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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации

Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение


высшего образования
«Российский экономический университет имени Г.В. Плеханова»
Саратовский социально-экономический институт (филиал)
Кафедра переводоведения и межкультурной коммуникации

СТИЛИСТИКА. ПРАКТИКУМ

Учебное пособие
для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы
обучающихся по специальности
45.05.01 Перевод и переводоведение,
очная форма обучения

Авторы-составители:
А.А. Зарайский
О.Л. Морова
В.Ю. Харитонова

Саратов
2018
УДК 81’38
ББК 81.07

Стилистика. Практикум : учеб. пособие для аудиторной и само-


С80 стоятельной работы обучающихся по специальности 45.05.01 Перевод
и переводоведение, очная форма обучения / авт.сост.: А.А. Зарайский,
О.Л. Морова, В.Ю. Харитонова. – Саратов : Саратовский социально-
экономический институт (филиал) РЭУ им. Г.В. Плеханова, 2018. –
234 с.

Данное учебное пособие предназначено для студентов, обучающихся по


специальности 45.05.01 Перевод и переводоведение.
Пособие включает шесть разделов. В первых двух разделах рассматривается
понятийный аппарат стилистики как науки, а также затрагиваются вопросы ее
становления и развития. Последующие разделы посвящены теоретическим аспектам
изучения стилистических приемов на разных языковых уровнях. Каждый раздел
содержит практическую часть, направленную на закрепление теоретических
положений. Источниками упражнений в практической части послужили
произведения классических и современных авторов.
Учебное пособие ставит своей целью создать у студентов представление о
стилистике как разделе языкознания, ознакомить с теорией стилистических
закономерностей системы языка, а также с основным кругом стилистических
категорий, необходимых выпускникам специалитета по специальности 45.05.01
Перевод и переводоведение, специализация программы «Специальный перевод».
Пособие рекомендуется для курса «Стилистика» для студентов специальности
45.05.01 Перевод и переводоведение.
УДК 81’38
ББК 81.07

Работа издана в авторской редакции

© Авторы-составители: А.А. Зарайский,


О.Л. Морова, В.Ю. Харитонова, 2018
© Саратовский социально-экономический
институт (филиал) РЭУ им. Г.В. Плеханова,
2018
От авторов
Целью учебного пособия является формирование у студентов представления о
стилистике как разделе языкознания, ознакомление с теорией стилистических
закономерностей системы языка, а также с основным кругом стилистических категорий,
необходимых выпускникам специалитета по специальности 45.05.01 Перевод и
переводоведение специализация программы «Специальный перевод».
Данное учебное пособие нацелено на формирование следующих компетенций: ПК-1 –
способность проводить лингвистический анализ текста/дискурса на основе системных
знаний современного этапа и истории развития изучаемых языков; ПК-5 – способность
владеть всеми регистрами общения: официальным, неофициальным, нейтральным; ПК-6 –
способность распознавать лингвистические маркеры социальных отношений и адекватно
их использовать (формулы приветствия, прощания, эмоциональное восклицание),
распознавать маркеры речевой характеристики человека на всех уровнях языка.
Пособие включает шесть разделов. В первых двух разделах рассматривается
понятийный аппарат стилистики как науки, а также затрагиваются вопросы ее
становления и развития. Последующие разделы посвящены теоретическим аспектам
изучения стилистических приемов на разных языковых уровнях. Каждый раздел содержит
практическую часть, направленную на закрепление теоретических положений.
Источниками упражнений в практической части послужили произведения классических и
современных авторов.
Материал пособия дает возможность проследить развитие терминологического
аппарата и познакомиться с характерными стилистическими явлениями языка науки,
позволяет овладеть понятийным аппаратом и усовершенствовать навыки стилистического
анализа текста. Чрезвычайно ценно, что предложенные в пособии упражнения помогут
эффективно организовать аудиторную и самостоятельную работу студентов. Занятия по
материалам настоящего пособия предполагают многоплановую исследовательскую
деятельность с привлечением дополнительного материала в виде справочных источников
и различного рода словарей. Пособие включает обширный иллюстративный материал.

Preface
The book is intended to develop the skills of identifying a variety of stylistic devices in
different literary works. Particular emphasis is placed on determining stylistic effects they
produce. The primary goal of the book is to teach students to put together what they have
learned, as well as to enhance and to extend their proficiency in the area of stylistics.
The book has six units; each of them follows the same teaching sequence. Exercises
provided at the end of each unit develop students’ competence in mastering stylistic analysis
skills, recycle teaching points from previous units in the context of the new topic, and foster
stylistic competence through fun and educational exploration.
The authors tried to make the book both teacher- and student-friendly, to make it easy to
follow, with clearly identified teaching points, carefully organized and sequenced units.

3
TABLE OF CONTENTS

UNIT 1 THE CONCEPT OF STYLISTICS ............................................................ 5


UNIT 2 LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE MEANING ........................................... 21
UNIT 3 PHONETIC AND GRAPHICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES ...................... 30
UNIT 4 LEXICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES .......................................................... 54
UNIT 5 LEXICAL-SYNTACTICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES ........................... 119
UNIT 6 SYNTACTICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES ............................................. 156
PRONUNCIATION GUIDE ................................................................................ 230
REFERENCES: ..................................................................................................... 232
DICTIONARIES: .................................................................................................. 233
ONLINE RESOURCES: ....................................................................................... 234

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UNIT 1

THE CONCEPT OF STYLISTICS

Learning Objectives:

To understand  The object of stylistics. Aspects of stylistic research


 The concept of style
 Branches of stylistics
 Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines
 Types of connotation

Stylistics can be said to have started in the form of rhetoric. Rhetoric,


originally seen as the study of oratory and prose, developed in Greece in the 5th
century B.C. And the term “stylistics” originated from the Greek “stylos”, which
meant, “a special pen used in writing on waxed tablets”. By the end of the 3rd and
the 2nd centuries B.C. it had evolved into a systematic study.
In Rome, rhetoric developed later, around the 1st century B.C. As a study,
classical rhetoric is associated with Aristotle of Greece, Cicero and Quintilian of
Rome. Classical rhetoric entailed two stages: arrangement and verbal expression.
Arrangement embraced stylistic choices involving the choice of words (lexicon),
the ordering of those words (syntax), the collocation of words based on their
meaning, figures of speech, and the rhetorical devices at the level of sentences.
These ideas were revived during the time of the Renaissance in Europe, from
the 14th to the 16th centuries, a period remembered for its artistic forms.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the novel emerged and rhetorical devices became
part of the style of prose. By the 19th centuries, any work of prose that made use of
the rhetorical devices of the arrangement and verbal expression was known as
elegant, and the one, which did not use the rhetorical devices as inelegant in style.
Another development, which took place at that time, was in the field of
prosody. The traditional poetic composition made use of the relationship between
stressed and unstressed syllables to create rhythmic patterns. The regularly
rhythmic patterns are referred to as meter. By the 19 th century, prosody and
rhetoric merged in the study of stylistics whereas rhetoric lost part of its prestige as
the study of oratory or effective public speaking.
In the 1920s the school of literary theoreticians called the school of Russian
Formalism, emerged in Russia who opposed the interpretations of literature, which
were based on intuition and the impressionism arising out of one’s knowledge of
the life history of the author. The most well known exponent of Russian Formalism
was R. Jakobson (1896-1982) whose work focused on defining the qualities of
poetic language. According to R. Jakobson, the poetic function of language is
implemented in the acts of communication that focus on the message to be
conveyed.

5
The contribution of the Russian Formalists was two-fold: their methodology
took account of the features that distinguish a work of art from works of other
kind, and they came up with the idea to consider the patterns of organization as
well.
R. Jakobson immigrated to Czechoslovakia in 1920 where he began
collaborating with Czech literary scholars establishing the Prague Linguistic Circle
in 1926, which was to become famous for structuralism. These scholars were
interested in identifying formal and functional distinctions between literary and
non-literary writing noting that literary text deviated from the “standard” language.
They believed that the consequence of deviation is the creation of a defamiliarising
effect for the reader. The idea of this effect is to present or render the text in an
unfamiliar artistic form usually to stimulate fresh perception . They also
suggested that defamiliarisation results from structural patterning of texts, later
known as parallelism.
In addition, they introduced the idea of foregrounding, i.e., the ability of a
verbal element to obtain extra significance, to say more in a definite context
against the background of linguistic norms and conventions. When a word, through
context developments, obtains some new, additional features, this act resembles a
background phenomenon moving into the front line, i.e. foregrounding.
A contextually foregrounded element carries more information than when
taken in isolation, so it is possible to say that in context it is loaded with basic
information inherently belonging to it, plus the acquired, adherent, additional
information. So, stylistic analysis involves rather subtle procedures of finding the
foregrounded element and indicating the chemistry of its contextual changes,
caused by the intentional, planned operations of the addresser.
These concepts of deviation – parallelism and foregrounding are the
foundations of contemporary stylistics.
The British critic A. Richards published a book “Practical Criticism” in 1929.
Basically, he advocated for practical criticism as opposed to theoretical criticism.
In addition to traditional literary categories such as tone, poetic thought and
feeling, originality, sentimentality, sincerity and the like, he proposed a critical
procedure, which would entail a close scrutiny of stylistic elements of the text.
Figures of speech, such as metaphors, similes, personification, and sound effects
such as rhythm and meter were to be carefully studied. Practical Criticism became
a trend in England and America and was interested in psychological aspects of how
readers comprehend the text. The ideas of scholars of Practical Criticism, T.S. Elist
and F.R. Levis among them, are seen as a direct precursor for contemporary
cognitive stylistics.
In 1941 a new approach appeared which was called New Criticism was
developed by J. Ransom. The representatives of this trend, argued for the primacy
of the literary text, and its relative autonomy from the life of the author as well as
the social and cultural environment of the author. In their critical procedures, they
were concerned about what they called “the rhetorical structure of the literary

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text”. They explored such rhetorical strategies as figures of speech, images,
paradox, irony, etc.
While stylistics had so far concentrated on using linguistic tools to explain
literary effects, it had also been the subject of criticism for its eclecticism, which is
the principle or practice of choosing or involving objects, ideas, and beliefs from
many different sources, its lack of methodological and theoretical foundation, and
its alleged base in literary criticism. In the 1960-70s this criticism was addressed in
part through the development of a branch of stylistics that focused particularly on
style in non-literary language. The works of D. Crystal is particular importance
here. His concern was how social context restrict the range of linguistic options
open to speakers. Work in non-literary stylistics, however, appeared to stall at that
point, and it was not until much later that it picked up again. The reasons for that
are perhaps the lack of linguistic frameworks able to deal with the contextual
issues.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, advances were also made in the
developing field of pragmatics where the focus was on how context affects the
meaning. These advances enabled for the first time the serious stylistic study of
drama. Advances in pragmatics and the concern with the text also facilitated the
renewed interest in non-literary stylistics, especially the book written by R. Carter
and W. Nash “Seeing through Language”.
Into the 1990s there was a growing concern with the cognitive elements
involved in comprehending and processing texts, and this movement gave rise to
the branch of stylistics generally known as cognitive stylistics. Of course, all forms
of stylistic analysis have always considered text comprehension to a certain extent,
and in this respect, the studies touch upon the aspect of readers’ processing of the
text.
Advances in computer technology in recent years have also had a significant
impact on the direction in which stylistics is heading.
Stylistics then has come a long way since its beginning and it should be clear
that it is very much a forward-looking branch of linguistics. As such, there is
clearly much to look forward to as stylistics continues to develop.
In general, stylistics is a broad term that has assumed different meanings from
different linguistic scholars.

