Genre: How We Know What We’re About to Read, Watch, Play, or Hear

Everyone has types of stories that they tend to like, and types that they do not. I myself will read or watch most things with even a hint of magic in them. These story types each have their own name like fantasy or romance, and they help us talk about and categorize the works that we like. This is genre, the literary device we're covering today! We won't be delving deep into any one genre to understand its features today, but if you have a genre you want to know more about, feel free to ask about it in the comments or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram...

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Pop Culture Grammar Bytes: Possessive Plural Punctuation

Last time, we looked at the difference between plural and possessive punctuation. I wanted to keep it somewhat simple for that post. I mentioned that we'd tackle possessive punctuation on its own soon, and here we are! If you've ever had questions on how to use punctuation to show that more than one "someone" (or, in some cases, something) owns something, you've come to the right place! There are a few rules to keep in mind with possessive punctuation, and using it wrong can lead to some real confusion.

Dramatic Irony: What They Don’t Know, But You Do

Recently, we took a look at verbal and situational irony in Futurama. Today, Futurama returns for another foray into a third type of irony: dramatic irony. Now that you're used to thinking of irony as the opposite of reality (kind of), stick a pin in that. Dramatic irony throws this rule out the window. Dramatic irony  creates the kinds of moments that cause you to start yelling at the characters on the screen to stop what they're doing right away...

Verbal and Situational Irony: Putting the Funny in Futurama

Comedy shows offer many great examples of irony because the comedy genre often takes advantage of irony in order to produce hilarious or unexpected outcomes. Futurama is especially good at using irony, and even talks about irony in the episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings"...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina

December is a festive time of year for many, with Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, Christmas, Yule, and New Years Eve as some of the holidays brightening homes around the globe. In honor of this festive time, and as a Chanukkah-themed holiday series, please enjoy eight nights of Deus ex Machina. First, we're taking a look at Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura...

Alliteration, Consonance, and Assonance: Making Songs and Gunpowder Treason Memorable

Advertisers and creators know this and take advantage of it whenever the opportunity arises. If you can name any of these cartoon characters, you have been influenced by three tricky little devices: alliteration, consonance, and assonance...

Tropes: When You’re Fairly Certain You’ve Seen These Odd Parents Before

Anybody that watches cartoons or anime is familiar with today's topic: the trope. Tropes act as a visual way for the creator of a work to quickly and easily convey a concept to their audience. They can take many forms-- a figure of speech, a character type, a plot device, a location or location type, a pattern of storytelling, a sub-plot. If you've seen the concept before, it is most likely a trope. Let's take a look at a few examples of tropes found in Butch Hartman's The Fairly Odd Parents.

Allusions: A Literary Niche

When we talk, we often make references to popular culture in order to convey information quickly. If a person says “Sam acts like such a Romeo,” they mean that Sam is a romantic person. Calling the internet a Garden of Eden shows that the internet is a plentiful place that fills the needs of its users. We don’t usually stop to explain these references to our listeners; we assume that they have prior knowledge on the subject and thus understand. These references are called allusions, and they appear in many elements of pop culture, including video games...

Mirrors in Wandering Son: Navigating Visual Gender Norms [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mirrors]

Being transgender is tough. Every stage of the long, multi-step transition process contains sharp twists and turns, as well as hoop after hoop that people must jump through just to be themselves. On top of it all, trans individuals have to overcome discrimination and social rejection, which can put them in very real danger of … Continue reading Mirrors in Wandering Son: Navigating Visual Gender Norms [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mirrors]

Theme Delivery Service

Themes give creative works their personality. You can’t play a video game, read a comic, or watch a show without running into some sort of theme. When romance blossoms in a particular shoujo anime, or a character proves that staying true to yourself works better than faking your personality, you’ve got theme. For a deeper understanding of this literary device, let’s take a look at the 1989 film Kiki’s Delivery Service...