Term of Art: Pathetic Fallacy

“Pathetic Fallacy: The ascribing of human traits and feelings to inanimate objects or nature, or the use of anthropomorphic images or metaphors. Also ANTHROPOPATHISM

John Ruskin coined the name and a later writer, James Thurber, created our favorite example of the pathetic fallacy in a cartoon caption for The New Yorker: ‘It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused at its presumption.’”

William and Mary Morris, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.