“Linguistics is the academic


discipline that studies language
scientifically, and stylistics, as
part of this discipline, studies
certain aspects of language
variation.”
(D. Crystal)

7
“Stylistics is a linguistic approach to
literature, explaining the relation
between language and artistic function
with motivating questions such as
“why” and “how” more than “what”
(G.N. Leech)

Modern dictionaries also provide their own definitions of stylistics.

1. The study of the distinctive styles


found in particular literary genres and
in the works of individual writers.

1. an aspect of literary study that


emphasizes the analysis of
various elements of style (such
as metaphor and diction)
2. the study of the devices in a
language that produce
expressive value

a branch of linguistics concerned with


the study of characteristic choices in
use of language, especially literary
language, as regards sound, form, or
vocabulary, made by different
individuals or social groups in
different situations of use.
Generally speaking, stylistics is a study of the devices in languages (such as
rhetorical figures and syntactical patterns) that are considered to produce
expressive or literary style. However, it can simply be said to be the study of style.
Style has been an object of study from ancient times. Aristotle, Cicero, and
Quintilian treated style as the proper adornment of thought. This view prevailed
throughout the Renaissance period and demanded from the orator framing ideas
with the help of prescribed kinds of “figures” suitable to his mode of discourse.
8
According to the Swiss philologist Charles Bally (1865–1947), style in
language arises from the possibility of choice among alternative forms of
expression, as for example, between “children,” “kids,” “youngsters,” and
“youths,” each of which has a different evocative value.
Style is also seen as a mark of character. Arthur Schopenhauer’s definition of
style as “the physiognomy of the mind” suggest that, no matter how calculatingly
choices may be made, a writer’s style will bear the mark of his personality. An
experienced writer is able to rely on the power of his habitual choices of sounds,
words, and syntactic patterns to convey his personality or fundamental outlook.
There are numerous definitions of style proposed by various scholars. Here are
some ideas on the definition of style presented by British and American scholars.

Style is a pattern of
linguistic features
distinguishing one piece of
writing from another or
one category from another.
(T.S. Kane)

A style is a product of
individual choices and
patterns of choices
among linguistic
possibilities.
(S. Chatman)

The style of a text is the


aggregate of the
contextual probabilities of
its linguistic items.
(N.E. Enkvist)

9
Some definitions of style given by Russian scholars are the following:

A style is socially recognized


and functionally conditioned
internally united totality of
the ways of using, selecting
and combining the means of
lingual intercourse in the
sphere of one national
language or another.
(V.V. Vinogradov)

A style is a system of
interrelated language means,
which serves a definite aim
in communication.
(I.R. Galperin)

Style can be roughly


defined as the peculiarity,
the set of specific features
of a text.
(Yu.M. Skrebnev)

Thus, various definitions point out the systematic and functionally determined
character of the concept of style.
The definition of the subject matter of stylistics causes certain difficulties that
are primarily connected with the complex nature of its object (i.e. language).
Language is a hierarchy of levels. Each level is studied correspondingly by
10
phonetics, morphology, lexicology, syntax and text linguistics. Each of these
branches investigates language from a particular aspect. Phonetics deals with
speech sounds and intonation; lexicology treats separate words with their meanings
and the structure of vocabulary as a whole; grammar analyses forms of words
(morphology) and forms of their combinations (syntax). Therefore, these are level-
oriented areas of linguistic study, which deal with sets of language units and
relations between them.
However, it is not the case with stylistics, as it pertains to all language levels
and investigates language units from a functional point of view.
Thus, stylistics is subdivided into separate, quite independent branches, each
treating one level and having its own subject of investigation. Hence, traditionally
we have stylistic phonetics, stylistic morphology, stylistic lexicology and stylistic
syntax, which are mainly interested in the expressive potential of language units of
a corresponding level.
Linguistic stylistics or lingua-stylistics deals with the expressive and stylistic
means of language, their relation to the ideas expressed and the classification of the
existing styles of language. Linguistic-stylistics is also concerned with the problem
of norm and neutrality of the literary language and its peculiarities in different
spheres of communication. Depending on the level of language, it is further
subdivided into three branches: stylistic lexicology, phono stylistics, and stylistic
grammar.
Stylistic lexicology considers stylistic functions of lexicon, expressive,
evaluative and emotive potential of words belonging to different layers of
vocabulary.
Phono stylistics studies the style-forming phonetic features of sounds,
peculiarities of their organization in speech. It also investigates patterns of
pronunciation occurring in different types of speech, prosodic features of prose and
poetry.
Stylistic grammar includes stylistic morphology and stylistic syntax.
Stylistic morphology is interested in stylistic potential of grammatical forms
and grammatical meanings peculiar to particular types of speech.
Stylistic syntax investigates the style-forming potential of particular syntactic
constructions and peculiarities of their usage in different types of speech.
Literary stylistics concentrates on the unique features of various literary works,
such as poems, novels or dramas, etc.
Decoding stylistics is another branch of stylistic research that employs
theoretical findings in such areas of science as information theory, psychology,
statistical studies in combination with linguistics, literary theory, history of art,
literary criticism, etc.
The stylistic value of the text is expressed not merely through a sum of stylistic
meanings of its individual units but also through the interrelation and interaction of
these elements as well as through the structure and composition of the whole text.

11
These branches of stylistics are presented on the diagram below:

Stylistics

Linguistic Literary Decoding


Stylistics Stylistics Stylistics

Stylistic Phonological
Stylistic Grammar
Lexicology Stylistics

Stylistic
Stylistic Syntax
Morphology

Modern stylistics is constantly developing and new branches evolve. There are
other relatively recent branches of stylistics such as comparative stylistics, which
investigates national and international features in stylistic systems of national
languages, defines common and peculiar features in the organization of functional
styles, and specifies national peculiarities in speech structure of functional styles.
Contrastive stylistics focuses on stylistic systems of unrelated languages.
Historical stylistics deals with the stylistic system of a language in a diachronic
aspect. It investigates the formation and evolution of functional styles during all
stages of a national language development, dynamics of expressive units
formation, temporal and qualitative changes in connotations, chronologically
marked stylistic means. This branch of stylistics studies both the history of
contemporary stylistic means and stylistic means of the past epochs of a definite
national language or related languages.
Dialectal stylistics studies stylistic stratification and differentiation of language
units within a definite regional or social dialect.

12
Statistical stylistics analyses the peculiarities of language units functioning in
texts of different functional styles obtaining the objective data by applying certain
methods of statistics.
Practical stylistics is a branch of stylistics that deals with general knowledge
about language and speech styles, stylistic norms, stylistic means, and ways of
employment of language means for correct organization of speech.
There are several branches where stylistic methods are enriched by the theories
of discourse, culture and society. Such established branches of contemporary
stylistics as feminist stylistics, cognitive stylistics and discourse stylistics have been
sustained by insights from, respectively, feminist theory, cognitive psychology and
discourse analysis. Feminist stylistics is concerned with the analysis of the way
that questions of gender impact on the production and interpretation of texts.
Cognitive stylistics is a relatively new, rapidly developing field of language study
that attempts to describe and accounts for what happens in the minds of readers
when they interface with (literary) language. Cognitive stylistics is mainly
concerned with reading, and, more specifically, with the reception and subsequent
interpretation processes that are both active and activated during reading
procedures. At its core, cognitive stylistics is interested in the role that unconscious
and conscious cognitive and emotive processes play when an individual or group
of individuals interface with a text that has been purposely designed with the aim
of eliciting certain emotions in a reader.
Discourse stylistics is another branch of stylistics. Present-day stylistics is
interested in language as function of texts in context, and acknowledges that they
are produced in a time, a place, and in a cultural and cognitive context. That is the
reason it considers language as discourse, that is a text status as discourse, a
writer’s employment of discourse strategies and the way a text functions as
discourse.
During the last three decades of the 20 th century, computer technology has
made it possible to conduct extensive and complex research on specific linguistic
features – either lexical items or grammatical structures – and their systematic
associations with other linguistic and nonlinguistic features. This new type of
research is called corpus linguistics, which is the empirical study of language using
computer techniques and software to analyze large, carefully selected and
compiled databases of naturally occurring language. Corpus stylistics is a new
branch aimed at studying the relation between the fields of stylistics and corpus
linguistics, namely the use of a corpus methodology to investigate stylistic
categories in different text types or in individual texts.
It is now evident that stylistics deals with all expressive possibilities and
expressive means of the language, as well as their stylistic meanings and colorings,
or the so-called connotations. Stylistics also considers regularities of language
units, which function in different communicative areas.
As stylistics studies stylistic function and expressive potential of the linguistic
units and their interaction in a text or communicative context, extra-linguistic
environment such as the situation of communication, participants of

13
communication, their attitudes and emotions are reflected in the connotative
meaning of a word.
It is a well-established fact that the meaning of the word consists of either
denotative or connotative meaning.
Denotation is the strict dictionary definition of that word that refers to the thing
or idea it represents. In other words, denotation is the actual meaning of the word
without reference to the emotional associations of the reader.

Connotation refers to the emotional or psychological associations a word has.


The connotation of a word goes beyond its strict meaning to express the feelings,
thoughts, and images evoked in the reader’s mind.

It means that besides denoting a thing, an action or a notion the word may also
carry a connotation, i.e., an overtone. These connotations vary.

