Regardless of the types of metaphors you favor, keep in mind Aristotle's observation 2,500 years ago in  Rhetoric : "Those words are most pleasant

In document The Top 20 Figures of Speech (Page 30-76)

which give us new knowledge. Strange words have no meaning for us;

common terms we know already. It is metaphor which gives us most of this

 pleasure."

12.Metonymy

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Main Clause - Oxymoron

 A Red Letter Day 

Definition:

A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated (such as "crown" for

"royalty"). Metonymy is also the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it, such as

describing someone's clothing to characterize the individual. Adjective:

metonymic . See also:

Metonym

Synecdoche

Tom Wolfe's Status Details Etymology:

From the Greek, "change of name"

Examples & Observations:

"Many standard items of vocabulary are metonymic. A red-letter day is important, like the feast days marked in red on church calendars. . . . On the level of slang, a redneck is a stereotypical member of the white rural working class in the Southern U.S.,

fields."

(Connie Eble, "Metonymy." The Oxford Companion to the English Language, 1992)

"Detroit is still hard at work on an SUV that runs on rain forest trees and panda blood."

(Conan O'Brien)

"Metonymy is common in cigarette advertising in countries where legislation prohibits depictions of the cigarettes themselves or of people using them."

(Daniel Chandler, Semiotics. Routledge, 2007)

"I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn't do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver Wig, and I never saw her again."

(Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep)

The White House asked the television networks for air time on Monday night.

"Whitehall prepares for a hung parliament."

(The Guardian, January 1, 2009)

The suits on Wall Street walked off with most of our savings.

"The B.L.T. left without paying."

(waitress referring to a customer)

"Metaphor creates the relation between its objects, while metonymy presupposes that relation."

(Hugh Bredin, "Metonymy." Poetics Today , 1984) Pronunciation: me-TON-uh-me

Also Known As: denominatio, misnamer, transmutation Figures of Substitution

AntonomasiaSynecdocheMetonym Master Tropes

MetaphorHyperboleIrony

13.Onomatopoeia

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Main Clause - Oxymoron

The onomatopoeic Snap, Crackle, and Pop! (Kellogg's Rice Krispies®)

Definition:

The formation or use of words (such as hiss or murmur ) that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

Adjective: onomatopoeic or onomatopoetic . See also:

Onomatope

Reduplicative

Sound Symbolism

Introduction to Etymology Etymology:

From the Latin, "make names"

Examples and Observations:

"I'm getting married in the morning!

Ding dong! the bells are gonna chime."

(Lerner and Loewe, "Get Me to the Church on Time," My Fair Lady )

"Onomatopoeia every time I see ya My senses tell me hubba

And I just can't disagree.

I get a feeling in my heart that I can't describe. . . .

It's sort of whack, whir, wheeze, whine Sputter, splat, squirt, scrape

Clink, clank, clunk, clatter Crash, bang, beep, buzz Ring, rip, roar, retch Twang, toot, tinkle, thud Pop, plop, plunk, pow Snort, snuck, sniff, smack

Screech, splash, squish, squeak Jingle, rattle, squeal, boing

Honk, hoot, hack, belch."

(Todd Rundgren, "Onomatopoeia")

"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz , oh what a relief it is."

(slogan of Alka Seltzer, U.S.)

"Plink, plink, fizz, fizz"

(Alka Seltzer, U.K.)

"Klunk! Klick! Every trip"

(U.K. promotion for seat belts)

"[Aredelia] found Starling in the warm laundry room, dozing against the slow rump-rump of a washing machine."

(Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs)

"Bang! went the pistol, Crash! went the window

Ouch! went the son of a gun.

Onomatopoeia--I don't want to see ya

Speaking in a foreign tongue."

(John Prine, "Onomatopoeia")

"Linguists almost always begin discussions about

onomatopoeia with observations like the following: the snip of a pair of scissors is su-su in Chinese, cri-cri in Italian, riqui-riqui in Spanish, terre-terre in Portuguese, krits-krits in modern Greek. . . . Some linguists gleefully expose the conventional nature of these words, as if revealing a fraud."

(Earl Anderson, A Grammar of Iconism. Fairleigh Dickinson, 1999)

Figures of Sound

Homoioteleuton

Onomatopoeia

Assonance Writers on Writing

Advice from One Writer to Another

Writers on Writing: E.B. White

Doris Lessing on the Compulsion to Write Figures of Speech

Top 20 Figures of Speech

Review Quiz: Top 20 Figures of Speech

Similes and Metaphors Related Articles

Stipulative Definitions: Arbitrary Definitions

14.Oxymoron

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Main Clause - Oxymoron

 A small crowd: alone together? 

