literary device.
Storytellers use allusions all the time and have for centuries. If they can trigger a memory in their reader, they can draw them more deeply into the scene.
The reader picks up the allusion, recognizes the reference, and feels more like an insider — someone with shared knowledge. Plus, any mental images that come to mind as a result of the allusion help tie the story to the reader’s own experience.
As common as they are, it’s important to distinguish between allusions and other literary devices like the following:
Allegory – when a character symbolizes a real-world problem, value, or occurrence
Analogy – when two unrelated objects are compared to show similarities
Archetype – a universal idea, symbol, pattern, or character type used in a story
Citation – directly referencing a relevant author or source by name
Foreshadowing – an indirect reference to something that will happen later
Parody – imitating an author or style with intent to ridicule
Pastiche – imitating an author or style with intent to celebrate
How to Recognize Allusions
To recognize an allusion and distinguish it from similar literary devices, keep the following in mind (especially with external allusions):
Allusions refer to something the author’s peers/audience will likely know about
Unlike foreshadowing, allusion refers to something that’s already happened
Unlike with archetypes, the thing alluded to is not universally known or timeless
The passage of time can make allusions less effective; familiarity is not guaranteed
Allusions do not require nor offer further explanation
Authors use allusion with the assumption that most if not all their readers are familiar with what they’re referencing.
And in some cases – like allusions to bible stories or to Roman or Greek mythology – the references retain their potency over the years.
Not all allusions age well.
But the examples below reference events, stories, and characters that still have a prominent place in our collective memory.
25 Allusion Examples
We’ve grouped the following collection of allusion examples according to type. Depending on your background and interests, some are likely to be more familiar than others.
Allusions in Classical Mythology
Allusions to Greek and Roman mythology have aged fairly well over the centuries. Allude to a Greek or Roman god or myth and those who share that knowledge pay closer attention.
Ask yourself if any of the following examples sound familiar.
“He’s hosting his annual Bacchanal this weekend. Most of the neighborhood is showing up. The rest have the cops on speed dial.”
The allusion to Bacchus / Dionysus — the god of wine and revelry — lets the reader (and the neighbors) know what to expect of the party being held.
Midas Tire Company’s motto: “Trust the Midas touch.”
The motto alludes to the mythological King Midas whose touch could turn anything (or anyone) to gold. Midas Tire Company uses that allusion to convey the idea that whatever project they touch will “turn to gold,” i.e., result in the best outcome for their customers.
“The mayor’s protean policies mirrored those of his most generous supporters.”
Here, the speaker alludes to the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. Another mythological figure used in a similar way is the two-faced Roman god Janus.
The bible is actually the source of numerous allusions we use in everyday speech.
Here are some of the more familiar ones you’ve probably heard (or used yourself):
“There he goes again, playing the Good Samaritan.”
This allusion references the popular Bible story to describe someone who goes out of their way to help a stranger.
“I guess that’s just my cross to bear.”
This biblical allusion references the crucifixion of Jesus and meaning a burden to bear or suffering to accept or tolerate.
“Your father has the patience of Job!”
And finally, this reference alluding the biblical character, Job, to describe someone with extreme patience in the face of unusual challenges.
Allusion Examples in Poetry
Allusions in poetry can either be brief references or extended parallels that continue throughout the piece — or for a significant part of it.
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” (1923) by Robert Frost
“Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
Frost briefly references the Garden of Eden in the bible to drive home his point that not even paradise can last forever.
All Overgrown By Cunning Moss” by Emily Dickinson
“All overgrown by cunning moss,
All interspersed with weed,
The little cage of “Currer Bell”
In quiet “Haworth” laid.”
Currer Bell was the pen name of Charlotte Bronte, who died and was buried in the English village of Haworth. Dickinson wrote this poem as a tribute to Bronte on the fourth anniversary of her death.
“Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf” by Jorge Luis Borges
”At various times, I have asked myself what reasons
moved me to study, while my night came down,
without particular hope of satisfaction,
the language of the blunt-tongued Anglo-Saxons.”