14
For example, the word home evokes a different response from people who
came from a happy childhood and from people who had an unhappy home life. Cf.:

A connotation is frequently described as either positive (favorable) or negative


(unfavorable), with regard to its pleasing or displeasing emotional connection, or
social, cultural and personal experiences of individuals. For example, the words
childish, childlike and youthful have the same denotative meaning (young) but
different connotative meaning: childish and childlike have a negative connotation
as they refer to immature behavior of a person, whereas, youthful implies that a
person is lively and energetic.
Positive Negative
Connotation Connotation
generous, unstinting extravagant, immoderate
resolute, dogged stubborn, mulish
thrifty, frugal stingy, parsimonious
diligent, industrious work-obsessed, workaholic
shrewd, astute cunning, sly
sober, serious morose, sullen
witty, pithy sharped-tongue, terse
tolerant, broad-minded unprincipled, unscrupulous
impulsive impetuous
In certain cases, it would probably possible to deliberately use a word that
carries less than a positive connotation; however, the speaker or the writer may
want to avoid mistakenly using a word with a negative or misleading connotation.
Depending on the context, the connotation of the chosen word can considerably
change the meaning of the sentence.
Russian linguists distinguish four types of connotation:
1) evaluative which gives reference to things, or ideas through their evaluation.
A stubborn person may be described as being either strong-willed or pig-
headed. Although these have the same literal meaning (stubborn), strong-
willed connotes admiration for the level of someone's will (a positive
connotation), while pig-headed has a connotation meaning frustration while
dealing with someone (a negative connotation);

15
2) emotive which expresses the speaker's emotional attitude to things, or ideas:
chick, puppet, jade. (Neutral words that name emotions like anger, pleasure,
and pain should be distinguished from the above mentioned emotionally
colored words);
3) expressive which refers to the feelings and emotions of the speaker. It is
based on the metaphorical transfer: cockerel, bully, buck (speaking of a
man).
Professor I.V. Arnold specifies that emotive connotation always entails
expressiveness, so emotive and expressive types of connotation are rather difficult
to distinguish.
4) functional (stylistic) which shows that a word belongs to a certain
functional style (e.g., newspaper style, belle-letter style, scientific style) or a
specific layer of vocabulary (e.g., archaisms, barbarisms, slang, jargon, etc.).
A word can possess either all four types of connotations, or several of its types
in different combinations. However, a word can be devoid of any of connotations,
thus making the word neutral.
Stylistically colored words can also be distinguished as formal (or casual, or
bookish) and informal (or non-casual, or colloquial). These words are limited to
specific conditions of communication.
It is surely easy to recognize words like decease, attire, decline (a proposal) as
bookish and distinguish die, clothes, refuse as neutral while such units as snuff it,
rags (togs), turn down will immediately strike the reader as colloquial or informal.
The usage of a generally neutral word can occasionally create unexpected
additional coloring in a certain context. This additional coloring of the word is
called stylistic connotation.
Stylistic connotations can be inherent or adherent. Stylistically colored words
possess inherent stylistic connotations. Stylistically neutral words will have only
adherent (occasional) stylistic connotations acquired in a certain context, e.g.:
A luxury hotel for dogs is to be opened at Lima, Peru
– a city of 30.000 dogs. The furry guests will have
separate hygienic kennels, top medical care and high
standard cuisine, including the best bones.
This example shows that stylistically colored and neutral words may change
their connotation due to the context:
Inherent connotation Adherent connotation
cuisine formal lowered, humorous
(bookish, high-flown)
bones stylistically neutral elevated, humorous
Thus, cuisine and bones are contextually foregrounded elements bearing the
adherent additional information acquired in the context.
It is evident that stylistic analysis involves rather subtle procedures of finding
the foregrounded element and indicating “the chemistry of its contextual changes”,
caused by the intentional, planned operations of the addresser.
16
Exercise 1. Check the pronunciation of the following words and proper names in
the dictionary:

Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, rhetoric, Renaissance, defamiliarization, rhythm,


eclecticism, R. Jakobson, A. Schopenhauer, Ch. Bally, structuralism, Prague,
criticism, I.V. Arnold.

Exercise 2. Match the trend in the history of stylistics and the name of its most
prominent representative. Characterize each trend in short.

TREND: Rhetoric, Russian Formalism, the Prague Linguistic Circle,


Practical Criticism, New Criticism
SCHOLAR: Aristotle, J. Ransom, R. Jakobson, A. Richards

Exercise 3. Present the main ideas of the following scholars:


Cicero, D. Crystal, S. Chatman, V.V. Vinogradov, Yu.M. Skrebnev.

Exercise 4. Provide definitions for the following concepts:


Defamiliarization, foregrounding, eclecticism, connotation.

Exercise 5. Comment on the stylistic coloring and identify the type of


connotation of the following words:

A B C
1. food nosh nourishment
2. slumber sleep kip
3. money dough currency
4. insane nuts mentally ill
5. enterprising energetic full of beans
6. spouse hubby husband
7. procrastinate waste time faff
8. old geezer senior citizen old man
9. fatigued exhausted zonked
10. cheap low-priced peanuts
11. negotiate bargain haggle
12. respect reverence props
13. effortless piece of cake easy
14. splash out waste money squander
15. marvelous excellent wicked

17
Exercise 6. Define the stratum of vocabulary that the words in bold belong to.
Provide neutral or colloquial counterparts for them:

1. Bill used to be a favorite sidekick of his. They got along swell. Bill was a
great kidder himself and when the two of them got together, it was a riot. (M.
Quin, Untouchbles)
2. ‘Your mother is very kind, Dorothy. She's asked us to dinner - I mean, to
lunch - tomorrow.’ ‘So what? Our grub is nothing to write home about.’ ‘Oh,
it's not that... I just appreciate the thought.’ (A. J. Cronin, The Northern Light)
3. There was no coolness or hauteur about her now; she seemed more furious
even than the animal, her face transformed with hate, and as determined to
kill as he had appeared to be. (E.R. Burroughs, The Chessmen of Mars)
4. Pushing back the door, she stepped down with all the dignity, which she
deemed suitable to don with her present attire. (H.M. Alden, W. D. Howells,
Southern Lights and Shadows)
5. Denied his appeal against extradition to Sweden, Assange returns to his digs
at a British countryside manor. (M. Giglio, Julian Assange’s Guardian
Angel)
6. When the old boy popped off he left Philbrick everything, except a few books to
Gracie. (E. Waugh, Vile Bodies)
7. You don’t need to bother about evening togs – plain living and high thinking,
you know. (R. Barr, A Rock in the Baltic)
8. The girl was petite and darkly beautiful; wrapped in fur and mounted on tall
jeweled hills. She doffed her wrap, casting it carelessly over the chair back. It
had a cloth-of-gold lining, and the name of a Paris house was embroidered in
curlicues on the label. Mrs. Brady hovered solicitously near. (K. Brush,
Night Club)

Exercise 7. Provide stylistic characteristics of the following excerpts. Specify


whether their functional connotation are characteristic to technical, bookish,
commercial, dialectal, religious, colloquial, legal, medical or other style.

1. I’m running down the High Street wi’ a wean in each haund and I’m full of
violence. My ain violence is snatching my breath. I stop and tug Pearl’s
brown coat, back and forth. She’s girnie and crabbit and she’s at it and she
knows it. I skelps her right oot in the street. None of this namby pamby,
“Whit do you think?” stuff that’s making a mess of today’s children. It’s a
guy dreich day and Pearl’s hair is soaking wet and the rain is pouring doon
my face and I cannae tell if it’s the rain or tears pouring doon Pearl’s. (J. Kay,
A Guild Scots Death)
2. When the stock market collapsed in 1929 Henryk had turned his $7,490 into
$51,000 of liquid assets, having sold on every share he possessed the day after
the Chairman of Halgarten & Co. jumped out of one of the Stock Exchange
18
windows. Henryk had got the message. (J. Archer, Not a Penny More, not a
Penny Less)
3. The city would react quickly, of course, with the Health Department and
Homeland Security racing to find the source of the illness. There’d be some
delay as officials thought chemical nerve agents – the symptoms are similar –
and with some luck medical workers would start injecting atropine and
pralidoxime, which actually increase botulism’s lethal strength. Some would
diagnose myasthenia gravis. But then would come the serum and stool tests
and finally mass spectrometry would confirm what the disease truly was. The
only thing the authorities could do – the utterly incompetent city, state and
federal governments – was shut down the entire water system (J. Deaver, The
Skin Collector)
4. The ancient Mazda hatchback with three hubcaps and a badly cracked
windshield hung in the gutter with its front wheels sideways, aiming at the
curb, preventing a roll down the hill. Abby grabbed the door handle on the
inside, yanked twice and opened the door. She inserted the key, pressed the
clutch and turned the wheel. The Mazda began a slow roll. As it gained speed,
she held her breath, released the clutch and bit her lip until the unmuffled
rotary engine began whining. (J. Grisham, The Firm)
5. By the time Squire met Eugene, he had already been studying images of his
brain for weeks. The scans indicated that almost all the damage within
Eugene’s skull was limited to a five-centimeter area near the center of his
head. The virus had almost entirely destroyed his medial temporal lobe, a
sliver of cells which scientists suspected was responsible for all sorts of
cognitive tasks such as recall of the past and the regulation of some emotions.
The completeness of the destruction didn’t surprise Squire –viral encephalitis
consumes tissue with a ruthless, almost surgical, precision. What shocked him
was how familiar the images seemed. (Ch.Duhigg, The Power of Habit)
6. “The Bible, of course, states that God created the universe,” he explained.
“God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and everything we see appeared out of a vast
emptiness. God’s hand is evident in Nature, and even to this day there exist
pagan, Mother Earth-revering religions. A weapon of death has no place in a
house of God”.(D. Brown, The Da Vinci Code)
7. A few blocks away, the Imelby County Courthouse was a beehive of judicial
activity as thousands of lawyers roamed its tiled and marbled corridors and
worked their way through well-preserved and well-scrubbed courtrooms.
Reggie Love was fifty-two years old, and had been practicing law for less
than five years. Every month, Reggie takes at least two cases for free. They’re
called pro bono. Another thirty-eight underlings plowed through the drudgery
and paperwork and boring research and tedious attention to mindless details,
all in an effort to protect the legal interests of Roy’s client, the United States
of America. (J. Grisham, The Client)
8. He went slowly about the corridors, through the writing-rooms, smoking-
rooms, reception-rooms, as though he were exploring the chambers of an
enchanted palace, built and peopled for him alone. When he reached the
19
dining-room he sat down at a table near a window. The flowers, the white
linen, the many-colored wine-glasses, the gay toilettes of the women, the low
popping of corks, the undulating repetitions of the Blue Danube from the
orchestra, all flooded Paul’s dream with bewildering radiance. (W. Cather,
The Troll Garden)
9. I say, I’ve met an awful good chap called Miles. Regular topper. You know,
pally. That’s what I like about a really decent party – you meet such topping
fellows. I mean some chaps it takes absolutely years to know, but a chap like
Miles I feel is a pal straight away. (E.Waugh, Vile Bodies)
10. We ask Thee, Lord, the old man cried, to look after this childt. Fatherless he
is. But what does the earthly father matter before Thee? The childt is Thine,
he is Thy childt, Lord, what father has a man but Thee? (D.H. Lawrence, The
Virgin and the Gypsy)
11. She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were
all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the
air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant
song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows
were twittering in the eaves. There were patches of blue sky showing here and
there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the
west facing her window. She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines
bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare
in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of
blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of
intelligent thought. (K. Chopin, The Story of an Hour)
12. He’ll have a new lawyer by midnight, and by noon tomorrow he'll file a dozen
motions for continuances claiming the tragic death of Jerome Clifford
seriously undermines his constitutional right to a fair trial with assistance of
counsel. (J. Grisham, The Client)
13. In her bedroom, Emily Brent, dressed in black silk ready for dinner, was
reading her Bible. Her lips moved as she followed the words: “The heathen
are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own
foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgement which he executeth: the
wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned
into hell”. Her tight lips closed. She shut the Bible. (A. Christie, And Then
there were None)
14. Most of it is current, but you’ll need to update it. Capps earned over nine
million last year and paid a pittance in taxes. He doesn’t believe in paying
taxes, and holds me personally responsible for every dime that’s sent in. It’s
all legal, of course, but my point is that this is high-pressure work. Millions of
dollars in investment and tax savings are at stake. The venture will be
scrutinized by the governments of at least three countries. So be careful. (J.
Grisham, The Firm)

