Lexical Stylistic Devices

LEXICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES Metaphor Genuine metaphors Trite(dead) metaphors Metonymy Metonymy Metonymy is the substitution of one word for another with which it is associated: ‘The White House said…’ (the American government) ; the press (newspapers and magazines); the cradle(infancy, place of origin);the grave(death); The hall applauded; The marble spoke; The kettle is boiling; I am fond of Agatha Christie; We didn’t speak because there were ears all around us; He was about a sentence away from needing plastic surgery . Synecdoche Simile

She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden. Cliche I want to die young at a ripe old age. Irony Irony Well done! A fine friend you are! ‘What a noble illustration of the tender laws of this favoured country! – they let the poor go to sleep! ’           Irony must not be confused with humour, although they have very much in common. Humour always causes laughter. But the function of irony is not to produce a humorous effect. Irony is generally used to convey a negative feeling: irritation, displeasure, pity or regret. Epithet

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Epithet coveys the subjective attitude of the writer as it is used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some properties or features of the object. Epithet aims at evaluation of these properties or features. Heart-burning smile; wild winds; fantastic terrors; voiceless sands;           unearthly beauty; deep feelings; sleepless bay. Fixed epithets (stock images) are mostly used in ballads and folk-songs: ‘true love’, ‘dark forest’, ‘sweet Sir’, green wood’; ‘good ship’, ‘brave cavaliers’. From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into simple, compound, phrase and sentence epithets.

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Simple: dreary midnight; brilliant answer; sweet smile. Compound: heart-braking sigh; good-for-nothing fellow; Phrase epithets and sentence epithets: 1. ‘Personally I detest her (Giaconda’s) smug, mystery-making, come-hither-but-go-away-again-because-butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth expression’. 2. There is a sort of ‘Oh–what–a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler’ expression about Montmorency that has been known to bring to tea s into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen.

The reversed epithets, or metaphorical, are of two types: 1) two nouns are linked in an of-phrase: a devil of a job; ‘A little Flying Dutchman of a cab’2) The predicative is in the inverted position: ‘Fools that they are’; ‘Wicked as he is’           Transferred epithets describe the state of a human being but referred to an animate object: sleepless pillow; unbreakfasted morning; merry hours; an indifferent shoulder; sick chambers. Oxymoron Oxymoron is a combination of two words in which their meaning clash, being opposite in sense:           Sweet sorrow; pleasantly ugly face; deafening silence; horribly beautiful.

The following example describes the author’s attitude to New York: ‘I despise its vastness and power. It has the poorest millionaires, the littlest great men, the plainest beauties, the lowest skyscrapers of any town I ever saw. (Satiric mocking) Allusion Allusion is reference to a famous historical, literary, mythological, biblical or everyday life character or event, commonly known. As a rule no indication of the source is given. It’s his Achilles heel. Antonomasia Antonomasia is intended to point out the leading, most characteristic features of a person or of event.

It categorizes the person and simultaneously indicates both the general and the particular. Antonomasia can be defined as a variety of allusion:           Vralman, Molchalin, Mr. Zero, Don Juan. Metalepsis Metalepsis is a reference to something remotely associated with the theme of the speech. ‘I’ve got to go catch the worm tomorrow morning. ’ said Mary. (The early bird catches the worm- a proverb) Zeugma Zeugma (syllepsis) is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations. It creates a semantic incongruity which is often humorous: 1.

He lost his hat and his temper. 2. ‘…and covered themselves with dust and glory. -Mark Twain 3. Oae ai? au e aaa nooaaioa. Iaei a aaeioao, a? oaie – a oieaa? neoao. 4. The alphabet was above the blackboard and friendly atmosphere was there. 5. ‘And May’s mother always stood on her gentility; and Dora’s mother never stood on anything but her active feet’. Pun Pun (also known as paronomasia) is a deliberate confusion of similar – sounding words for humorous effect. Puns are often used in jokes and riddles. E. g. 1. What is the difference between a schoolmaster and an engine-driver? One trains the mind and the other minds the train. ) 2. The name Justin Time sounds like ‘just in time’ 3. I have no idea how worms reproduce but you often find them in pairs (pears). 4. Officer. -What steps (measures) would you take if an enemy tank were coming towards you? Soldier. – Long ones. Interjections and Exclamatory Words Interjections and Exclamatory Words are used to express our strong feelings; they are conventional symbols of human emotions. The interjection is not a sentence; it is a word with strong emotive meaning. Interjections radiate the emotional element over the whole utterance.