Getty Images

Definition:

A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side; a compressed paradox. Adjective: oxymoronic . See also:

verbal paradox.

Etymology:

From the Greek, "sharp-dull"

Examples & Observations:

"O brawling love! O loving hate! . . . O heavy lightness! serious vanity!

Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!

Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!

Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!

This love feel I, that feel no love in this."

(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet )

"A yawn may be defined as a silent yell."

(G.K. Chesterton)

"O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches!"

(John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions)

"That building is a little bit big and pretty ugly."

(James Thurber)

"'I want to move with all deliberate haste,' said President-elect Barack Obama at his first, brief press conference after his election, 'but I emphasize "deliberate" as well as "haste."'

"It’s not easy to be both deliberate and hasty at the same time unless you are consciously embracing an oxymoron--from the Greek word meaning 'pointedly foolish'--and it is a jarring

 juxtaposition of contradictory words like 'cruel kindness' and 'thunderous silence.'"

(William Safire, "Frugalista." The New York Times, Nov. 21, 2008)

"The phrase 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron."

(George Will)

"A log palace is an architectural as well as a verbal oxymoron;

so is a short skyscraper , or an urban villa."

(J. F. O'Gorman and Dennis E. McGrath, ABC of Architecture. Univ.

of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)

the expressions "act naturally," "original copy," "found missing,"

"alone together," "peace force," "definite possibility," "terribly pleased," "real phony," "ill health," "turn up missing," "jumbo shrimp," "alone together," "loose tights," "small crowd," and

"clearly misunderstood"

Pronunciation: ox-see-MOR-on Figures of Speech

Paradox

Top 20 Figures of Speech

Tool Kit for Rhetorical Analysis Rhetorical Analyses

Rhetorical Analysis of E B. White's "The Ring of Time"

Homer Simpson's Rhetoric

The Rhetoric of Tony Soprano and Uncle Junior

15.Paradox 15.Paradox

Filed In:

Filed In:

1.

1. Grammar & Rhetoric GlossaryGrammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2.

2. >> Palindrome - QuotativePalindrome - Quotative

M. C. Escher's "Waterfall": a visual

M. C. Escher's "Waterfall": a visual paradox paradox 

Definition:

Definition:

A statement that appears to contradict itself. Adjective:

A statement that appears to contradict itself. Adjective: paradoxical  paradoxical ..

See also:

See also:

Verbal ParadoxVerbal Paradox

OxymoronOxymoron

"The Superstition of School," by G.K. Chesterton"The Superstition of School," by G.K. Chesterton

"Paradox and Dream," by John Steinbeck"Paradox and Dream," by John Steinbeck Etymology:

Etymology:

From the Greek, "incredible, contrary to opinion or expectation"

From the Greek, "incredible, contrary to opinion or expectation"

Examples and Observations:

Examples and Observations:

"The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot.""The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot."

(Henry David Thoreau,

(Henry David Thoreau, WaldenWalden))

"If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in frankness.""If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in frankness."

(Alexander Smith) (Alexander Smith)

"A dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tale when it's"A dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tale when it's

pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased and wag my tale when I'm pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased and wag my tale when I'm angry."

angry."

(The Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in (The Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Wonderland)

"War is peace.""War is peace."

"Freedom is slavery."

"Freedom is slavery."

"Ignorance is strength."

"Ignorance is strength."

(George Orwell,

(George Orwell, 19841984))

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real that concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do

could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as was ask; and as soon as he did,soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to

was sane he had to fly them. If he flew fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn'tthem he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he

have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and didn't want to he was sane and had to."had to."

(Joseph Heller,

(Joseph Heller, Catch-22Catch-22))

""ParadoxParadox of Success: the more successful a policy is in wardingof Success: the more successful a policy is in warding off some unwanted condition the less necessary it will be thought to off some unwanted condition the less necessary it will be thought to maintain it. If a threat is successfully suppressed, people naturally maintain it. If a threat is successfully suppressed, people naturally wonder why we should any longer bother with it."

wonder why we should any longer bother with it."

(James Piereson, "On the Paradox of Success." Real Clear Politics, (James Piereson, "On the Paradox of Success." Real Clear Politics, Sep. 11, 2006)

Sep. 11, 2006)

"Some day you will b"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy talese old enough to start reading fairy tales again."

again."