The entire poem depends on its audience’s familiarity with the story of Beowulf — its origins and its significance to world literature.
“A Name” by Ada Limón
‘When Eve walked among
the animals and named them—
nightingale, red-shouldered hawk,
fiddler crab, fallow deer—
I wonder if she ever wanted
them to speak back, looked into
their wide wonderful eyes and
whispered, ‘Name me, name me.’”
The allusion to Eve from the book of Genesis isn’t meant to be biblically accurate; the point is to take a well-known character and ask “What if…”?
Historical Allusion Examples
History is full of interesting characters, some more notorious than others. The following examples highlight just a sampling of figures and events that still capture our attention.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
“Are we poor, Atticus?”
Atticus nodded. “We are indeed.”
Jem’s nose wrinkled. “Are we as poor as the Cunninghams?”
“Not exactly. The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest.”
When the character Atticus Finch mentions “the crash,” he’s alluding to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression.
Star Trek (original series) allusions to Cold War events.
The creator, Gene Roddenberry, wanted to create episodes that alluded to the most pressing social and political controversies of the 1960s — the nuclear arms race, the Vietnam War, sexual liberation, and race relations.
Moby Dick (1851) by Herman Melville
The 19th-century whaling ship in the story is named Pequod, which alludes to the Native American Pequot tribe. Melville’s original audience was likely familiar with the Pequot War of 1636-1637, which nearly drove this tribe to extinction.
In this case, the ship’s name was both an allusion and a foreshadowing.
Examples of Allusion in Literature
Allusions in literature typically reference classic literary work, mythological or religious characters, or historical characters and events.
Consider the following literary allusion examples:
“See what a grace was seated on this brow,
Hyperion‘s curls, the front of Jove himself,
An eye like Mars‘ to threaten and command …”
Shakespeare uses mythological allusions to show Hamlet’s admiration for his murdered father — comparing the latter to three gods in Roman mythology.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
“The two knitting women increase his anxiety by gazing at him and all the other sailors with knowing unconcern.
Their eerie looks suggest that they know what will happen (the men dying), yet don’t care.”
Before this quote, Conrad describes the knitting women as “guarding the door of darkness,” alluding to the Fates of Greek mythology, who spin, measure, and cut the threads of life.
Look Back In Anger (1957 play) by John Osborne
“I suppose people of our generation aren’t able to die for good causes any longer.
We had all that done for us, in the thirties and forties, when we were still kids.
There aren’t any good, brave causes left.
If the big bang does come, and we all get killed off, it won’t be in aid of the old-fashioned grand design.
It’ll just be for the Brave New-nothing-very-much-thank-you.”
While he never explicitly references the Second World War, Osborne clearly alludes to it here when explaining his generation’s relative lack of purpose.
Allusion Examples in Film & Television
It’s not hard to find examples of allusion in both film and television series, as you’ll see from the few listed below.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
When Cameron leaves his father’s Ferrari at a Chicago parking garage, he doesn’t see the valet taking it for a joyride and soaring down the road to the tune of the Star Wars theme, off on an adventure of his own.
The teen comedy is essentially a modern retelling of the 1815 novel, Emma, by Jane Austen, though even viewers unfamiliar with the original could enjoy the film on its own.
The Angel series (1999 to 2004)
In one episode, Angel (played by David Boreanaz) describes a painting by Manet that features the French poet and critic Baudelaire:
“Now, Baudelaire… interesting fellow. In his poem ‘Le Vampyre’ he wrote: ‘Thou who abruptly as a knife didst come into my heart.’ He, ah, strongly believed that evil forces surrounded mankind. And some even speculated that the poem was about a real vampire. (He laughs). Oh and, ah, Baudelaire’s actually a little taller and a lot drunker than he’s depicted here.”
