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Acrostics may have first been used as a mnemonic device to aid with oral transmission.In the Old Testament, some of the Hebrew Psalms include acrostic devices.For instance, Psalm 118 in the Douay-Rheims numbering of the Bible (or number 119 in the King James numbering of the Bible) is an abecedarian acrostic, with each stanza headed by one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, such as Aleph, Beth, Gimel, and so on. Renaissance examples of acrostic poetry include the preface to Ben Jonson's "The Alchemist."ACT: A major division in a play.Often, individual acts are divided into smaller units ("scenes") that all take place in a specific location.

(2) The degree of stress given to a syllable--an important component of meter. The first syllable, which is stressed, "counts" as a full metric foot by itself. Acmeists protested against the mystical tendencies of the Symbolists; they opposed ambiguity in poetry, calling for a return to precise, concrete imagery. Even English historical scholarship has fallen into the habit, commonly referring to the historical Great Vowel Shift as the ACROSTIC: A poem in which the first or last letters of each line vertically form a word, phrase, or sentence.

When the result is humorous or deliberately absurd, the acyron becomes a malapropism. For instance, John Webster's is a play adapted from an older Italian novella.

Many of Shakespeare's history plays are adaptations of Holinshed's chronicles, etc.

Chaucer also wrote acrostics such as his "ABC" (Prior a nostre dame) in his younger days.

Acrostics are also common in Kabbalistic charms and word squares, including the Cirencester word square of Roman origin: in classical Hebrew poetry.

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