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 It’s the people in front get the jar.” – Euwer

A true limerick, however, is one in which the last line is almost the same as the first.

“There was an old man of Calcutta,

 Who perpetually ate bread and butter;

 Till a great bit of muffin, on which he was stuffing,

 Choked that horrid old man of Calcutta.” – Lear

Lingo – a humorous or uncomplimentary term applied to a foreign language or any strange style of speech which is not easily or readily understood.

Linguistics or Linguistic Study – the scientific study of human speech in all its phases, including origin, structure, phonetics, meanings history, and grammar.

Litotes – Affirmation of an idea by using a negative understatement. This is the opposite of hyperbole.

He was not averse to taking a drink.

She is no saint.

Local Color - the term used to describe any of the various ingredients an author uses to suggest characteristics or peculiarities of locale of his literary work. The expression thus covers all details dealing with the local scene, local attitudes and customs, local dialect, local characters, and typical local happenings. If one of the author’s main purposes is to give an intimate or vivid picture of a certain place and period, his work may be described a “local color” story (Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native).

Localism – an expression or word usage peculiar to a specific locality (pinkie is used for little finger in New York and vicinity).

Loose Sentence – a sentence so constructed that the thought may be completed well before the end, the latter part consisting only of extra modifiers and less important material.

He fired at the bear, which was black, as it slowly moved toward him from under the shadows of a tree that had fallen.

Lost Generation – a name applied (first by Gertrude Stein) to a group of American expatriates of literary and artistic bent who lived in Europe, especially in Paris, during the 1920’s. Many of them, veterans of World War I, were characterized by their bitter disillusionment over spiritual failure of the war and by their persistent attempts to forget their disillusionment in various kinds of thrill-seeking. Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises gives a well-known picture of their outlook on life.

Lyric – a song or short poem expressing an emotion or thought. Lyric, Narrative and Dramatic constitute the three general divisions of poetry. Among the many different kinds of Lyric poems are:


Elegy – expressing sadness or grief, usually for the dead (Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Chuchyard”, Milton’s “Lycidas”, Shelley’s “Adonais”).


Hymn – a sacred song of praise or adoration of God. (The ancient hymns collected in the Old Testament are called Psalms.)


Occasional Poem – one written for a special occasion or to commemorate a notable event (Emerson’s “Concord Hymn”, Tennyson’s “Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington”).


Ode – which expresses a lofty or noble sentiment with appropriate dignity of style (Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn”).


Sonnet – a poem of fourteen lines usually in iambic pentameter. The three main types of sonnets are the Italian or Petrarchan (named after the Italian poet Petrarch) and the English or Shakespearean (perfected by Shakespeare) and the Miltonic (devised by Milton). The Italian consists of an octave or eight-line unit rhymed abba, abba , and a  sestet or six line unit rhymed cde, cde or cde, dce, or cdc, dcd, etc. Between octave and sestet there must be a definite change in thought; thus the octave may present a general idea and the sestet a concrete application, or the octave may recite a specific experience and the sestet moralize on it, etc. (Keats’s “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”). The English or Shakespearean sonnet follows a rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg, the first twelve lines constituting the first unit of the poem and the last two giving an application or a summary to the first unit (Shakespeare’s “XXX Sonnet”, “When to the sessions of sweet silent thought.”) The Miltonic follows the Petrarchan rhyme scheme, but runs the octave into the sestet without

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