20
UNIT 2

LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE MEANING

Learning Objectives:

To understand  Transference of meaning


To differentiate  Literal meaning
 Figurative meaning

Words are not limited to one single meaning. The main function of a word is to
denote. Denotation is generally defined as literal (dictionary) meaning of a word.
Literal language is the type of language people speak most of the time. Literal
language expresses thoughts and ideas in a clear and specific manner. They do not
deviate from the accepted meaning. Thus, it is easy to understand literal language.
Besides communicating certain ideas words in an utterance may also produce a
definite effect or evoke an emotion in the listener or reader. In literary works
writers tend to deviate from the literal (dictionary) meanings of words to create
brighter images and give fresh insights into an idea or a subject. Thus, the
expressiveness of language comes from the other type of word meaning –
figurative based on connotations and set of associations that a word usually brings
to mind.
The sentence She loves her son very much and he is
the apple of her eye is easy to understand in case the
reader or the listener keeps in mind that the word
“apple” is used here in its figurative meaning and does
not really mean a fruit but instead means “the person
who someone loves most and is very proud of”.
Figurative language is a language that uses words or expressions with a
meaning that is different from the literal interpretation. It requires
understanding some extra nuances, context, allusions, etc. in order to understand
the second meaning. Figurative language asks the reader/listener to use
imagination to make connections and create associations.
The difference between literal and figurative language is presented in the
following diagrams:
Diagram 1:
is direct is dictionary
(explicit) (denotative)
Literal
Meaning
denotes what the is not
speaker means exaggerated

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Diagram 2:

is implied conveys an idea


(implicit) (connotative)
Figurative
Meaning

creates a bright uses exaggeration


image in and comparison
reader’s mind

It is a well-established fact that “the term “figurative” language has


traditionally referred to language, which differs from every day, “nonliterary”
usage. Figures were seen as stylistic ornaments with which writers dressed up their
language to make it more entertaining, and to clarify the meanings they wanted to
convey. Figure of speech or figurative languages are extraordinary, original,
nonliteral uses of language, common to lively speech and literature.” (D. Hall)
Compare two more examples to better see the difference between literal and
figurative meaning:

He is about to explode!

In this sentence, we do not really mean to say that the man will actually
explode, detonate or split. We want to stress that he is extremely angry, annoyed
and furious. So we use the verb “explode” in a figurative way. That way the
description is more interesting and creates a certain picture in the mind.
But the same sentence can be used literally. Here we do mean to say that the
man will actually explode. The man holds fireworks, and it looks dangerous
enough to explode, detonate or split. So here we use the verb “explode” in a literal
way.

He is about to explode!

Thus, figurative language provides the reader with comparisons, substitutions,


and patterns that shape meaning. Figurative language is the language that means
more than what it says on the surface. By transferring meaning from one thing to
the other, the writer creates a second or associative level of meaning.
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Substitution of denotative or literal meaning by the figurative one is
traditionally referred to as transference of meaning because the name of one object
is transferred onto another.
In the works of Russian linguists transference of meaning is described using
different terminology.

I.R. Galperin Stylistic device

Stylistic device is “a conscious and intentional literary use of some of the facts
of the language in which the most essential features (both structural and semantic)
of the language forms are raised to a generalized level and thereby present a
generative model. It is as an algorithm employed for an expressive purpose” (I.R.
Galperin).
I.R. Galperin points out that the interplay of the dictionary and contextual
meanings of words produces such stylistic devices as metaphor, metonymy or
irony. The nature of the interaction may be:
1) affinity (likeness by nature)
2) proximity (nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, relation)
3) contrast (opposition).
Respectively there is metaphor based on the principle of affinity, metonymy
based on proximity and irony based on opposition.

I.V. Arnold Trope

Trope is “a poetic figure in which a word is used in a new though related to


literal but still somehow in a little changed meaning” (I.V. Arnold).

Yu. M. Skrebnev Figures of replacement

Yu. M. Skrebnev stresses that the usual name of the object is replaced with
another one and calls tropes figures of replacement. He singles out figures of
quality (metaphor, metonymy, irony) and figures of quantity (hyperbole,
understatement).
In general, Russian linguists while studying the nature of the transference of
meaning highlight various aspects because they consider them to be of different
importance.
I.V. Arnold by calling trope a poetic figure underlines the decorative literary
aspect of this phenomenon that enhances the aesthetic effect of the utterance.
Yu. M. Skrebnev accentuates the process of replacement itself and describes its
specific features that accompany the creation of a particular figure of replacement.

23
I.R. Galperin stresses the intentional nature of the speaker’s or writer’s choice
of language and differentiates certain algorithms. These algorithms are used to
create stylistic devices that increase the expressiveness of the utterance.
However, foreign linguists use different terms to name the transference of
meaning:

R.A. Harris Rhetorical device

“Rhetorical device is an extremely broad term, and can include techniques for
generating emotion, beauty, and spiritual significance as well as persuasion” (R.A.
Harris).
Some linguists use the terms “literary device” and “figures of speech”.

P.H. Matthews Literary device

D. Crystal Figures of speech

In any case, these linguists state that these devices or figures have an ability to
effectively convey ideas, persuade the audience and enhance arguments. It is
specified that “literary device” and “figure of speech” are viewed as literary
devices that ”alter the normal use of language for the rhetorical effect” (P.H.
Matthews) and they add beauty and emotional intensity of to the utterance,
“suggest illuminating comparisons and resemblances” (D. Crystal)
This difference in approaches resulted in different terminology used to describe
the transference of meaning.
The approach suggested by I.R. Galperin is used here and the term stylistic
device is recognized as primary as it underlines the role of the speaker/writer’s
intentional choice of language means in making the utterance more emotional and
expressive. Further categorization of stylistic devices is based on the classification
suggested by V.A. Kukharenko. In accordance with the language level, V.A.
Kukharenko differentiates five types of stylistic devices:
 phonetic
 graphical
 lexical
 lexico-syntactical
 syntactical stylistic devices.
To conclude, it is worth mentioning again that stylistic devices function at
different language levels and create intentional effects on the audience.

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Exercise 1. There are different types of meaning. Recollect the adjectives that
collocate with the word “meaning” and complete the word fork that is given
below. Provide the definitions for the concepts. Make sure you can spot the
difference between all types of meaning!
literal

meaning

Exercise 2. Match the idioms on the right with the explanations on the left:

Idioms are such phrases and expressions in language whose meaning cannot be
taken literally. Their figurative meaning asks the reader or listener to use
imagination, make connections and create mental pictures.

1. a situation that changes suddenly and often a) fat cat


between being good and being bad
2. someone, especially an elected official, who b) live wire
cannot influence events any more, often
because their job is going to end soon
3. something that takes people’s attention c) roller-coaster
away from the main subject being talked or
written about
4. a person who cannot be completely trusted d) wild-goose chase
because their behavior is sometimes strange
or violent
5. official rules that do not seem necessary and e) red herring
make things happen very slowly
6. people who have the highest social position f) wet blanket
and who are usually rich
7. a situation where you waste time looking g) loose cannon
for something that you are not going to find,
either because that thing does not exist or
because you have been given wrong
information about it
8. a quick, active person h) the upper crust
9. a rich business person i) lame duck
10. someone who does or says something that j) red tape
stops other people from enjoying
themselves

25
Exercise 3. Analyze the following sentences and decide whether there is a word
in its literal meaning or there is an idiom, which has a figurative meaning:

A.
And there are all kinds of blogs: blogs about black
and white cats, fat cats, short-haired cats, long-
haired cats and so on, or blogs that help to locate the
areas where there is most likely to be a cat sighting.
The genius of Clinton and Blair was to combine
genuine concern for the underprivileged with an
unseemly devotion to the fat cats of Wall Street, the
City of London, and some murkier places, too.
People don' t like me but tolerate me because I
correspond to the archetype of a building’s janitor:
ugly, old and surly, always glued to her TV while
her fat cat dozes on cushions covered with
crocheted cases.

B.

Central banks have been on a roller-coaster ride in


the last decade, from heroes to zeroes and back
again.
During a pleasant day spent in the swimming pools,
roller coasters and water attractions we’ll fall to
refresh the guests in the local restaurants, cafés and
cafeterias with fast food.
This is a real accomplishment in a country that was
on a political roller-coaster for most of its history.

C.
Scores of electric poles burned and snapped,
bringing down live wires.

Unable to bear the pain, she leaned on a live electric


wire and was electrocuted.

When you want something done get John – he is a


live wire.

26
D.
Herrings are known as a great alternative source of
vitamin D – the vitamin also found in sunlight. It
makes sense, then, that herrings are incredibly popular
in northern Europe – as opposed to the sun-drenched
Mediterranean – and pickled or red herring holds a
strong place in the national cuisine of Germany,
Holland and the Scandinavian countries.
The police followed a red herring while they let the
true criminal escape.
About halfway through the book it looked as though
the butler was the murderer, but that turned out to be a
red herring.

E.
Dabbling ducks, such as the mallard and wood duck,
are common in ponds and marshes and feed on the
surface of water or on land. The lamellae of dabbling
ducks are similar to a whale's baleen, with these tiny
rows of plates along the inside of the beak letting
them filter water out of the side of their beaks and
keep food inside.
The bad news is that all three politicians are lame
ducks unlikely to undertake the reforms Europe so
badly needs before their final goodbyes.
But the round of peacemaking that America has
recently embarked upon not only comes too late in the
political life of a lame-duck president who has been
defeated at home and abroad; it is also ill-conceived
and unconvincing.

