“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.