Allusions in Popular Culture
Pop culture allusions come in different types:
Allusions in pop culture that reference other pop culture
Allusions in pop culture that reference something other than pop culture
Allusions in everyday speech, marketing, or entertainment that reference pop culture
Doctor Who, Season 2: Episode #12: “Army of Ghosts”
In this episode, the Doctor (played by David Tennant), says, “Who you gonna call?” and his companion, Rose Tyler, replies with “Ghostbusters!” alluding to the trademark phrase from the well-known movie franchise (as well as the song).
Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”
“…That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
and my daddy said ‘Stay away from Juliet‘…”
The song alludes to the lead characters in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo snuck into the garden outside Juliet’s window, throwing pebbles to get her attention.
Kraft Mac’N’Cheese commercial with rapper Vanilla Ice
Not only did Kraft sell their product using a rapper familiar to the age group most likely to be buying it; the commercial also promoted Kraft’s new Ninja Turtle-shaped pasta, reminding viewers of the role Vanilla Ice had played in a Turtles movie.
Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
If you’ve never heard this song before, give it a listen. Almost every word is a direct allusion to a major historical event in the 20th century.
Let’s take a look at the last verse before the outro:
“Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shore, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller, cola wars, I can’t take it anymore”
See what I mean?
Allusions in Everyday Speech
You’ve probably heard some variation on the following examples:
“Wow, Einstein… Thanks for the tip.”
Using sarcasm + an allusion to Albert Einstein, a historical figure recognized as a genius.
“Cupid’s arrows only work if you have a heart.”
A mythological allusion to the Roman god Cupid.
“You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Alluding to the Greek god Atlas
You can probably think of others. We’re constantly connecting things and using those connections in our conversations and writings to draw people together.
How to Use Allusion in Your Writing
You have some idea, now, of why you’d like to use allusions in your work:
To create a sense of kinship with your readers
To convey big ideas or connect your story to them
To add layers to your story and its characters
To engage with works your readers are already familiar with
To demonstrate your cultural literacy or challenge that of your readers
But maybe you’re not yet sure just how to use them in your own writing. Here are a few time-tested ideas to get you started:
Create a character reminiscent of a well-known character or archetype.
Create a story similar to a beloved classic – but with a modern twist.
Reference a well-known work for the purpose of contrasting it with yours.
Use multiple allusions of a particular kind to hold your reader’s interest.
Practice using allusions as creative writing prompts.
The more you allude to well-known works, events, and characters, the easier it is to connect with your audience, build trust, and establish yourself as an authority.
Make the best use of this timeless literary technique, and your writing will live rent-free in the minds of your readers.
And the more powerful your writing portfolio becomes the more people you’ll reach with your dazzling words.
What’s Your Biggest Takeaway From These Allusion Examples?
Now that you’ve looked through all 25+ examples of allusions, which types would you like to explore or use more often?
Which holds particular appeal for you when you catch them in other people’s work?
As you’ve seen from the allusion examples listed above, all kinds of writers – including copywriters, bloggers, poets, and storytellers – use allusions to get their readers’ attention and stand out from the competition.
Now, it’s your turn to practice. Use the examples as prompts to get your mind working on allusion ideas of your own.
If you’re having fun with it, you’re doing something right.
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20 Illuminating Juxtaposition Examples if You’re Feeling Lost
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You’ve heard the term “juxtaposition” but you’re not quite sure how it’s used.
Heck, you’re not even sure how to define juxtaposition.
Well, you’re not alone.
But I want to let you in on a little secret:
This literary device can transform your writing from dead and dull to captivating and thought-provoking.
How so, you ask?
Well, first we have to get clear on the juxtaposition definition. Then we’ll cover some juxtaposition examples to show you how this works.
Let’s dive in.
What is Juxtaposition?
Simply put, juxtaposition is a literary device that places two things side by side for a contrasting effect.
For example, consider how the Yin and Yang symbol has contrasting colors. This creates a visual juxtaposition between the black and white.
But here’s the deal:
Juxtaposition is an umbrella literary technique that includes more specific types of contrasts. Oxymorons, foils, and antitheses all fall under this juxtaposition umbrella.
