A rich vocabulary has been developed for identifying stylistic faults.
The terms for stylistic vices do not strictly denote changes of meaning
or arrangement as do most terms for rhetorical figures; rather, these
are qualitative labels whose accuracy will always be relative to the context
Every dimension or aspect of style has vices associated with it, and every
vice has a corresponding virtue. Indeed, the very same locution may in
one sense be regarded as exemplifying a stylistic virtue, and in another,
It is helpful to understand that all figurative language alters the normal
meaning or arrangement of words to some degree. When figurative language
is apt for a given context and purpose, it is eloquent and effective (and
thus exemplifies one or more of the virtues of style); when figurative
language is not apt for a given context and purpose, it is ineloquent
and ineffective (and thus exemplifies one or more of the vices of style).
The repetition of the same idea in different words, but (often) in a
way that is wearisome or unnecessary.
Superfluity of speech generally; the vice of wordiness.
Longwindedness. Using more
words than are necessary in an attempt to appear eloquent.
The addition of a superfluous word.
Use of more words than is necessary semantically. Rhetorical repetition
that is grammatically superfluous.
Repetition of the same consonant (especially the initial consonant)
in neighboring words.
Alliteration taken to an extreme where nearly every word in a sentence
begins with the same consonant.
Tedious and inane repetition.
The addition of a letter, sound, or syllable to the middle of a word.
A kind of metaplasm that can be a vice.
The use of a word in a context that differs from its proper application.
Overuse of words or figures of speech; over-labored.
An incorrect use of words, especially the use of words that sound alike
but are far in meaning from the speakerís intentions.
Shifting the application of words.
An element of speech or writing that is incorrect grammatically.
The use of nonstandard or foreign speech (= cacozelia); the use of a
word awkwardly forced into a poem's meter; or unconventional pronunciation.
To mingle different languages affectedly or without skill.
Avoiding an issue by changing the subject to something different.
Ambiguity of grammatical structure, often occasioned by mispunctuation.
- cacemphaton (=aischrologia)
An expression that is deliberately either foul (such as crude language) or ill-sounding (such as from excessive alliteration).
The ill placing of words, as when an adjective improperly follows a
noun or when there is any other unpleasing order of words.
Exaggeration done in a self-aggrandizing manner, as a braggart.
A stylistic affectation of diction, such as throwing in foreign words
to appear learned. Bad taste in words or selection of metaphor, either
to make the facts appear worse or to disgust the auditors.
The use of a word repugnant or contrary to what is meant.
The use of plain, unadorned or unornamented language. Or, the unskilled
use of figurative language.
Shifting the application of words. Mixing the order of which words should
correspond with which others.
Either to speak candidly or to ask forgiveness for so speaking. Sometimes
considered a vice.
Using Greek words, examples, or grammatical structures. Sometimes considered
an affectation of erudition.