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Language: Linguistics · Semiotics · Speech

This is a list of techniques used in word play.

Technique that involve the phonetic values of words

  • Mondegreen: a mishearing (usually unintentional) of a phrase as a homophone or near-homophone that has as a result acquired a new meaning. The term is often used to refer specifically to mishearings of song lyrics (cf. soramimi).
  • Onomatopoeia: a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing
  • Rhyme: a repetition of identical or similar sounds in two or more different words
  • Spoonerism: a switch of two sounds in two different words (cf. sananmuunnos)

Techniques that involve the letters

  • Acronym: abbreviations formed by combining the initial components in a phrase or name
    • RAS syndrome: repetition of a word by using it both as a word alone and as a part of the acronym
    • Recursive acronym: an acronym that has the acronym itself as one of its components
  • Acrostic: a writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line can be put together to spell out another message
    • Mesostic: a writing in which a vertical phrase intersects lines of horizontal text
    • Word square: a series of letters arranged in the form of a square that could be read both vertically and horizontally
  • Backronym: a phrase back-formed by treating a word that is originally not an initialism or acronym as one
    • Replacement backronym: a phrase back-formed from an existing initialism or acronym that is originally an abbreviation with another meaning
    • Apronym: a backronym in which the word itself is relevant to the associated phrase
  • Anagram: rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase
    • Ambigram: a graphical figure that depicts a word in two or more directions
    • Blanagram: rearranging the letters of a word or phrase and substituting one single letter to produce a new word or phrase
    • Letter bank: using the letters from a certain word or phrase as many times as wanted to produce a new word or phrase
    • Jumble: a kind of word game in which the solution of a puzzle is its anagram
  • Chronogram: a phrase or sentence in which some letters can be interpreted as numerals and rearranged to stand for a particular date
  • Lipogram: a writing in which certain letter is missing
    • Univocalic: a type of poetry that uses only one vowel
  • Palindrome: a word or phrase that reads the same in either direction
  • Pangram: a sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet at least once

Techniques that involve semantics and the choosing of words

  • Anglish: a writing using exclusively words of Germanic origin
  • Auto-antonym: a word that contains opposite meanings
  • Autogram: a sentence that describes itself
  • Malapropism: incorrect usage of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word with different meaning
  • Neologism: creating new words
    • Portmanteau: a new word that fuses two words or morphemes
    • Retronym: creating a new word to denote an old object or concept whose original name has come to be used for something else
  • Oxymoron: a combination of two contradictory terms
  • Pun: deliberately mixing two similar-sounding words
  • Slang: the use of informal words or expressions

Techniques that involve the manipulation of the entire sentence or passage

Techniques that involve the formation of a name

  • Ananym: a name with reversed letters of an existing name
  • Aptronym: a name that aptly represents a person or character
  • Charactonym: a name which suggests the personality traits of a fictional character
  • Eponym: applying a person's name to a place
  • Pseudonym: an artificial fictitious name, used as an alternative to one's legal name
  • Sobriquet: a popularized nickname

Techniques that involves figure of speech


See also[edit | edit source]

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