Let’s briefly define each:
Oxymoron is when words have conflicting meanings. Examples include phrases like “bittersweet” and “icy hot.”
Foil is where characters contrast. For example, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are foil characters because Jekyll is a respectable doctor while Mr. Hyde is a violent man.
Antithesis places two opposite ideas together. Neil Armstrong said, “One small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind.” The phrases, “one small step” and “one giant leap” are contrasting ideas.
So far, so good?
Now let’s look at some examples and get a better idea.
20 Juxtaposition Examples
There’s no doubt about it.
Part of what makes juxtaposition so powerful is its versatility. Characters, images, objects, and ideas can all be juxtaposed with one another.
It’s used everywhere. Here are a few places you’ll find it:
Speaking of literature, that’s a good place to start.
Examples of Juxtaposition from Literature
One of the most classic juxtaposition examples comes from Robert Frost’s poetry:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Remember that poem?
Frost’s juxtaposition highlights the contrast between the two paths. One path is well-worn while the other is less traveled.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is another classic example. In this story, Dickens writes:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
After reading that, you might wonder:
The best of times and worst? Is that possible?
Then you realize Dickens is using these contrasting elements to demonstrate the highs and lows of life.
Do you see what Dickens just did?
He made you stop and think. And that’s one of the main goals of juxtaposition.
We also see a similar example in Francis Edward Smedley’s novel Frank Fairleigh. He has a sentence that says:
“All is fair in love and war.”
Smedley places the two contrasting concepts, love and war, together to form an oxymoron.
Then we have a good ol’ fashioned good versus evil juxtaposition.
And who better to do it than Shakespeare?
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is the evil “friend” who manipulates the good guy, Othello.
Othello loves his wife, but he allows his evil side to murder her out of jealously. Shakespeare used this foil technique to make an interesting storyline.
So interesting, in fact, that he used several juxtapositions throughout his work.
Here’s another example:
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare writes:
“That is hot ice, and wondrous strange snow!”
Hot and ice contrast each other to create the perfect oxymoron.
Still with me?
Now let’s turn to the big screen.
Juxtaposition Examples in Movies and TV
You remember watching The Lion King for the first time, right?
It’s the most popular Disney film of all time — earning the company over $8 billion since it was released.
Good versus evil.
We see two brothers, Mufasa and Scar, battle it out until one of them dies. In case you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the ending but…
Here’s a scene showing their two clashing personalities:
We see more good versus evil juxtapositions from the Harry Potter series.
Harry plays the hero while Voldermort plays the “most evil wizard for hundreds and hundreds of years.”
Now you might be asking:
Why is the good versus evil theme so common?
Simple. Because it grabs your attention and gives you a side to root for.
And just like that?
You’re invested in the storyline because of it.
Now let’s shift gears to a funny foil example. Take a look at the trailer for Pixar’s movie Up:
Carl Fredricksen is a cranky old man while Russell is a young energetic kid. Juxtaposing these two characters creates a hilarious dynamic between them.
Because here’s the thing:
If you can make your audience laugh, you win.
The writers behind The Simpsons knew humor better than anyone. Check out this funny clip where Homer adopts a pet lobster:
The juxtaposition here is that Homer sees the lobster, Mr. Pinchy, as a loving pet while Marge sees it as the object of all evil. This creates a hilarious scene based on opposing viewpoints.
Speaking of opposites, do you believe they attract?
They definitely did in the film Pretty Woman.
The main character, Vivian, is a young escort working the streets of LA. Her love interest, Edward, is a successful older man with years of business experience under his belt.
This foil formed a striking juxtaposition and gave credence to the saying “opposites attract.”
Juxtaposition in Art
Here’s something you might not know:
Visual juxtaposition is a basic principle that artists use all over the world.
For example, we see juxtaposition photography and paintings all the time.
Case in point:
Renaissance painters used the contrast between light and darkness to differentiate between main figures and their backgrounds.
It gave their paintings depth and drew attention to a main focal point.
Now the question is…
Can visual juxtaposition include more than just black and white?
