Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturday & Sundry $10 Stuff

zeugma
a figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses (e.g., John and his license expired last week) or to two others of which it semantically suits only one (e.g. with weeping eyes and hearts ).

syllepsis
a figure of speech in which a word is applied to two others in different senses (e.g. caught the train and a bad cold ) or to two others of which it grammatically suits only one (e.g. neither they nor it is working ).

Those two words do appear to have overlap. We are advised that zeugma is more about semantics and syllepsis about grammar. (More on this HERE).


isocolon
a rhetorical device that involves a succession of sentences, phrases and clauses of grammatically equal length. In this figure of speech, a sentence has a parallel structure that is made up of words, clauses or phrases of equal length, sound, meter and rhythm. Isocolon is the repetition of similar grammatical forms.

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?


- From The Tyger by William Blake.
(See HERE)


schesis onomaton
Wikipedia: Originally a rhetorical technique consisting of a sentence constructed only of nouns and adjectives. It later came to mean such a series of nouns and adjectives or any series of words that were synonymous expressions. In the second sense it is a rhetorical technique used to emphasize an idea by repeating it rapidly using slightly different words that have the same or a very similar meaning.
Example of first meaning:
A man faithful in friendship, prudent in counsels, virtuous in conversation, gentle in communication, learned in all liberal sciences, eloquent in utterance, comely in gesture, an enemy to naughtiness, and a lover of all virtue and godliness.
— Peacham.
Example of second meaning:
Wendy lay there, motionless in a peaceful slumber, very still in the arms of sleep.
— Robert A. Harris, VirtualSalt
Alternatively...think about the dead parrot speech from Monty Python!


There's a good $10-type piece on such things by Christopher Howse at: UK's Spectator, he is reviewing a book The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth.

Also from the above: should one ever be tempted to over-adjectivise the pudding - some advice:

Designated order of adjectives, in English:
opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose-noun.
So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.

This knowledge is implicitly mastered by all native speakers; to see it made explicit is an enjoyable revelation, like learning to carry a tray on the flat of your hand.

12 comments:

anyjazz said...

I've used some of those devices but I didn't dream they might have names.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Yes, I wonder which came first, the devices or the naming of 'em! :-)

Sabina said...

Faulkner on Hemingway: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ The to and fro of professional jealousy - even two top-shelf types were not immune to it. :-)

mike said...

Try not to let hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia get in the way of some good reads.

I'm sick...gall bladder issues for several days that have rudely interfered with my life.

Twilight said...

mike ~ LOL! Good advice - Oh! I was worried you were unwell, after your yard work in the heat the other day.

Feel better soon, mike! - I hope you've had medical advice and a prescription from the doc to help?

Sabina said...

mike - I also wondered if you or your furry friend might be peaky. Hope you get well soon.

Sabina said...

Twilight, they seem to have been well aware of one another's gifts, too.

'... Hemingway regularly called Faulkner “the best of us all,” marveling at his natural abilities ...' and 'He [Faulkner] once told the New York Herald Tribune, “I think he’s the best we’ve got.”'

http://www.openculture.com/2014/07/faulkners-review-of-ernest-hemingways-the-old-man-and-the-sea.html

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ Oh good! They probably didn't want to give the impression of being too
fan-boyish, and balanced their compliments with competitive criticism.

R J Adams said...

Well, thank God for the Dead Parrot Speech, is all I can say!

R J Adams said...

Or, should that be, 'Squawk!"

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Indeed. And I'm not at all sure that I, as a native speaker of English, have "implicitly mastered" that order of adjectives, which is probably why in most cases, I instinctively limit myself to using 'em one at a time. ;-)