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Glossary of terms used on this site

Term Definition

Non-literal language that describes one thing in terms of another - I am a rock; Blair is Bush's lapdog; ARGUMENT IS WAR.


A term or non-linguistic expression (such as a shrug of the shoulders) that expresses modality — The ice caps might have melted by the end of the century; You are certainly correct.


The feature of language that allows a speaker/writer to express certainty, desire or necessity — The Democrats might win the election; I wish there was world peace; You should vote in the election.


The words added to the head of a phrase to give further detail about the referent — Five cheeky monkeys in the zoo; The right and proper method for doing business.