Sunday, March 16, 2014

Usual and Extraordinary Figurative Language PART FOUR! By PerfettoWritingRoom(c)!

This Photo, taken only a few months ago, 2014, in memory of Dorothy Parker, pioneer, female writer, and all around wit.


 I'd be a fool and liar both if I said metonymy and synecdoche were easy to tell apart. However, I love wordplay and if you read the differences and then follow the examples below, I think you'll begin to love these as much as I do!

11.   Metonymy – A trope in which a thing is represented by another thing that is near, around or closely associated with it. For example, when people refer to: 
  • The crown. . . they really mean the king, meaning the entire person, not just the crown he wears.
  • The bottle. . .  they really mean liquor in general,  not just the container that holds it.
  • Suits. . .they are referring to an entire class of business professionals who wear suits, not just an ensemble that these people might wear on a meeting day.
  • The White House. . .they may be referring to government, the governing body, and not to the building itself. 
  • Similarly, people may refer to Washington (the District of Columbia) where major political activities take place, even though it is actually district where many other, nonpolitical events take place.
  • "Coke" or "Coca-Cola," they may be referring to any dark-colored cola beverage that is near or closely associated with Coke. This would be using a Metonymy, and people do this all the time with brand names like Q-tips, Pampers, Cheerios and other brands out of habit. 
  • the statement . . . "Give me your John Hancock" they are referring to a signature in general, and playfully to the famous signature on the Declaration of Independence. In this way your signature is related to another's signature. They obviously want you to write YOUR signature, not Mr. Hancock's! 
  • or the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword”. . . they are referring to the written word or even legislation in general for "the pen," and for the "sword" they are referring to combat, war, or violence in general.
  • A sweet ride. . . referring to what a car does, and calling it that, a "ride," as opposed to a car.
  • "Let's get a keg." (A keg is the large container associated with beer)
  • "He drank the cup." (A cup is a container so closely associated with liquids that you understand you are not literally drinking the CUP, but its contents.)
12. Synecdoche - A figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole, or vice versa. If you look at the examples above closely, you will notice that they are not parts of the whole; all the the items are near, associated with, or related to the items mentioned. For synecdoche however, let's see if we can come up with some examples for you. All of these are examples of a PART standing for the whole. In order to make the differences crystal clear, just a few examples of Synecdoche are:
  • “Wheels” for a car. (Wheels are part of a car).
  •  “Two suns” for two days (the sun turning is a part of what makes a day.)
  •  “May I have your hand?" for marrying a person (hand is part of the body).
  • "Long-hair" for a hippie, (as this was usually part of a their distinguishing look).
  •  "Hired hands" for workers (hands are only part of the worker though we understand the meaning here) 
  • "We need a head count!" (heads count as entire people, using part for the whole).
  • "He got pumped full of lead" (Traditionally lead is part of a bullet's makeup)
  • Ivories for a piano and its keys 
  • Threads for clothes
  • Glasses - for eyeglasses or spectacles       
  • Pigskin for a football, based on the material it is made out of
  • strings, brass, for instrument types
  • "I will use my good silver" for cutlery or tableware, provided it is made of silver or at least silver plated.
  • plastic for a credit card (Plastic is what credit cards are made of).

Note: that synecdoche differs from metonymy in that metonymy is a trope in which a thing is represented by a thing that is near, around or closely associated with it. For a term to be synecdoche is must be PART of a larger thing, not merely near or associated with . 

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: WE Here are not Done! Not by a Long Shot!!! I hope you are reading and enjoying this figurative language tutorial. Our goal is to be informative and fun. Even more good stuff tomorrow!!! Keep reading, writing, living, growing, learning, laughing, and loving life!


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