F.
Other team members see him as loose cannon if
anyone is going to get into a fight, it will be Pete.
He abolished taxes for a year, rode unarmed through
the streets and bazaars meeting common people, and
appointed himself “Military Governor of Tashkent”.
The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men
with medals and bonuses, but regarded the impulsive
general as a “loose cannon”, and soon replaced him
with General Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman.
A loose cannon during battle or a storm can cause
serious damage to the ship and its crew.

27
G.
Don’t let Joseph come on the Vegas trip, he’s only
going to be a wet blanket and take the fun out of
everything.
But without a windshield and with only a hat and a
wet blanket after the rain to cover Günter and to
protect Stanley, the and breezy 155-mile journey to
Kampala was less than comfortable.
“William was at the party last night and kept
bumming everyone out by lecturing them about the
“dangers of alcohol and drugs”. Ha!” “Yeah, that guy
is such a wet blanket”.
H.
We did four different versions of this tape and
watercolor art! For three of the canvases, the children
added the red tape first. Most of them were so
meticulous in choosing which patterned tape to
choose and where to place the pieces of tape. Others
just loved adding as much tape as possible to the
canvas (until their friends intervened and asked them
to stop).
One expert pointed out that efforts to reduce the red
tape burden on the private sector are necessary,
particularly because red tape costs weigh far more
heavily on small and medium-size enterprises than on
larger firms.
I’m not a big fan of complex structures, overly-
burdensome rules and yards and yards of red tape.

I.

Many treasures were brought back to Britain because


its upper crust was wealthy and liked travelling
abroad.
So much life is now being discovered that many
scientists believe that the total mass of microbial life
hidden inside the earth’s upper crust may exceed by
far the mass of all the surface life!
Jill, though a modest girl, always knew she was
destined for greater things. Though, she was always
reluctant to accept any promotion that might benefit
her in such a was to classify her as over-privileged, or
upper-crust. The mere thought of it left the bitterest
taste in her mouth.

28
J.

After two hours spent wandering in the snow, I


realized we were on a wild-goose chase.
For generations these skilled goose catchers lure wild
geese to their clap-nets using well-trained live free-
flying decoys. In addition geese are caught with
cannon-nets in winter and spring. In the arctic
moulting geese are easier to chase when they are
flightless for several weeks. Then the geese can be
herded like sheep into a funnel of standing nets.
Peter’s story sent the police on a wild goose chase.
They soon realized he’d been lying.

K.
There was a tough cookie in here this morning who
demanded to see the manager.
She had a difficult childhood, but she’s a tough
cookie. I know she’ll be a success.
A pushover is not how I’d describe her. Behind that
sweet smile, there lies a tough cookie.

L.
Suppose that you could follow quantitative rules that
allowed you to weed out the bad apples, say, the
countries likely to perform badly and thus have low
stock returns over time.
In fact, they had a very bitter taste, but the tartness of
these green apples is not bad and did not deter us as
we enthusiastically consumed our spoils, acting out of
a compulsion I cannot now explain.
George got sentenced to a double life term in federal
prison. Growing up, people always knew he was a
bad apple.

29
UNIT 3

PHONETIC AND GRAPHICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES

Learning Objectives

To comprehend  Phonetic stylistic devices


 Graphical stylistic devices
To identify  Onomatopoeia
 Alliteration
 Assonance
 Graphon

“Sound gives life to our words just as well as the images they conjure up and
the sound is there, whether or not we read them aloud.”(A.A. Patawaran) Certain
associations and additional connotations on the phonetic level (as it has long been
noted by Plato) can be expressed by phonemes. The phonemes in a name can
themselves convey meaning.
The term sound symbolism (phonetic symbolism) refers to the ability of
phonemes to convey information and hence influence perceptions through a
semantic association. This sound-instrumenting power allows the sound to
“unlock an imagined scene” and “tells what to be suspicious of and what to believe
in” (D. Geeraerts, H. Cuyckens).
English linguist John Rupert Firth introduced the term phonestheme, that is a
particular sound or sound sequence that (at least in a general way) suggests a
certain meaning. Phonesthemes can appear anywhere in a word – in an initial,
medial, or final position.
For example, in words like glimmer, glitter, and glisten, the initial gl-
phonestheme is associated with vision or light. In words such as bump, thump,
dump, hump, lump, mump, stump the phonestheme -ump is associated with
heaviness and clumsiness. A number of English words beginning with fl- (such as
flow, fluid, fly, flee, flimsy, and flicker) are suggestive of quickness and lightness.
Words related in this fashion are called phonestheme groups or phonestheme
clusters.
Expressiveness on the phonetic level is vividly presented by the following
phonetic stylistic devices: onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance.

Onomatopoeia (from the Greek ὄνομα for “name” and ποιέω for “I make”) is
a naming of a thing or action by the vocal imitation of the sound associated with it.
In English onomatopoetic words imitating the sounds that the things being
described make are grouped into the following categories:

30
machine noises

animal sounds

impact sounds

sounds of the voice

nature sounds

Alliteration is derived from Latin’s “latira”. It means “letters of alphabet”. It


is a stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant
sound, occur close together in a series.
Alliteration refers to the repetition of stressed initial sounds within a group of
words that are closely connected to each other. For an example, see the following
line from the epic poem Beowulf: “From a friendless foundling, feeble and
wretched.” The repetition of the F consonant at the beginning of each word in the
example represents alliteration occurring in the line.
Alliteration is often used to provide a certain rhythmic effect in poetry. The
repetition of a specific sound can also affect the mood. For example, a repeated
“w” sound often gives a lulling mood. The repetition of a harder sound like “p” or
“b” sets a different mood. This stylistic device creates a musical effect in the text
that enhances the pleasure of reading a literary piece. Furthermore, it renders flow
and beauty to a piece of writing.
Alliteration is most common in poems, though it can be found in prose and
drama as well. It is often used in nursery rhymes and famous political speeches. In
31
advertising and marketing industry, alliteration makes the brand names eye-
catching and easier to remember. This stylistic device is helpful in attracting
customers and enhancing sales.
The table below presents the spheres of life and examples where alliteration is
widely used.

The sphere of usage Example

Beautiful Belle blew a balloon


A big balloon that’s color blue
Then brought a basket of berries
For her Beast who bought her beige shoes.
(M. Mababaya)

famous political speeches “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths
— that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us
still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and
Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and
women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great
Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear
a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably
bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth”. (B. Obama)

Alongside alliteration, assonance is also a common poetic sound device that is


used to enhance the aural appeal of a piece of poetry.

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Assonance is the successive use of different syllables with the same or similar
vowel sounds in words. It contributes to the creation of rhythmic verses. Though it
is possible to find many instances of assonance in prose, it is poetry that makes
maximum use of the phonetic devices as assonance is mainly used by poets to
create a subtle ornament to the verse. It is known to be the building block of verse
and is used to increase the stress on a subject or simply to add flare. It is often
referred to as medial rhyme or inexact rhyme. Cf.:
The morning was cold with a bold statement
The morning dew was wet and set in the ground
You could taste the spring paste fill the air
It made you feel real, refreshed and lively

Should you go out and play? I would


Young girls and boys grab their toys and play
Boys playin’ in dirt while girls play with their pearls
The mom would tap her foot to say “nap time kids“

The kids always enjoy their snack pack


The spring melted away the snow and felt like mush
The grass was as brass as a trumpet but was slowing turning
The three trees in the front were a rusty brown.
(B. Christen, Spring Kids)

Several proverbs in English contain examples of assonance. Assonance helps


to make them more memorable in a subtler way than through rhyming words.

The early bird catches the worm.

Let the cat out of the bag.

Honesty is the best policy.

A stitch in time saves nine.

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All the above-mentioned phonetic stylistic devices – onomatopoeia,
alliteration, assonance – are widely used to create either mellifluous and musical
tone of prose or poetry, or vice versa harsh and inharmonious one. The resulting
effects are euphony or cacophony respectively.

Euphony Cacophony
Greek origin euphonos (‘sweet-voiced sound’) kakophōnía (‘bad word’)
Definition 1. pleasing or sweet sound; 1. harsh or jarring sound,
especially: the acoustic effect dissonance.
produced by words so formed or 2. harshness in the sound of
combined as to please the ear. words or phrases.
2. a harmonious succession of words
having a pleasing sound.
Function creates an ease of pronunciation uses clashing consonants to
and produce a harmonious create an unpleasant effect
combination of words that sound
pleasing to the ears
Features  long vowels are used since they are  combinations of
more melodious than consonants; consonants, which need
 involves the usage of harmonious explosive delivery like p, b,
consonants such as l, m, n, r and d, g, k, ch, sh, etc. are used
softer f and v sounds; to provide a whole
 involves the usage of soft unpleasant effect to the
consonants or semi-vowels such as words
w, s, y and th or wh widely to  usually avoided by writers,
create more pleasing sounds. but sometimes may be
deliberate aimed at
describing noisy or
dreadful situations, giving a
sense of discomfort or used
simply to entertain).
Examples Hear the sledges with the bells – Out of some subway scuttle,
Silver bells! cell or loft
What a world of merriment their A bedlamite speeds to thy
melody foretells! parapets,
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, Tilting there momently, shrill
In the icy air of night! shirt ballooning,
While the stars that oversprinkle A jest falls from the
All the heavens seem to twinkle speechless caravan.
With a crystalline delight; (H. Crane, The Bridge)
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so
musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
From the jingling and the tinkling
of the bells. (E. A. Poe, The Bells)

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Stylistic The silver sledge bells here are Hart Crane paints a typical
Analysis associated with gaiety and New York scene, which is
excitement. One can imagine the anything but soothing for
tinkling of bells on a cold silvery readers. The strong “b” and
winter night especially during “p” sounds create a dark
Christmas that hearkens the arrival tone.
of Santa. It envisions little children
happy and excited about the
presents, while the elders express
their joy through laughter. The
repetition of the words - bells,
jingle, and tinkle while pronounced
create enjoyable sound waves
when read.
The sound may be foregrounded not only by means of phonemes and
phonesthemes (on the phonetic level), but also through the deliberate change of its
accepted graphical representation. This intentional violation of the graphical shape
of a word (or word combination) used to reflect its authentic pronunciation is
called graphon. This term was introduced by V.A. Kukharenko and is viewed as
phono-graphical stylistic device.
In the beginning of the 18th century, graphons were used with the aim to add
individual features, vividness and memorability to character’s speech, were
successfully used by English writers and journalists and since then have gained
popularity and wide scope of functions.
The functions of graphon and examples illustrating them are presented in the
following table:
function example
to indicate:
 the speaker’s origin, social, educational “jewinile” (juvenile)
background, emotional condition “peerading” (parading)
“bennyviolent”(benevolent)
 sarcastic attitude “Eytalians” (Italians)
“peepul” (people)
“sellybrated” (celebrated)
 speakers’ physical defects: “The b-b-b-b-bas-tud – he seen
me
a) stuttering c--c-c-c-coming”
N-n-nice weather, isn’t it?
b) lisping “You don’t mean to thay that
thith ith your firth time” (i.e.
“You don’t mean to say that
this is your first time”.)
“Thquire! Your thervant! Thith
ith a bad pieth of buithnith…”
(i.e. “Squire! Your servant! This
is a bad piece of business”.)
35
 atmosphere of authentic communication “gimme”, “lemme”, “gonna”,
(mostly informality) “gotta”, “coupla”, “mighta”,
a) in dialogues “willya”
 territorial or social dialect “Is that my wife? I see it is, from
your fyce. What gyme ‘as she
been plying’? You gotta tell me”
(London cockney dialect)
“You know dat one-leigged
nigger dat b’longs to old Misto
Brandish? Well he sot up a
bank, en say anybody dat put in
a dollar would git fo’ dollars
mo’ at en ‘er de year” (Missouri
Negro dialect)
 eye-catching advertising Pik-kwik store
The Donut (doughnut) Place
Rite Bread Shop
Wok-in Fast Food Restaurant
“Knee-hi” socks
“Rite Aid” medicines
Only graphical changes may occur within a word. These changes on the
graphical level foreground the stressed words.