Yup. Here are a few common juxtaposition examples in art:
Texture contrast (smooth versus rough)
Shape contrast (square versus circle)
Edge contrast (rough edge versus soft edge)
Hue contrast (orange versus blue)
Hue contrasts were one of Vincent Van Gogh’s favorite techniques. In Olive Grove, he used a sharp hue contrast to create a stunning effect using complementary colors.
But that’s not all.
Vincent Van Gogh also played around with sensory details by incorporating textures in his work.
What do I mean by textures?
Here are a few examples:
Putting together different subjects, textures, and shapes creates a visual juxtaposition.
For example, the shape composition technique uses big versus small, circles versus squares, and so on.
We see that here:
Notice how the artist places the square box inside the circular spotlight?
You can also find juxtaposition in architecture, street photography, and even graffiti.
For example, you might see a colorful montage of graffiti paired with a contrasting background.
Photographers love how beautifully the colors contrast, so they’ll take juxtaposition photos of it.
Pretty neat, huh?
Juxtaposition in Songs
Remember listening to LL Cool J as a kid?
No? Just me?
Alright, well, his song “Hollis to Hollywood” has these lyrics:
I’m makin’ Speed like I’m Keanu Reeves
But too many True Lies can make a honey please
Placing “true” and “lies” together makes an oxymoron.
Another oxymoron example comes from the Kinks song “Definite Maybe”:
All I want is a yes or a no,
But all I ever get is a definite maybe.
It’s also found in Aerosmith’s “Love In An Elevator”:
Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up when I’m goin’ down
You probably never realized how popular juxtapositions are in music, did you?
But it doesn’t stop there.
We see it in Hazel O’Connor’s “Who Needs It?” which includes these lyrics:
Here comes the era, the era of the living dead
As you can tell, juxtapositions span all music genres, including David Bowie’s song “Just Dance”:
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
This juxtaposition later became one of the most popular lines in that song.
This brings me to my next point…
Juxtaposition in Everyday Life
One of my favorite real-life examples comes from Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko. They were a former celebrity couple that had a stark height difference:
Their height difference created a visual juxtaposition that everyone commented on.
We also see a few juxtapositions from some of John F. Kennedy’s most famous speeches.
For example, JFK once said, “We shall never negotiate out of fear and never fear to negotiate.”
Take a look:
This quote had a rhetorical effect that JFK was fond of.
The former president also notably said, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
The reversal of the words provides a sharp contrast between the ideas.
Here’s another one:
You’ve heard the saying, “Making a mountain out of a molehill,” right?
This juxtaposition is the size difference. A mountain is huge while a molehill is tiny.
Finally, another example is, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
The contrast between new and old highlights the difficulty of learning new things after you get stuck in your ways.
Now you might be asking…
Why Use Juxtaposition?
Let’s be honest.
Writers are more intentional than some people give us credit for.
Because here’s the deal:
When you use literary terms like juxtaposition, you’re adding complexity to your writing. You can use it to tug at their heartstrings, create suspense, or provide comedic relief.
Next thing you know?
You’re engaging your reader on a deeper level.
Take Star Wars, for example.
Even if you’ve never watched any of the movies, you’re probably familiar with the iconic line, “No. I am your father.”
Darth Vader plays the villain while Luke Skywalker is the hero. This foil technique creates suspense in the storyline.
It led us to a few captivating plot twists in the end:
Luke realizes his father isn’t dead
Luke realizes his father is nothing like what he’s been told
Luke discovers the man he has despised (Darth Vader) is actually the person he thought he looked up to
And that, my friend, is how you create a storyline people still talk about decades later.
Now It’s Time to Put These Juxtaposition Examples to Use
The secret’s out.
Juxtapositions help your readers draw comparisons between things they might’ve missed otherwise. It’ll also lure them in and make them think.
But don’t just take it from me.
Try it and let the results speak for themselves. Because in the end, all of this is completely useless if you never try it.