Here are some of the meanings that can be expressed by interjections: joy, delight, admiration, approval, disbelief, astonishment, fright, regret, dissatisfaction, boredom, sadness, blame, reproach, protest, horror, irony, sarcasm, self-assurance, despair, disgust, surprise, sorrow, and many others. Oh! Ah! Pooh! Gosh! Alas! Heavens! Dear me! God! Come on! Look here! By the Lord! Bless me! Humbug! Terrible! Awful! Great! Wonderful! Fine! Man! Boy! Why! Well! Periphrasis Periphrasis denotes the use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter and planer form of expression.

It is also called circumlocution due to the round-about or indirect way to name a familiar object. There are traditional periphrases which are not stylistic devices, they are synonymic expressions: The giver of rings, the victor lord, the leader of hosts (king), the play of swords(battle), a shield-bearer(warrior), the cap and gown (student), the fair sex (women), my better half (my wife). The traditional periphrasis is an important feature of epic poetry. Periphrasis as stylistic device is a new, genuine nomination of an object. Stylistic periphrasis can be divided into logical and figurative. Logical: instruments of destruction (pistols), he most pardonable of human weaknesses (love). Figurative periphrasis is based either on metaphor or on metonymy. To tie the knot (to marry), the punctual servant of all work (the sun). There is little difference between metaphor or metonymy and periphrasis. Euphemisms Euphemism is a word or a phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression: to die=to pass away, to be no more, to depart, to join the majority, to be gone; to kick the bucket, to give up the ghost, to go west. So, euphemisms are synonyms which aim to produce a mild effect. Euphemisms may be divided into several groups:           1) religious, 2) oral, 3) medical, 4) parliamentary. a woman of a certain type(whore), to glow(to sweat),mental hospital(madhouse), the big C(cancer), sanitation worker(garbage man). Meiosis/Understatement Meiosis/Understatement is a figure of speech which intentionally understates something or implies that it is less in significance, size, than it really is. For example, a lawyer defending a schoolboy who set fire to school, might call the fact of arson a ‘prank’ (i? iaaeea). Hyperbole Hyperbole is a deliberate overstatement or exaggeration of a phenomenon or an object. He was so tall that I could not see his face. Proverbs and Sayings

Proverbs and sayings are brief statements showing in condensed form life experience of the community and serving as conventional symbols for abstract ideas. They are usually didactic and image rearing. Proverbs and sayings have some typical features: rhythm, sometimes rhyme and or alliteration. 1. ‘Early to bed and early to rise, 2. Out of sight, out of mind. Iineiaeou iaeaaa? o aoeaaeuiui e/eee ia? aiiniui niuneii. Aeaia ioeoa ii iieaoo. Iiaiai? ee eia? o oieuei aoeaaeuiue ieai. Ai? y aiyouny- n? anouy ia aeaaou. Epigrams Epigrams are terse, witty statements, showing the turn of mind of the originator.

Epigram is a stylistic device akin to a proverb, the only difference being that epigrams are coined by people whose names we know, while proverbs are the coinage of the people. ‘A God that can be understood is not a God. ’ Quotations Quotation is a repetition of a phrase or statement from a book, speech and the like used by the way of illustration, proof or as a basis for further speculation on the matter. By repeating the utterance in a new environment, we attach to the utterance an importance. Allegory Allegory is a device by which the names of objects or characters are used figuratively, representing some more general things, good or bad ualities. A type of allegory is Personification. Personification Personification is a form of comparison in which human characteristics, such as emotions, personality, behaviuor and so on, are attributed to an animal, object or idea. The proud lion surveyed his kingdom. The primary function of personification is to make abstract ideas clearer to the reader by comparing them to everyday human experience. How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,           Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! Personification is often represented by the masculine or feminine pronouns for the names of animals, objects or forces of nature.

He is used for the Sun, the Wind , for the names of animals (The Cat that walked all by himself), for abstract notions associated with strength and fierceness-Death, Fear, War, Love. She is used for what is regarded as rather gentle (the Moon, Nature, Beauty, Hope, Mercy. In neutral style there also some associations of certain nouns and gender. The names of countries, if the country is not considered as a mere geographical territory, are referred to as feminine (England is proud of her poets). The names of vessels and vehicles are also referred as feminine.

Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism is the form of personification consisting of creating imagery persons of inanimate objects. Common examples include naming one’s car or begging a machine to work. The use of anthropomorphized animals has a long tradition in literature and art. They are used to portray stereotypical characters, in order to quickly convey the characteristics the author intends them to possess. Examples include Aesop’s fables, famous television characters, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse and a lot of other funny animals.

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