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Allusion

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Allusion

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Allusion is an indirect reference to something.

Example

She's a very good friend of his...

What are you looking at?

It was a hot and steamy day. Jake shifted uneasily as Manny walked past, eyeing him coldly.

Discussion

Allusion is commonly used in speech where it would be considered rude or otherwise socially hazardous to make direct reference.

The thing alluded to may require some form of prior knowledge. In this way, it can be used as a signal to friends whilst others may not understand what is being said.

Allusion uses the principle of association to connect a vague item to something more specific, or one clear item to another. In this way, when you start a commonly known phrase, the rest of the phrase is alluded to and may be left out.

By making an incomplete description, a tension is created as the person seeks the closure of completion and hence thinks harder about that to which the speaker may be alluding.

Prose and poetry often make use of allusion, hinting at things that the reader may discover.

Allusion comes from the Latin word 'allsus' meaning to play with'.

Classification: Reference

See also

Association principle

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