So, get inspired to write and use juxtapositions like oxymorons, foils, and antitheses.
You’ll be glad you did.
The post 20 Illuminating Juxtaposition Examples if You’re Feeling Lost appeared first on Smart Blogger.
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How to Format a Book: 12 Tools & 10 Tips (+ LOTS of Free Info)
Learning how to format a book properly is perhaps the most under-appreciated skill that authors can learn.
And thankfully, book formatting does not need to be hard.
There are a number of tools and tips that will take you most of the way there, and while some of the tools may have an upfront cost, they will do two things:
Save you time and money in the long run
Make your books more attractive, so your finished book is more likely to sell, or your manuscript more likely to find a buyer
Let’s find out how.
What is Book Formatting?
Your book format is how your book is displayed in print or in an eBook. It’s the visual aspect of the manuscript, including elements like margins, fonts, word sizes, page numbers, line spacing, paragraph breaks, etc.
In other words, formatting is the look of the book as it appears on the pages.
Book Formatting vs Manuscript Formatting
Formatting a manuscript means preparing the document in an accepted format for literary agents or book editors. Formatting guidelines can vary from one publisher to another, but generally include:
A standard font and size
Left-hand alignment (not justified)
Formatting a book is the process of preparing the actual files in the final version of the book. In addition to the above, it can also include:
Front and back matter
Additionally, the book’s formatting can differ depending on the medium or vendor you’re dealing with.
Why Formatting Your Book or Manuscript is so Important
Imagine that you buy a book, you open it up, and there are no page numbers, no page headings, the space between the lines is too large, and it simply looks like a high school English assignment.
See why this is a problem? Would you be likely to recommend this book to a friend?
Proper book formatting helps avoid this problem. If you can have a beautifully formatted book or eBook, your customers are more likely to buy it, and more likely to enjoy their reading experience.
In short, you’ll sell more books.
7 Tools for Formatting Your Book
Proper formatting begins with having the right tools.
Below, I’ve put together a list of 7 of the best book formatting tools that will give you the best value for your money.
Now, some of these tools are free, and others cost money. So, be sure to review each one carefully and see which tool satisfies your unique needs.
Let’s take a closer look at each!
1. Microsoft Word
For most writers, Microsoft Word is a platform they probably already have. And as a word processor, it’s one of the best.
Who is it good for? Microsoft Word is best for the writer who’s strapped for cash and already has a solid understanding of the program. While Word isn’t the simplest or best-looking formatting option on this list, it’s still a powerful tool if you know how to use it right.
A newcomer to the book formatting world, Atticus is one of the few formatting tools available on most platforms (Mac and PC included). It’s also sold at one of the best prices, $149 (USD). Along with a simple and intuitive interface, Atticus includes cloud capabilities, allowing you to work on your manuscript anytime, anywhere.
Who is it good for? Atticus is best for authors who want a relatively inexpensive solution to create quality manuscripts. It’s great for cutting back on all the complicated steps of using a program like Word.
For years, Vellum has been the leader in the book formatting industry. Though expensive, Vellum helps create beautiful-looking books in a snap.
Who is it good for? While Vellum is a viable option, it’s only available for Mac users and will cost you upwards of $199.99 USD ($249.99 if you want to format printed books). That said, the gorgeous end-result of your books speak for themselves.
If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably heard of Scrivener. The tool has long been the end-all, be-all of word processors for books. Though primarily engineered as a word processor, it can also format your manuscript for publication.
Who is it good for? Scrivener, like Word, is best for authors that already have an advanced understanding of the platform. Formatting in Scrivener is possible, but there is a learning curve, and most find it a difficult tool to navigate.
5. Adobe InDesign
Speaking of advanced software, Adobe Indesign is probably the most advanced of the bunch. You can format pretty much any type of book with Indesign, but most authors feel the abundance of features overkill for their needs.
Who is it good for? Adobe Indesign is best for authors whose books have special formatting needs — like a children’s book or art book — where the book layout is unique.
