Kacey texted: “What is the word for when you attribute human characteristics to something that isn’t human, or possibly even inanimate? I tried to think of it for an hour last night and couldn’t come up with anything.”
And because I’m a good mommy, which you know by now, because I tell you all the time, I answered: “Personification”
She replied: “Are you sure?” (Am I sure? Does she KNOW to whom she is speaking? Of course I’m sure! Even when I’m wrong, I’m sure!)
“Yes,” I stated, “Personification is a figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form, as in ‘Hunger sat shivering on the road.’ “
She retorted, “No, I just googled it, and I found ANTHROPOMORPHISM: The attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena…BooYah!”
“NOT the same thing,” I argued, “as anthropomorphism is a basic cognitive process in which some entity comes to stand for or represent something else. It is more sociological in nature, whereas personification is more literary.”
Her reply: “Is TOO the same thing. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I was thinking of your word anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”
Then we discussed her brother dressing up like a log.