(C.S. Lewis to his godchild, Lucy Barfield, to whom he dedicated (C.S. Lewis to his godchild, Lucy Barfield, to whom he dedicated The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)) Pronunciation:

Pronunciation: PAR-a-doxPAR-a-dox Scrapbook of Styles

Scrapbook of Styles

Polysyndeton in Julie Myerson's "Sad-Grand Moment"

Polysyndeton in Julie Myerson's "Sad-Grand Moment"Hyperbole inHyperbole in Martin Amis's "Money"

Martin Amis's "Money"Ian Frazier's List of Reasons in "Great Plains"Ian Frazier's List of Reasons in "Great Plains"

Logic Logic

Logos

LogosAntirrhesisAntirrhesisArgumentArgument

Figures of Speech Figures of Speech

Top 20 Figures of Speech

Top 20 Figures of SpeechHomer Simpson's Figures of SpeechHomer Simpson's Figures of SpeechTheThe Rhetoric of Tony Soprano

Rhetoric of Tony Soprano

16.Personification 16.Personification

Filed In:

Filed In:

1.

1. Grammar & CompositionGrammar & Composition

 John Bull and Uncle Sam  John Bull and Uncle Sam

Definition:

Definition:

A

A figure of speechfigure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is givenin which an inanimate object or abstraction is given human qualities or abilities. See also:

human qualities or abilities. See also:

What Is Personification?What Is Personification?

Personification inPersonification in Motherless BrooklynMotherless Brooklyn

"On a Rainy Morning," by C. "On a Rainy Morning," by C. S. BrooksS. Brooks

"Story of a Garden," by Mabel Wright"Story of a Garden," by Mabel Wright

ProgymnasmataProgymnasmata

Examples and Observations:

Examples and Observations:

AsAs personificationspersonifications of their respective nations, England and theof their respective nations, England and the U.S., John Bull and Uncle

U.S., John Bull and Uncle Sam became popular during the 19thSam became popular during the 19th century.

century.

The wind stood up and gave a shout.The wind stood up and gave a shout.

He whistled on his fingers and He whistled on his fingers and Kicked the withered leaves about Kicked the withered leaves about

And thumped the branches with his hand And thumped the branches with his hand

And so he will and so he will.

(James Stephens, "The Wind")

"The operation is over. On the table, the knife lies spent, on its side, the bloody meal smear-dried upon its flanks. The knife rests."

(Richard Selzer, "The Knife")

"Personification, with allegory, was the literary rage in the 18th century, but it goes against the modern grain and today is the feeblest of metaphorical devices."

(Rene Cappon, Associated Press Guide to News Writing, 2000)

"Only the champion daisy trees were serene. After all, they were part of a rain forest already two thousand years old and scheduled for eternity, so they ignored the men and continued to rock the diamondbacks that slept in their arms. It took the river to persuade them that indeed the world was altered."

(Toni Morrison, Tar Baby )

"The road isn't built that can make it breathe hard!"

(slogan for Chevrolet automobiles)

"Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there."

(proverb quoted by Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos)

"Oreo: Milk’s favorite cookie."

(slogan on a package of Oreo cookies)

"The only monster here is the gambling monster that has

enslaved your mother! I call him Gamblor, and it's time to snatch your mother from his neon claws!"

(Homer Simpson, The Simpsons) Pronunciation: per-SON-if-i-KAY-shun Also Known As: prosopopoeia

Figures of Speech

LitotesHyperboleSynecdoche Figurative Comparisons

MetaphorSimileUsing Similes and Metaphors to Enrich Our Writing

Key Figures

Top 20 Figures of SpeechReview Quiz: Top 20 Figures of  SpeechReview Quiz: Rhetorical

17.Pun

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Composition

Slogan of Morton Salt (since 1911)

Definition:

A play on words, either on different senses of the same word or on the similar sense or sound of different words. See also:

Paronomasia

Antanaclasis

Homophones

Verbal Play

Charles Lamb on Puns

Store Name Puns Etymology:

Uncertain

Examples:

"When it rains, it pours."

(advertising slogan for Morton Salt)

"When it pours, it reigns."

(slogan of Michelin tires)

"What food these morsels be!"

(slogan of Heinz pickles, 1938)

"American Home has an edifice complex."

(slogan of  American Home magazine)

"Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight"

(Dylan Thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night")

"Look deep into our ryes."

(slogan of Wigler's Bakery)

"Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted."

(Fred Allen)

A vulture boards a plane, carrying two dead possums. The attendant looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."

(Groucho Marx)

"Punning is an art of harmonious jingling upon words, which, passing in at the ears, excites a titillary motion in those parts; and this, being conveyed by the animal spirits into the muscles of the face, raises the cockles of the heart."

(Jonathan Swift)

"A pun is not bound by the laws which limit nicer wit. It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect."

(Charles Lamb)

"All obscene puns have the same underlying construction in that they consist of two elements. The first element sets the stage for the pun by offering seemingly harmless material, such as the title of a book, The Tiger's Revenge. But the second element either is

name of the author of The Tiger's Revenge--Claude Bawls."

(Peter Farb, Word Play , 1974)

"To pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms."

