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The other day my wife, who went to quite a good school, told me that her literature teacher had taught her class abbreviations of terms which they were then asked to write in the margins of their books. HHI was one example, and stands for heavy-handed irony. I only just now realized that this was not something I learned to do in school. In fact, I had never heard the term before. But HHI, for example, seems like a pretty ubiquitously novelistic device. (The banana breakfast scene of Gravity's Rainbow comes to mind.) Where can I find a long (exhaustive, even) list of such terms, for my own reference?

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migrated from literature.stackexchange.com Apr 26 '12 at 21:51

Don't forget that you can always ask about specific terms here as you run into them. :) – Adam Lear Nov 21 '11 at 22:50
@Anna Lear I don't know many terms. I want to be able to use them in my analysis. – ixtmixilix Nov 26 '11 at 13:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

One of the best references for this sort of thing (and a required text at my MA English program) is M.H. Abrams's A Glossary of Literary Terms.

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that's precisely what I was after. – ixtmixilix Nov 26 '11 at 19:56

Wiki offers a long list of literary terms. The University of Toronto offers a glossary of poetic terms. Cengage Learning offer this quite broad list.

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excellent. the broader the better, @Ben Williams. I'm going to need these for my essays! – ixtmixilix Nov 26 '11 at 13:25

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