W is for Writing Wit | #AtoZChallenge

Wit is

  • a literary device used to make people laugh
  • intelligent, insightful humour; a clever expression of thought
  • found in poetry, stage plays, political and social writings
  • can be harmless or aggressive: insulting or containing biting sarcasm (e.g., A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift — see Example #4)
  • includes sharp comebacks, clever banter, and dry, one-line jokes
  • associated with laughter and comedy
  • a hallmark is it takes a second to figure out

Examples of wit

Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly. Credit: giphy.com.

Forms of wit

  • quip
  • banter/repartee
  • wordplay/pun

Function of wit

Through intelligent wit, writers mock the social foibles and follies of society. Paradoxical expressions appear to appreciate these failings or flaws, but they are actually disparaging.

  • Inferior forms: word play, oxymorons, puns, paradoxes
  • Higher forms: conceits, metaphors, arguments


Wit, Literary Devices, literarydevices.net (see examples)

Wit, Literary Terms, literaryterms.net (see examples)**

Wit, Wikipedia, wikipedia.org

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

V is for verisimilitude

X is for Xenia

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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8 Responses to W is for Writing Wit | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  2. Pingback: V is for Verisimilitude | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  3. Wit… a good choice for the alphabet! Very informative read!
    Incorporating wit in the writing needs a bent of mind that takes life little lighter!
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Much needed for every writer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee | Beyond the Precipice

  6. Pingback: X is for Xenia | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  7. JJAzar says:

    Reading/watching/listening to those who are witty is perhaps the best way to gain a sharp, witty edge. Great feature!

    Liked by 1 person

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