What do you understand by ‘foregrounding’?  

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question. Let me start with a brief description. Stylistic variations, known as foregrounding, prompts defamiliarization and most likely will prolong reading time. This stylistic features of literary texts deautomatize perception and is central in the works of many people like Shklovsky and Mukarovský. According to Mukarovský, foregrounding can take place on many levels, such as phonetic (alliterations), grammatical (inversion, ellipsis), and semantic (metaphor and irony).

Here are a few examples:

"A big black bug bit a big black bear, made the big black bear bleed blood."

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." This one is from Plato. There is an ellipsis after the semicolon.

"Words are bullets, which people can use against you."