Graphical stylistic devices are elements of layout and composition that


organize and structure the presentation of narrative elements. As most of the
literary work is done in writing, there should be a possibility to render different
feelings and emotions typical for speaking. Traditionally these emotions are
expressed by intonation and stress. In writing special graphical stylistic devices are
used to serve this purpose. Graphic stylistic devices are employed to emphasize
and to accentuate a word, a word combination, or the whole utterance. Graphical
stylistic devices include the following:
 Hyphenation
 Multiplication
 Italics, bold type, underlining, capitalization
 Punctuation
Hyphenation of a word or words in a sentence suggests the rhymed and
clipped manner of the way they are pronounced. Sometimes it reflects hesitation:
“Where is Unga?” “She – is – in – the – snow”. “Go on”. The Kid was pressing his
wrist cruelly. “So – I – would – be – in – the – snow – but – I – had – a – debt – to
– pay. It – was – heavy – I – had – a – debt – to – pay – I – had – ”. The faltering
monosyllables ceased, as he fumbled his pouch and drew forth a buckskin sack. (J.
London, An Odyssey of the North)

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Multiplication is used to intensify a grapheme or render the prolonged
pronunciation: Thag stepped forward softly and swiftly, but the monster, dreaming
of danger, opened one eye and struggled to its feet with its mighty “Scaroooooff”
(J. Thurber, The White Deer)
Italics, bold type, underlining, capitalization are used to add more logical
and emotive significance to a word or a sentence: “No doubt I now grew very pale:
– but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice, yet the sound increased –
and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound – much such a sound as a
watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath – and yet the officers
heard it not. (A.E. Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart)
In the following example italics show the process of thinking of the main
character: “Poirot was shaken; shaken and embittered. Miss Lemon, the efficient
Miss Lemon, had let him down! A Pekinese dog! A Pekinese dog! (A. Christie,
The Nemean Lion)
In everyday life, deliberate violation of spelling rules mostly occurs in
marketing and advertising. Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, who leads Reputation Institute
in North America, describes the logo of the company name “Look at La-Z-Boy”
saying that everybody knows that is not the way the word “lazy” is spelt. However,
it is one of the most powerful furniture companies attempt to connect with the
common way people speak. At the same time, the company is trying to identify
itself, trying to be part of the lexicon, trying to be part of popular culture.
Modern fiction also uses different devices to express the ideas of the author or
to depict the characters. An interesting example is the book “The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the Night-Time” by M. Haddon. With his exceptional skill as a
writer, M. Haddon enables readers to enter the intricate mind of his character, a
teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome, by means of a text, deploying
typographical experiments, footnotes, appendices, lists, maps, graphs, drawings,
pictures, photos, diagrams, mathematical equations, and the facsimile
representation of handwriting, posters and signs.
Readers are puzzled to see the first chapter labeled number 2, followed by
Chapter 3, 5, 7, 11, and so on. Here goes the explanation of the main character:
“Prime numbers is what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think
prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the
rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them”.
He even introduced smileys, or simplified pictorial representation of faces
expressing a number of feelings in the text as seen in a page of the book.

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Thus, the author makes meaning of his novel possible in non-traditional ways
by using the combination of graphical stylistic devices as well as discourses
borrowed from the scientific field and semiotic resources.
In poetry, graphical stylistic devices were widely used in the Victorian Age
when poems set out in shapes became very popular. Emblematic poetry also known
as shape poetry or pattern poetry evolved in that period.
One of the best-known examples is
Lewis Carroll’s The Mouse’s Tale,
from Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland.
Alice, having been shrunken in size,
met the mouse when she was floating
in a pool of her own tears. Although
the mouse does not talk to her at first,
eventually he agrees to tell her his
story.
A tale about the tail, being typeset
in the shape of a tail, increases the
aesthetic and expressive effect on the
reader, creating a vivid mental image.

Nowadays emblematic poetry has not lost its original and aesthetic value and
can be found in both poems and verses for children.

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In children’s literature, emblematic poetry is aimed mainly at entertaining the
young audience, while in poems graphical stylistic devices spotlight the
atmosphere and foreground the implicit associations providing important insights
into the plot.
In the poem Swan and Shadow, John
Hollander makes use of several visual
images in order to emphasize the
beauty and meaning of his poem.
Some of the phrases seem broken, but
they seem to imitate the startle of
wings when a swan is preparing to take
flight, which could be at any moment.
Most capitalization is placed in the
bottom part of the poem, perhaps
illustrating the disjunct ripples in the
reflection of a swan serenely drifting.
The cut off phrases illustrate the
blurriness of the water, of how hard it
is to look at a reflection and see exact
details of a reflected object. The poems
tone is sad and lovely, imitated by the
juxtaposition of phrases into a swan
and its reflection, alone and beautiful.
It even says that the swan leaves the
vast pale hush of a place. The placing
of the words also serves to imitate a
call-and-response technique,
answering the questions what, when,
and where. The surreal feeling of not
being certain about anything parallels
with the ripples and blurriness of the
reflection, with the dreamlike beauty
of the swans swim.

Exercise 1. Define the phonetic device presented in the pictures. Prove your
choice.

the use of words that imitate the the repetition of similar vowel
sounds associated with the sounds in stressed syllables
objects or actions they refer to.

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the repetition of consonants,
usually at the beginning of words

Exercise 2. Match the category and the following onomatopoeic words:

splash, plash, drip,


whoosh, rumble, Machine sounds
rustle

boom, crash, whack,


thump, bang Animal sounds

honk, beep, vroom, Impact sounds


clang, boing

baa, bellow, buzz, bray,


cluck, croak, grunt, hiss,
Sounds of the voice
lap, moo, meow, neigh,
roar, squeak, woof

shush, giggle, growl,


whine, murmur, Nature sounds
whisper

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Exercise 3. Identify the onomatopoeic words in the sentences below and subsume
them under the appropriate category of onomatopoeic words.

1. I find piglets cute when they squeal.


2. Yikes! Damn the banana peel!
3. Last night I heard a loud thud outside my window.
4. There is nothing more calming than the rustling of leaves, the chirping of
birds, and the whoosh of the wind in the early morning hours.
5. In a fit of annoyance he said, “Tut-tut, we have worse problems ahead of us
now!”
6. Our feet creaked and crackled as we stepped over the bare planking.
7. Within minutes, the football stadium got filled with a high-pitched screech, as
the players started showing up one by one.
8. The tinkling of the doorbell tells us we have a customer.
9. “Shush! This is a library not your college cafeteria,” said the annoyed
librarian at last.
10. I was happily munching my burger, when all of a sudden; I heard a boom
some fifty yards away from where I stood.

Exercise 4. Provide the stylistic analysis of the following passages. Specify the
stylistic effect and function that onomatopoeic words create.

1. Then he strode to the gate himself and bang – bang – bang went his huge
club. The gates creaked at the first blow, cracked at the second, and shivered
at the third. Then he tackled the towers on each side of them and after a few
minutes of crashing and thudding both the towers and a good bit of the wall
on each side went thundering down in a mass of hopeless rubble; and when
the dust cleared it was odd, standing in that dry, grim, stony yard, to see
through the gap all the grass and waving trees and sparkling streams of the
forest, and the blue hills beyond that and beyond them the sky. (C.S. Lewis,
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
2. I was just beginning to yawn with nerves thinking he was trying to make a
fool of me when I knew his tattarrattat at the door he must have been a bit late
because it was ¼ after 3 when I saw the 2 Dedalus girls coming from school I
never know the time even that watch he gave me never seems to go properly
(J. Joyce, Ulusses)
3. The dark little girl applied powder and lipstick belonging to herself. She
examined the result searchingly in the mirror and sat back, satisfied. She cast
some silver Klink! Klink! Into Mrs. Brady’s saucer, and half rose. Then,
remembering something, she settled down again. (K. Brush, Night Club)
4. He began to run not knowing clearly where to run. He ran from the nearest
blind man, because it was a horror to hit him. He stopped, and then made a
dash to escape from their closing ranks. He made for where a gap was wide,
41
and the men on either side, with a quick perception of the approach of his
paces, rushed in on one another. He sprang forward, and then saw he must be
caught, and swish! The spade had struck. He felt the soft thud of hand and
arm, and the man was down with a yell of pain, and he was through. (H. D.
Wells, The Country of the Blind)
5. The door creaked open a bit. The intruder inside our vacation rental house
turned his head to get a better look at us, just enough so all we could see
through the crack was one of his eyes. In the moonless sky it looked black and
beady. “Who are you?” The One hooted threateningly. Over the cobbles he
clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard, He tapped with his whip on the
shutters, but all was locked and barred... (A. Noyes, The Highwayman)
6. It sounded truly terrifying. The walls echoed to the clap, snap! and the crush,
smash! and to the ugly laughter of their ho, ho! my lad! The general meaning
of the song was only too plain; for now the goblins took out whips and
whipped them with a swish, smack!, and set them running as fast as they
could in front of them; and more than one of the dwarves were already
yammering and bleating like anything, when they stumbled into a big cavern.
(J.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit or There and Back Again)
7. The courtyard looked no longer like a museum; it looked more like a zoo.
Creatures were running after Aslan and dancing round him till he was almost
hidden in the crowd. Instead of all that deadly white the courtyard was now a
blaze of colors; glossy chestnut sides of centaurs, indigo horns of unicorns,
dazzling plumage of birds, reddy-brown of foxes, dogs and satyrs, yellow
stockings and crimson hoods of dwarfs; and the birch-girls in silver, and the
beech-girls in fresh, transparent green, and the larch-girls in green so bright
that it was almost yellow. And instead of the deadly silence the whole place
rang with the sound of happy roarings, brayings, yelpings, barkings,
squealings, cooings, neighings, stampings, shouts, hurrahs, songs and
laughter. (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
8. He saw nothing and heard nothing but he could feel his heart pounding and
then he heard the clack on stone and the leaping, dropping clicks of a small
rock falling. (E. Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls)
9. Music came to her ears. Rather, the beat of music, muffled, rhythmic, remote.
Umpa-um, umpa-um, umpa-um – Mr. “Fiddle” Baer and his band, hard at
work on the first fox-trot of the night. It was teasing, foot-trapping music: but
the large solemn feet of Mrs. Brady were still. (K. Brush, Night Club)
10. The land of ice, and of fearful sounds
where no living thing was to be seen.
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken –
The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there,

