14 Words Even English Majors Aren’t Sure How To Pronounce

Just in case you want to work “synecdoche” into casual conversation.

1.

Oeuvre (n): the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively.

2.

Synecdoche (n): a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something is used to refer to the whole of something, or vice-versa. For example, saying “nice wheels” when you’re really referring to the entire car.

3.

Mimesis (n): imitation; mimicry.

4.

Denouement (n): The final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work.

5.

Exegesis (n): A critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text.

6.

Mise-en-scène (n): the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production. Also: environment, milieu.

7.

Scansion (n): The analysis of poetic verse to show its meter.

8.

Bildungsroman (n): A novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character.

9.

Apotheosis (n): Elevation to divine status. Also: the perfect example; quintessence.

10.

Deus ex machina (n): A person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.

11.

Anagnorisis (n): the point in the plot especially of a tragedy at which the protagonist recognizes his or her or some other character’s true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation.

12.

Caesura (n): A usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse.

13.

Metonymy (n): figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (as “crown” in “lands belonging to the crown”).

14.
Getty/Ethan Miller/Staff

Malapropism (n): The usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase.

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