(Walter Redfern, Puns, 1974) Pronunciation: pun

Also Known As: paronomasia Word Play

ParonomasiaBlendMalapropism Your Writing

Secrets to Success in English 101The Write AttitudeThe Writing Process

Words About Words

HomonymAntonymSynonym Related Articles

pejoration - definition and examples of pejoration

transition - definition and examples of transition

folk etymology - definition and examples of folk etymology

broadening - definition and examples of broadening

intensifier - definition and examples of intensifier

18.Simile

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Reading - Syntax

Definition:

A figure of speech in which two fundamentally unlike things are

explicitly compared, usually in a phrase introduced by like or as. See also:

100 Sweet Similes

Metaphor

Analogy

Using Similes to Enrich Our Writing

Similes That Make Us Smile

The Simile Poem Etymology:

From Latin, "likeness" or "comparison"

Examples and Observations:

"He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow."

(George Eliot, Adam Bede)

"Human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when we want to move the stars to pity."

(Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary )

"Humanity, let us say, is like people packed in an automobile which is traveling downhill without lights at terrific speed and driven by a four-year-old child. The signposts along the way are all

marked 'Progress.'"

(Lord Dunsany)

"Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep."

(Carl Sandburg)

"My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain."

(W.H. Auden)

"He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of  angel food."

(Raymond Chandler)

"The simile sets two ideas side by side; in the metaphor they become superimposed."

(F.L. Lucas)

"you fit into me like a hook into an eye a fish hook

an open eye"

(Margaret Atwood)

"She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat."

(James Joyce, "The Boarding House")

"She has a voice like a baritone sax issuing from an oil drum, and hams even with her silences."

(John Simon, reviewing Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , April 2005)

"Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong."

(slogan of Pan-American Coffee Bureau)

"Life is rather like a tin of sardines: we're all of us looking for the key."

(Alan Bennett)

"Matt Leinart slid into the draft like a bald tire on black ice."

(Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 25, 2007) Pronunciation: SIM-i-lee

Similes & Metaphors

Top 20 Figures of Speech

Tropes

Metaphor

Hyperbole

Irony

Metaphors Be With You

"House" Calls: The Metaphors of Dr. Gregory House

What Is a Metaphor?

What Are Mixed Metaphors?

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understatement - definition and examples of  understatement

alliteration - definition and examples of alliteration

prosopopoeia - definition and examples of prosopopoeia

19.Synecdoche

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Reading - Syntax

Definition:

A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole, the whole for a part, the specific for the general, the general for the

specific, or the material for the thing made from it. Considered by some to be a form of metonymy. Adjective: synecdochic or

synecdochal . Etymology:

From the Greek, "shared understanding"

Examples and Observations:

"The sputtering economy could make the difference if you're trying to get a deal on a new set of wheels."

(Al Vaughters, WIVB.com, Nov. 21, 2008)

All hands on deck.

General Motors announced cutbacks.

"Take thy face hence."

(William Shakespeare, Macbeth)

9/11

"And let us mind, faint heart n'er wan A lady fair."

(Robert Burns, "To Dr. Blalock")

white-collar criminals

"In photographic and filmic media a close-up is a simple synecdoche--a part representing the whole. . . . Synecdoche

invites or expects the viewer to 'fill in the gaps' and advertisements frequently employ this trope."

(Daniel Chandler, Semiotics: The Basics. Routledge, 2002)

Give us this day our daily bread .

"The daily press, the immediate media, is superb at

synecdoche, at giving us a small thing that stands for a much larger thing."

(Bruce Jackson)

Brazil won the soccer match.

"And the Stratocaster guitars slung over

Burgermeister beer guts, and the swizzle stick legs  jackknifed over Naugahyde stools . . .."

(Tom Waits, "Putnam County")

"It's true that there's something sad about the fact that David Leavitt's short stories' sole description of some characters is that their T-shirts have certain brand names on them. . . . In our post-1950s, inseparable-from-TV association pool, brand loyalty really is synecdochic of character."

(David Foster Wallace, "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S.

Fiction." The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1993) Pronunciation: si-NEK-di-key

Also Known As: intellectio, quick conceit Figures of Substitution

Antonomasia

Metonymy

Euphemism Master Tropes

Metaphor

Hyperbole

Irony Common Figures

20.Understatement

Filed In:

1. Grammar & Rhetoric Glossary 2. > Taboo Language - Zeugma

The Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail  Sony Pictures

Definition:

A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is. Contrast with hyperbole. See also: litotes.

Examples and Observations:

"It's just a flesh wound."

(Black Knight, after having both of his arms cut off, in Monty 

(Black Knight, after having both of his arms cut off, in Monty 

In document The Top 20 Figures of Speech (Page 30-76)