Stylistic devices are used in speech with the same aim of intensifying the emo-tional or logical emphasis that the information transferred should convey. Stylis-tic devices are represented by two categories: I. "figures of thought" (tropes, from the Greek tropos ‘turning’), which de-viate from common usage mainly in the meaning of words, i.e. when a word (or a combination of words) is used to denote an object that is not usually correlated with this word; this double meaning creates what is called an image; II. "figures of speech" (rhetorical figures, or schemes), whose stylistic effect is achieved by means of an unusual arrangement of linguistic units, unusual construction or extension of an utterance, etc.; in other words which deviate from normal language mainly in terms of syntax. This arbitrary division of stylistic means into expressive means and stylistic devices does not necessarily mean that these groups cannot overlap. On the contrary, the striking effect of many a stylistic device is based on the logical or emotional emphasis contained in the corre-sponding expressive means and vice versa: a formerly genuine stylistic device can become an expressive means (idioms at large).
Figurative Language is used to express a particular feeling or encourage imagi-nation by a well-developed means of creating images, its purpose being to im-prove the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of both written and oral commu-nication.
Figurative language has developed alongside rhetoric, both rooted as far back in history as the times of such classical rhetoricians as Aristotle, Quintillion, and Cicero.
Rhetoric is usually defined as the art of persuasion. Aristotle and Quintillion de-veloped a system of methods and tools of persuasion claiming that a rhetorical discourse should consist of
- "invention" (developing arguments)
- "disposition" (organizing one's subject)
- "style" (the means of persuasion).
In the modern era "style" and “disposition” (as well as “invention”, though) are still very important form-making categories. They are known as stylistic language means.