6. Kindle Create
Of the free options on this list, Kindle Create is the best formatting tool. It’s a program created by Amazon specifically for self-published authors to format their books for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). That means you’re guaranteed that the eBook files will function properly on Kindle devices.
Who is it good for? Kindle Create is the best solution for authors who have little to spend on a program like Atticus or Vellum. However, it’s a little clunky if you need to add elements like tables, images, footnotes, etc.
7. Hire a Professional
If none of the above work for you, hiring a professional on a platform like Upwork or Fiverr may be a good solution. This process is more expensive, but can often lead to high-quality results with less time commitment.
Who is it good for? Consider using a freelance formatter if you don’t want to learn how to format a book on your own, and are willing to pay the extra cost. If you don’t plan now writing many books, this may be an attractive option.
5 Tools for Manuscript Formatting
Up next we’ll review 5 of the best tools for manuscript formatting.
Not only will these tools save you time, but you’ll also save yourself the embarrassment of having your manuscript rejected because of poor formatting.
Print or eBook formatting is a much different process than manuscript formatting:
Book formatting is meant to be delivered directly to the reader.
Manuscript formatting helps prepare your book for literary agents or editors, as per their submission guidelines
So, if you’re preparing a manuscript, you’ll need a solid formatting tool to help you meet these guidelines.
Let’s explore the top 5 manuscript formatting tools.
1. Google Docs
Many authors choose to write in Google Docs these days because of its cloud capabilities and similarity to MS Word. If you’re formatting a manuscript, Google Docs is a fine way to do it.
Who is it good for? Google Docs is great for authors who want to back up all their work to the cloud, and want a simple, free, and easy process to format a manuscript.
2. Microsoft Word (Again)
We already mentioned Microsoft Word for book formatting, but it’s an even better program for manuscript formatting. The many features allow you to easily set the page margins, line height, page breaks, and more.
Who is it good for? Microsoft Word is the best software for creating well-formatted manuscripts. If you have access to MS Word, it should be your go-to choice, unless you have some unique needs that Word doesn’t handle.
Novlr is a word processor built specifically for writing novels. It has a strong emphasis on grammar checking, cloud-based functionality, and ease of use. While not a contender as a book formatting tool, it works fine for a manuscript.
Who is it good for? Novlr is great for authors who want a simple, low-cost solution to both write and format a manuscript for an agent or editor.
OpenOffice is an open-source alternative to Microsoft Word. And if you’re familiar with one, you’ll likely find the other easy to use. OpenOffice also has more functionality than Google Docs, and is better at working offline.
Who is it good for? OpenOffice is best for the author who cannot afford MS Word, and wants something with more functionality than a Google Doc. OpenOffice is both of these things.
Ulysses brands itself as “The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad, and iPhone”.
While only available on these platforms, it does offer powerful capabilities on mobile, something that other word processors haven’t yet mastered. Plus it offers a slew of features, including productivity and time management tools, as well cloud-based, multi-platform use.
Who is it good for? Ulysses is only available on Apple products. But authors who use Apple will find it perfect for their manuscript formatting needs.
5 Pro Tips That’ll Help You Format Your Book
Having the right software will get you nowhere if you don’t know how to format a book properly.
Because even with good software, if you indent your paragraphs wrong, or use a bad font, the end result will be jarring for readers.
To that end, here are five tips that you shouldn’t forget when formatting your book.
1. Don’t Skip the Title Page
When a reader opens a book, the title page is the first thing they see.
Therefore, you’ll want an impressive title page — one that informs the reader but also entices them to crack open your book.
What not to do: don’t just throw your book title and author name on a page and leave it be.
What to do: If you can, use an image of your book title that matches the text on the book cover. If not, use a large font size and style that matches the genre and a smaller font for subtitles and your author name.
2. Choose the Best Font
This doesn’t matter for eBooks, but for a printed book, you want to make sure you use a standard font, otherwise it will make it hard for the readers to follow.
What not to do: Use creative or unique fonts for the body of your text (however, creative and eye-catching fonts for chapter headings is okay).
