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Writing Tip #12: Anthropomorphisms - Say what?

Writing Tip #12: Writing in Anthropomorphisms: Giving human characteristics to nonhuman entities

Sometimes called personification, this practice has its roots in ancient storytelling (mythology, religion, etc.). So, we come by this habit in our writing honestly! With all of the fairy tales we’ve heard throughout our lives, giving human characteristics to A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh seems like a normal state of affairs. The creators of Disney movies are notorious for their flagrant use of anthropomorphisms.

An example of anthropomorphism in a sentence is: “The study found that online instructors benefit from faculty forums.”

The correct way to state this is: “The researchers found that instructors benefit from faculty forums.”

We read anthropomorphisms often in all kinds of writing, but your professors, if they are doing their job, will call you out on them if they are used in certain kinds of writing. It is hard to resist using personification when  writing with feeling. Pooh, a stuffed bear (A.A. Milne), says beautiful sentences like, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”


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Writing Skills Anthropomorphisms, personification, writing, writing tips

Published on by bcalvano.