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The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of poetry, novels and picture books.
* Well-made play
The well-made play (French: pièce bien faite) is a genre of drama from the 19th century that Eugène Scribe first codified and that Victorien Sardou developed. By the mid-19th century, it had entered into common use as a derogatory term. This did not prevent Henrik Ibsen and the other realistic dramatists of the later 19th century (August Strindberg, Gerhart Hauptmann, Émile Zola, Anton Chekhov) employing its technique of careful construction and preparation of effects. "Through their example", Marvin Carlson explains, "the well-made play became and still remains the traditional model of play construction."
In the English language, that tradition found its early 20th century codification in Britain in the form of William Archer's Play-Making: A Manual of Craftmanship (1912), and in the United States with George Pierce Baker's Dramatic Technique (1919).
Wellerisms, named after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established proverbs by showing that they are wrong in certain situations, often when taken literally. In this sense, wellerisms that include proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Typically a Wellerism consists of three parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, and an often humorously literal explanation.
Some researchers concentrated on wellerisms found in English and European languages, but Alan Dundes documented them in the Yoruba language of Nigeria (Dundes 1964), with African scholars confirming and adding to his findings (Ojoade 1980, Opata 1988, 1990). They are also found in ancient Sumerian "The fox, having urinated into the sea, said: 'The depths of the sea are my urine!'"
A special format for Wellerisms called a Tom Swifty incorporates a punning adverb that modifies the manner in which the statement was related.
* Western fiction
Western fiction is a genre of literature set in the American Old West frontier (usually anywhere west of the Mississippi River) and typically set during the late nineteenth century. Well-known writers of Western fiction include Zane Grey from the early 1900s and Louis L'Amour from the mid 20th century. The genre peaked around the early 1960s, largely due to the popularity of televised Westerns such as Bonanza. Readership began to drop off in the mid- to late 1970s and has reached a new low in the 2000s. Most bookstores, outside of a few western states, only carry a small number of Western fiction books.
Wit is a form of intellectual humour, and a wit is someone skilled in making witty remarks. Forms of wit include the quip and repartee.
A watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper. There are two main ways of producing watermarks in paper; the dandy roll process, and the more complex cylinder mould process.
Watermarks vary greatly in their visibility; while some are obvious on casual inspection, others require some study to pick out. Various aids have been developed, such as watermark fluid that wets the paper without damaging it. Watermarks are often used as security features of banknotes, passports, postage stamps, and other documents to prevent counterfeiting.
A watermark is very useful in the examination of paper because it can be used for dating, identifying sizes, mill trademarks and locations, and the quality of a paper.
Encoding an identifying code into digitized music, video, picture, or other file is known as a digital watermark.
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Published - February 2011
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