42
The ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound! (S. T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
11. Once more he stepped into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds jostling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.
(R. Browning, The Pied Piper of Hamelin)
12. The rusty spigot sputters,
Utters a splutter,
Spatters a smattering of drops,
Gashes wider;
Slash
Splatters
Scatters
Spurts
Finally stops sputtering
And splash!
Gushes rushes splashes
Clear water dashes. (E. Merriam, The Rusty Spigot)
13. It shushes
It hushes
The loudness in the road.
It flitter-twitters,
And laughs away from me.
It laughs a lovely whiteness,
And whitely whirs away,
To be
Some otherwhere,
Still white as milk or shirts,
So beautiful it hurts. (Gwendolyn Brooks, Cynthia in the Snow)
14. Hear the loud alarum bells,
43
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune…
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows…(E. A. Poe, The Bells)
15. 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. (T. Rundgren, Onomatopoeia)

Exercise 5. Provide the stylistic analysis of the following excerpts. Specify the
stylistic effect and function of alliteration.

1. “Gee, Great Aunt Nellie, why aren’t any golden goldfinches going to the
goodies?” “Oh,” said Aunt Nellie, “They thrive on thistle and I thoroughly
thought that I threw the thistle out there.” (D. Thurston, Thank You for the
Thistle)
2. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the
past.” (F. S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
3. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the
universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the
living and the dead. (J. Joyce, The Dead)
4. My father brought to conversations a cavernous capacity for caring that
dismayed strangers. (J. Updike, The Centaur)

44
5. A moist young moon hung above the mist of a neighboring meadow. (V.
Nabokov, Conclusive Evidence)
6. The sibilant sermons of the snake as she discoursed upon the disposition of
my sinner's soul seemed ceaseless. (G. Kirschling, The Gargoyle)
7. The sergeant saluted again; and was still silent. The Marshal continued
speaking a colourless but curiously candid way. (G. K. Chesterthon, The
Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
8. “Don’t be so absurd. There can be no best. You don’t think he’s marrying her
for anything but her money, do you? She is old and dowdy and dull.” (W.S.
Maugham, Rain)
9. Kid McGarry arose and put on his coat and hat. He was serious, shaven,
sentimental, and spry. (O. Henry, Little Speck in Garnered Fruit)
10. These unfortunate dry nurses of dogdom, the cur cuddlers, mongrel managers,
Spitz stalkers, poodle pullers, Skye scrapers, dachshund danglers, terrier
trailers and Pomeranian pushers of the cliff-hanging Circes follow their
charges meekly. (O. Henry, Ulysses and the Dogman)
11. Something in a thirty-acre thermal thicket of thorns and thistles thumped and
thundered threatening the three-D thoughts of Matthew the thug – although,
theatrically, it was only the thirteen-thousand thistles and thorns through the
underneath of his thigh that the thirty-year-old thug thought of that morning.
(Tongue twister)
12. How many cookies could a good cook cook if a good cook could cook
cookies? A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could
cook cookies. (Tongue twister)
13. Bobby Bippy bought a bat.
Bobby Bippy bought a ball.
With his bat Bob banged the ball
Banged it bump against the wall
But so boldly Bobby banged it
That he burst his rubber ball
“Boo!” cried Bobby
Bad luck ball
Bad luck Bobby, bad luck ball
Now to drown his many troubles
Bobby Bippy’s blowing bubbles. (Tongue twister)
14. To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
A dull, dark dock, a life-long lock,
A short, sharp shock, a big black block!
45
To sit in solemn silence in a pestilential prison,
And awaiting the sensation
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block! (Tongue twister)
15. They all gazed and gazed upon this green stranger, because everyone
wondered what it could mean that a rider and his horse could be such a
colour, green as grass, and greener it seemed than green enamel glowing
bright against gold. (B. O’Donoghue, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)

Exercise 6. Generally, when looking out for examples of assonance, you ought to
keep your eye and ear open for the five vowel sounds included in the English
language – A, E, I, O and U. Follow this instruction and in the sentences below
identify the vowel sound that creates assonance in each sentence.

Example: Harden not your hearts, but hear his word. (A)

Example vowel sound


1. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains. (A.J. Lerner,
The Rain in Spain)
2. That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea. (W.B. Yeats,
Byzantium)
3. Every time I write a rhyme, these people think it’s a
crime. (Eminem, Criminal)
4. If I bleat when I speak it’s because I just got fleeced. (A.
Swearengen, Deadwood)
5. That solitude which suits abstruser musings. (S.T. Coleridge,
Frost At Midnight)
6. Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox
gone to ground. (P. Floyd, Grantchester Meadows)
7. I feel the need, the need for speed. (A. Edwards, Top Gun)
8. The bows glided down, and the coast. (D. Thomas, Ballad of
the Long-Legged Bait)
9. As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives.
(Nursery rhyme)
10. It beats . . . as it sweeps . . . as it cleans! (Hoover vacuum
cleaners, advertisement)

Exercise 7. Comment on the stylistic effect of the excerpts below; identify the
cases of euphony or cacophony.
1. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
46
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
2. “Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” (E.A.
Poe, The Raven)
3. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (W. Shakespeare, Macbeth)
4. “What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore.” (E.A.
Poe, The Raven)
5. Some day Love shall claim his own
Some day Right ascend his throne,
Some day hidden Truth be known;
Some day – some sweet day. (L. J. Bates, Some Sweet Day)
6. “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move.” (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and
Juliet)
7. But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a ’wildered butterfly,
Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night
Some resting flower of yesterday's delight. (R. Frost, The Tuft of Flowers)
8. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (W. Shakespeare, Macbeth)
9. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm'd their clammy cells. (J. Keats, To Autumn)
10. My stick fingers click with a snicker
And, chuckling, they knuckle the keys;
Light-footed, my steel feelers flicker
And pluck from these keys melodies. (J. Updike, Player Piano)
11. Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
47
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. (L. Carroll, Jabberwocky)
12. As when upon a tranced summer night
Those green-robed senators of mighty woods
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir. (J. Keats, Hyperion)
13. Dry clashed his harness in the icy caves
And barren chasms, and all to left and right
The bare black cluff clanged round him, as he based
His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang
Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels –
And on a sudden lo! the level lake,
And the long glories of the winter moon. (A. Tennyson, Morte D’Arthur)
14. They sat them down upon the yellow sand
Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore
Most weary seem’d the sea, weary the oar,
Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
Then someone said, “We will return no more”
And all at once they sang, “Our island home
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.”
(A. Tennyson, The Lotos-Eaters)

Exercise 8. Comment on the stylistic functions of graphon in the following


examples:
1. Ede was two and a half, and this afternoon, for instance, she was going to a
baby party. Grown-up Edith, her mother, had telephoned the information to
the office, and little Ede had confirmed the business by shouting ‘I yam going
to a pantry!’ into John’s unsuspecting left ear. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby
Party)
2. ‘Oh, Mus’ Reynolds, Mus’ Reynolds!’ said Hobden, under his breath. ‘If I
knowed all was inside your head, I’d know something wuth knowing. Mus’
Dan an’ Miss Una, come along o’me while I lock up my liddle hen-house’ (R.
Kipling, Puck of Puck’s Hill)
3. ‘Get out!’ cried Mrs Markey frantically. ‘There’s the door, get out – I never
want to see you in our house again. You or your brat either!’ ‘I will get out!’
she sobbed. ‘I’ve never heard anybody so rude and c-common in my life. I’m,
glad your baby did get pushed down – he’s nothing but a f-fat little fool
anyhow.’ Joe Markey reached the foot of the stairs just in time to hear this
remark. ‘Why, Mrs Andros,’ he said sharply, ‘can’t you see the child’s hurt.
You really ought to control yourself.’ ‘Control m-myself!’ exclaimed Edith
brokenly. ‘You better ask her to c-control herself. I’ve never heard anybody
48
so c-common in my life.’ ‘Don’t you dare touch me!’ cried Edith. ‘I’m going
just as quick as I can find my c-coat!’ (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
4. But it’s clemming to us. An’ I tell thee plain – if hoo dies as I'm ‘feardhoo
will afore we’ve gettenth’ five per cent, I’ll fling th’ money back I’ th’
master’s face, and say, ‘Be domned to yo’; be domned to th’ whole cruel
world o’ yo’; that could na leave me th’ best wife that ever bore childer to a
man!' An’ look thee, lad, I’ll hate thee, and th’ whole pack o’ th’ Union. (E.
Brontë, Wuthering Heights)
5. The bishop reached toward the cigarettes, then paused and said, “I’ve been
smoking them for an hour. Two puffs and I’m f-f-finished.” As his lips
stumbled over the first syllable of the last word, the bishop lapsed into abrupt
silence for the space of two deep breaths, as though trying to control himself.
Bishop Mallory puffed out several little clouds of smoke. He wasn’t the sort
of man who would squirm uneasily in a chair, but his manner gave every
indication of mental uneasiness. “I’m afraid,” Bishop Mallory said, “that my
legal education is a little rusty, but I’d like to know about the limitations of a
m-m-manslaughter case.” (G.E. Stanley, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop)
6. Mr. Strauss says I shud rite down what I think and evrey thing that happins to
me from now on. … I was very skared even tho I had my rabits foot in my
pockit because when I was a kid I always faled tests in school and I spilled
ink to. (D. Keyes, Flowers for Algernon)
7. “Very good, sir,” said the manager, and his mouth opened and shut as though
he was ready for another dive under the water. “You will not ‘ave toasts to
start with? We ‘ave very nice toasts, sir.” “Or perhaps de lady might like to
look at de live lobsters in de tank while de tea is coming?” And he grimaced
and smirked and flicked his serviette like a fin. (K. Mansfield, Honeymoon)
8. Then he told Dr Nemur something I dint understand so while they were
talking I wrote down some of the words. He said Dr Nemur I know Charlie is
not what you had in mind as the first of your new brede of intelek** (coudnt
get the word) superman. But most people of his low ment** are host** and
uncoop** they are usualy dull apath** and hard to reach. (D. Keyes, Flowers
for Algernon)
9. “Amy, dear! Kissing may once have been serious and significant – but it isn’t
nowadays. Nowadays, it’s like shaking hands. It means nothing.” But Amy
was not consoled. “I hate her!” she cried desperately. “Red-headed thing!
Calling me ‘darling’ and ‘honey’, and s-sending me handkerchiefs for C-
Christmas – and then sneaking off behind closed doors and k-kissing my
husband –” (K. Brush, Night Club)
10. Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people
whae’s behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros
and cons, know that ah’m gaunnae huv a short life, am ah sound mind,
ectetera, ectetera, but still want tae use smack? They won’t let ye dae it. They
won’t let ye dae it, because it’s seen as a sign ay thir ain failure. The fact that
49
ye jist simply choose tae reject whut they huv tae offer. (I. Welsh,
Trainspotting)
11. It don’t take no nerve to do somepin when there ain’t nothin’else you can do.
(J. E. Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)
12. I ha’ getten brass, and we’ll go buy the chap a sup o’ milk an’ a good four-
pounder this very minute. What’s mine’s thine, sure enough, I’ thou’ st I’
want. Only, dunnot lose heart, man!” continued he, as he fumbled in a tea-pot
for what money he had. “I lay yo’ my heart and soul we’ll win for a’ this: it’s
but bearing on one more week, and yo’ just see th’ way th’ masters’ll come
round, praying on us to come back to our mills. An’ th’ Union – that’s to say,
I – will take care yo’ve enough for th’ childer and th’ missus. So dunnot turn
faint-heart, and go to th’ tyrants a-seeking work. (E. Brontë, Wuthering
Heights)
13. The slick manager, who was marvelously like a fish in a frock-coat, skimmed
forward. “Dis way, sir. Dis way, sir. I have a very nice little table,” he gasped.
“Just the little table for you. Sir, over de corner. Dis way.” (K. Mansfield,
Honeymoon)
14. “I tell you what, Thquire. To thpeak plain to you, my opinion ith that you had
better cut it thort, and drop it. They’re a very good natur’d people, my people,
but they’re accuthtomed to be quick in their movementh; and if you don’t act
upon my advithe, I’m damned if I don't believe they’ll pith you out o'
winder.” (Ch. Dickens, Hard Times)

