Critical Vocabulary Builder
Abjure – To renounce or retract esp formally or under oath, or solemnly. Abduration – The act of renouncing.
Ablation – The surgical removal of an organ, structure, or part. Ablate. Ablution - The ritual washing of a priest’s hands.
Abnegate (abnegation) – To deny to oneself; renounce privileges, pleasure, etc. Abstergent – Of cleaning or scouring
Abstruse – Not easy to understand; recondite; esoteric.
Acalculia – psycol. An inability to make simple mathematical calculations. Acumen - Quickness of perception or discernment; shrewdness shown by keen insight. Adherents – Follower, or supporter of.
Adjacent – Being near or close, esp. having a common boundary. ; adjoining; contiguous. Adjuvant – Aiding or assisting.
Aesopian - Conveying meaning by hint, euphemism, innuendo or the like. 2) Pertaining to, or characteristic of Aesop or his fables. Aesthetic - Broadly speaking, something pleasing, or the study of beauty. Aesthetic distance - degree of emotional involvement in a work of art. The most obvious example of aesthetic distance (also referred to simply as distance) occurs with paintings. Some paintings require us to stand back to see the design of the whole painting; standing close, we see the technique of the painting, say the brush strokes, but not the whole. Other paintings require us to stand close to see the whole; their design and any figures become less clear as we move back from the painting. Similarly, fiction, drama, and poetry involve the reader emotionally to different degrees. Emotional distance, or the lack of it, can be seen with children watching a TV program or a movie; it becomes real for them. Writers like Faulkner, the Bronte sisters, or Faulkner pull the reader into their work; the reader identifies closely with the characters and is fully involved with the happenings. Hemingway, on the other hand, maintains a greater distance from the reader. Affective Fallacy – The error of evaluating a poem by its effects—especially its emotional effects—upon the reader. As a result the poem itself, as an object of specifically critical judgement, tends to disappear. Alacrity – Liveliness or briskness.
Alalia – Complete inability to speak; mutism.
Allegory - A narrative where characters, actions and sometimes setting are consistently symbolic of something else (often philosophical or moral abstractions). Alliteration - the use, especially in poetry, of the same sound or sounds, especially consonants, at the beginning of several words that are close together Ambiguity - Ambiguity is the quality of having more than one meaning; does Ameliorate – To make or become better; improve. Amelioration. Amorphous – Lacking a definite shape; formless. 2 – Of no recognisable character or shape. Anachronisms – Flash backs, jumps forwards.
Analogy - a comparison between things which have similar features, often used to help explain a principle or idea Analepis – A flash-back
Anathema – A detested person or thing ‘he is anathema to me!’ 2 A formal ecclesiastical curse of excommunication. Antonym - An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another word but similar to it in most other respects. For example, tall and short are opposite in meaning but both are the same parts of speech (adjectives) and would take the same position in a sentence. Aporia – An impassable moment or point in a narrative, a hole or opening that produces a hermeneutic analysis. Arbitrarily – Founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc.; capricious. 2 – Having only relative application. 3 – Of a government or ruler despotic or dictatorial. Arcane – Requiring secret knowledge to be understood; mysterious; esoteric. Arrhythmic / Arrhythmia – Any variation from the normal rhythm of the heart beat. Arrière-pensèe – An unrevealed thought or intention.
Arriviste – A person who is unscrupulously ambitious.
Assiduous – Hard-working; persevering.
Assignation – A secret or forbidden arrangement...
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