Figures of Speech





This second section on
Figures of Speech are departure from the ordinary form of expression, or the ordinary course of ideas in order to produce a greater effect.

PUN:

A Pun consists in the use of a word in such a way that it is capable of more than one application, the object being to introduce a ludicrous effect.

Examples:

• Is life worth living? It depends upon the liver.

In this sentence, the word ‘liver’ has been used in double meaning- the physical organ LIVER and the person who lives.

• An ambassador is an honest man who lies aboard for the good of his country.


In this sentence, the word ‘lies’ has been used in double meaning- being and making false statement.

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

METONYMY:

In Metonymy, (literally change of name) an object is designed by the name of something which is associated with it.

Examples:

• The Bench, for the Judges...
• The House, for the members of Parliament…
• The laurel, for success…
• The Crown, for the King…

Since there are many kinds of association between objects, there are several varieties of Metonymy.

Thus Metonymy may result from the use of

i. The sign for the person or thing symbolized:

Examples:

• You must address the chair. (The Chairman)
• One should work hard from the cradle to the grave. (From infancy to death)

ii. The container for the thing contained:

Examples:

• The whole city went out to see that victorious general.
• The kettle boils.
• Forthwith he drank the fatal cup.
• He keeps a good cellar.
• He was playing to the gallery.
• He has undoubtedly the best stable in the country.

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

iii. The instrument for the agent:

Examples:

• The pen is mightier than the sword.

iv. The author for his works:

Examples:

• We are reading Milton.
• Do you learn Euclid at your school?

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

SYNECDOCHE:

In Synecdoche, a part is used to designate the whole or the whole to designate a part.

i. A part used to designate whole:

Examples:

• Give us this day our daily bread. (I.e. food)
• Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
• He has many mouths to feed.
• All the best brains could not solve the problem.

ii. The whole used to designate a part:

Examples:

• England (i.e. the cricket team of England) won the first test match against Australia.

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

TRANSFERRED EPITHET:

In this figure, an epithet is transformed from its proper word to another that is closely associated with that in the sentence.

Examples:

• He passed sleepless night.
• A lackey presented an obsequious cup of coffee.

LITOTES:

In Litotes an affirmative is conveyed by negation of the opposite, the effect being to suggest a strong expression by means of a weaker. It is the opposite of Hyperbole.

Examples:

• I am a citizen of no mean. (I am a celebrated citizen)
• The man is no fool. (Very clever)
• I am not a little surprised. (Greatly)

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

INTERROGATION:

Interrogation is asking of a question not for the sake of getting an answer, but to put a point more effectively.

Examples:

• Am I my brother’s keeper?
• Who is here so vile that will not love his country?

EXCLAMATION:

In this figure, the exclamatory form is used to draw greater attention to a point that mere bald statement of it could do.

Examples:

• What is piece of work is man!
• How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
• what a fall was there, my countryman!

These Figures-of-Speech are widely used by us in our communications.

CLIMAX:

Climax (KILMAX means a ladder) is the arrangement of a series of ideas in the order of increasing importance.

Examples:

• He is simple, erect, severe, austere and sublime.
• What a piece of work man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties! In action, how like an angel!
• In apprehension, how like a God!

ANTICLIMAX:

Anticlimax is the opposite of Climax-a sudden descent from higher to lower. It is chiefly used for the purpose of satire or ridicule.

Examples:

• O The great Dalhousie! The great god of war, you sometimes take counsel, and sometimes take tea.

These are the Figures-of-Speech that we usually use in our communications.

By reading more and more books, you will become familiar with all these figures and you will start using these figures at ease.

The first section on Figures of Speech



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