A former student may have learned in high school what an archetype is but since forgotten. She may remember that there is indeed a difference between connotation and denotation but could use a refresher. Or she may want to settle a bet with her friend about what a rhetorical question really is. (Is this one?)
- Learn the definitions for words that are difficult even to pronounce: zeugma; bowdlerize; amphibrach; ekphrasis; pyrrhic…All real words, believe it or not. No, a cat did not just walk across the keyboard.
- Figure out how to use malapropisms—on porpoise.
- Discover that an apostrophe is more than just an “upper comma.” And that it doe’sn’t nece’ssarily need to be u’sed in every word that contain’s an “S.”
- Impress friends with new language skills; define dénouement, in medias res, and ottava rima. They may not act impressed but that eye roll only masks their admiration.
Dictionaries are boring. Shmoop is not. Check out the new Literature Glossary, and Words with Friends will suddenly be a piece of cake.