What to do: Use a standard elegant font, with a size of 10-12. Example fonts include: Garamond, Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana.
3. Watch for Widows and Orphans
Widows and orphans occur when a word exists by itself on one line, like so:
What not to do: Don’t leave the single word hanging or it will jar the reader.
What to do: Make slight adjustments in your margins, line height, spacing, etc. A good tool will avoid these completely, so consider investing in a quality formatting software.
4. Pick the Best Trim Size
The trim size is the actual dimensions of your book. Available trim sizes differ dramatically, so how do you know which is best?
What not to do: Don’t pick trim size without research first.
What to do: Look at the genre that matches your book and see what sizes are most common for that genre. The most common trim sizes are 5 x 8”, 5.5 x 8.5”, and 6 x 9” for fiction and non-fiction, but children’s books and the like may require other sizes.
5. Use Single Spacing
Back when authors wrote with typewriters, it was a common best practice to use a double space between sentences.
However, in the digital age, that rule is no longer valid.
What not to do: Don’t use double spacing. Ever.
What to do: If double spacing is a habit for you, retrain yourself to use one space after each sentence.
5 Tips to Follow When Formatting Your Manuscript
As with the recommended tools above, formatting a manuscript is different from formatting a book.
For the novel manuscript, your main concern is fitting it to a standard format that editors are accustomed to seeing.
Let’s take a look at some formatting options that you should not ignore.
1. Use Times New Roman
While it will vary from one publisher to another, Times New Roman is still the top-recommended font for most publishers.
What not to do: Don’t use extravagant font styles to gain attention.
What to do: Use Times New Roman or whatever recommended font the editor/agent prescribes.
2. Keep 1-inch Margins
Margins are critical for editors when they see a manuscript.
The space gives them plenty of room to take notes and make comments if they need to. The same goes for double spacing, which is another common recommendation. On the flip side, margins that are too large take up too much space.
What not to do: Don’t use 0.5” fonts, or anything larger than 1”
What to do: Use 1” margins or whatever the editor/agent personally recommends.
3. Understand Indents
Most word processors automatically create a new paragraph when you hit enter. And if you’ve styled your document correctly, there’s no need to use the TAB key to indent your paragraph. However, many of us still use it often.
What not to do: Don’t create an extra-large indent over 0.5”.
What to do: Keep the indent to no more than 0.5”. If you use TAB regularly, go to your word processor settings to turn off the automatic indent. FYI: I recommend training yourself not to use TAB.
4. Use Page Breaks
It’s a natural instinct when you reach the end of a chapter to keep hitting the Return/Enter key until a new page starts. But the Page Break function is built for just these circumstances.
What not to do: Don’t keep hitting Return/Enter until your new chapter is on a new page.
What to do: Use the Page Break function available in most — if not all — word processors.
5. Export to Word
If you are sending your manuscript in a digital format to an editor or agent, you’ll want to make sure it’s in a format they can recognize. For most people, the universally accepted file type is .DOCX for Microsoft Word.
What not to do: Don’t send a file type unique to Google Docs, Scrivener, OpenOffice, or any other word processor.
What to do: Most word processors will export to a .DOCX, so do this when your manuscript is ready.
The Bottom Line on How to Format a Book
So, what is the big takeaway here?
Well, my biggest recommendation is that you simply do not skimp out on book formatting.
Even if you have million-dollar writing packed with powerful words and stunning sensory details, without proper formatting, your book might end up being a hot mess. So, take the time to get it right.
For tools, most authors will appreciate Atticus, Vellum, or Kindle Create to produce quality books. And Microsoft Word is the gold standard when it comes to manuscript formatting.
When you get your book’s format right, it looks great, and readers will notice.
Ultimately, you will find that spending the time/money on good formatting will pay itself back.
The post How to Format a Book: 12 Tools & 10 Tips (+ LOTS of Free Info) appeared first on Smart Blogger.
from SEO and SM Tips https://smartblogger.com/how-to-format-a-book/
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