Exercise 9. Comment on the stylistic functions of graphical stylistic devices in


the following excerpts:

1. “Little Ede looks perfectly darling,” said Mrs Markey, smiling and moistening
her lips in a way that Edith found particularly repulsive.” So grown-up – I
can’t believe it!” (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
2. As Edith and her daughter entered, the music was temporarily drowned out by
a sustained chorus, consisting largely of the word cute and directed towards
little Ede, who stood looking timidly about and fingering the edges of her
pink dress. She was not kissed — this is the sanitary age — but she was
passed along a row of mamas each one of whom said ‘cu-u-ute’ to her and
held her pink little hand before passing her on to the next. After some
encouragement and a few mild pushes she was absorbed into the dance, and
became an active member of the party. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
3. She pursed her lips and squinted past me. “What?” I asked. “I’m not supposed
to tell you until your father gets home.” “What?” I asked again. “Trip’s on,”
she said finally. “Dr. Maria called us last night and made a convincing case
that you need to live your —” “MOM, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!” I shouted,
and she came to the bed and let me hug her. (J. Green, The Fault in Our
Stars)

50
4. Mom: “Hazel, you’re a teenager. You’re not a little kid anymore. You need to
make friends, get out of the house, and live your life.”
Me: “If you want me to be a teenager, don’t send me to Support Group. Buy
me a fake ID so I can go to clubs, drink vodka, and take pot.”
Mom: “You don’t take pot, for starters.”
Me: “See, that’s the kind of thing I’d know if you got me a fake ID.”
Mom: “You’re going to Support Group.”
Me: “UGGGGGGGGGGGGG.” (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
5. Valerie was beginning to pine for a home, with her “things.” Of course, she
could have sold her furniture for a substantial sum. But nothing would have
induced her to. Whatever else passed away – religions, cultures, continents,
and hopes – Valerie would never part from the “things” which she and
Erasmus had collected with such passion. To these she was nailed. (D.H.
Lawrence, Things)
6. When I got out of the movie, I had four text messages from Augustus. Tell me
my copy is missing the last twenty pages or something. OH MY GOD DO
THEY GET MARRIED OR NOT OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS. I guess
Anna died and so it just ends? CRUEL. Call me when you can. Hope all’s
okay. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
7. “To be fair to Monica,” I said, “what you did to her wasn’t very nice either.”
“What’d I do to her?” he asked, defensive. “You know, going blind and
everything.” “But that’s not my fault,” Isaac said. “I’m not saying it was your
fault. I’m saying it wasn’t nice.” (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
8. Mrs. Harris sighs. “Not anymore. It’s been a long day. I’m going to bed.”
“Moooom,” Ally whines. Mrs. Harris shoots her a look. “No more music.” (L.
Oliver, Before I Fall)
9. It looks like Lauren’s finished and checking her work, but she’s leaning so I
can’t see the third answer. I watch the second hand tick its way around the
clock –“Two miiinnnuuutes and thirrrrty secondssss,” Tierney booms – and I
lean over and poke Lauren with my pen. She looks up, startled. I don’t think
I’ve talked to her in years, and for a second I see a look pass over her face that
I can’t quite identify. (L. Oliver, Before I Fall)
10. “It’s almost ten,” she said. “Mom. Sleep. Cancer. Fighting.” “I know, love,
but there is class to attend. Also, today is... ” The glee in Mom’s voice was
evident. “Thursday?” “Did you seriously forget?” “Maybe?” “It’s Thursday,
March twenty-ninth!” she basically screamed, a demented smile plastered to
her face. “You are really excited about knowing the date!” I yelled back.
“HAZEL! IT’S YOUR THIRTY-THIRD HALF BIRTHDAY!” (J. Green,
The Fault in Our Stars)
11. He stepped out into the rain. It swept in from the opening of the harbor in
sheets and the opposite shore was all blurred. He passed two or three natives
clad in nothing but the lava-lava, with huge umbrellas over them. They
51
walked finely, with leisurely movements, very upright; and they smiled and
greeted him in a strange tongue as they went by. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
12. The bell rang. It was lean, pale Eddie Warren (as usual) in a state of acute
distress. “It is the right house, isn’t it?” he pleaded. ”Oh, I think so –I hope
so,” said Bertha brightly. “I have had such a dreadful experience with a taxi-
man; he was most sinister. I couldn’t get him to stop. The more I knocked and
called the faster he went. And in the moonlight this bizarre figure with the
flattened head crouching over the little wheel …” “But how dreadful” she
cried. “Yes, it really was” said Eddie, following her into the drawing room. “I
saw myself driving through Eternity in a timeless taxi.” (K. Mansfield, Bliss)
13. There are three questions on Mr. Tierney’s quiz, and I don’t know enough to
fake an answer to a single one. Next to me, Lauren’s doubled over her paper,
tongue just poking out between her teeth. She always does that when she
thinks. I peek over Lauren’s shoulder and copy down two of her answers –
I’m good at being subtle about it – when Mr. Tierney calls out, “Threeeeee
minutes.” He says it dramatically, like he’s doing a voice-over for a movie,
and it makes the fat under his chin wiggle. (L. Oliver, Before I Fall)
14.

(J. Ecko, Conspiracy Headache)

52
15.

16.

17. Piglet, sitting in the running Kanga’s pocket, substituting the kidnapped Roo,
thinks:
this shall
“If is I never take
flying really to
it.”
(A. Milne, Winnie-The-Pooh and All, All, All)
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UNIT 4

LEXICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES

Learning Objectives:

To understand  Lexical stylistic devices


To identify  Metaphor
 Metonymy
 Pun (paronomasia)
 Zeugma
 Irony
 Antonomasia
 Epithet
 Hyperbole
 Meiosis
 Oxymoron

Metaphor, metonymy, pun, zeugma, irony, antonomasia, epithet, hyperbole,


meiosis, and oxymoron are considered to be lexical stylistic devices, which
generally reveal the following patterns: interplay of different types of lexical
meaning; intensification of characteristic traits of the phenomena described; and
intentional usage of a word for different stylistic purposes.
The word metaphor originates from the Greek word μεταφορά, which means to
transfer. In his famous works Poetics, Aristotle gives his definition of metaphor:
“Metaphor consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else; the
transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from
species to species, or on grounds of analogy”.
Metaphor is the transference of meaning, which is based on the similarity of
two objects or concepts. As a result, one concept is used to understand another
concept.
The following expressions are rather common in English:
 He drowned in a sea of grief.
How and where does one come across a sea that is filled not with water, but
with grief?
 She is fishing in troubled waters.
It is not used to mean that the person is actually fishing; it is an expression
which is used to signify that the person is looking for something that is difficult to
obtain.
These expressions have one thing in common: a situation is compared to a real
thing, although the situation is not actually that particular thing.

54
According to I.R. Richards, a metaphor consists of the tenor and the vehicle.
The tenor is the subject to which attributes (or certain characteristics) are ascribed.
The vehicle the subject from which the attributes are borrowed.

In a sentence, Jonathan is a tiger, the tenor (Jonathan) is described by the


vehicle (tiger) borrowing such attributes as brave, fearless, undaunted. The
metaphor refers to the bravery of a tiger by making a comparison between the
person and the predator without stating so in direct terms:

Jonathan is a tiger.

Object 1 Object 2
(tenor) (vehicle)
Class: Human Class: Feline

Associations/
transfer Attributes:
of associations/attributes braveness, courage
As there are no comparing words (like, as, etc.) the comparison is implied but is
very obvious. It always conveys some hidden message. “Metaphors aren’t merely
the candy sprinkles on the doughnut of language”, not just embellishments to the
music of poetry and prose. Metaphors are ways of thinking – and also ways of
shaping the thoughts of others.” (A. Ortony et al.)
A metaphor can have multiple interpretations.

Her home was a prison.

Evidently there are some characteristics of a prison which can be


seen at her place:
1. she was not allowed to leave her home;
2. she had a lot of restrictions at home, and she was not allowed to
exercise any rights or privileges;
3. her home is a prison for other people who were coerced into
forfeiting there right to liberty;
4. she might herself be the prisoner, and it could be either self-
imposed or enforced on her by others.
A metaphor depends on the context greatly, but it can also mean a lot of other
things as well. Therefore, the possibilities are infinite.
Thus, metaphors are meant to create an impact in the minds of readers as they
convey a thought more forcefully than a plain statement would. Metaphors are
55
exaggerated expressions no doubt, but they are exaggerated because they are
supposed to paint a vivid picture, or become a profound statement or saying.
Metaphors can be expressed by all notional parts of speech and function in the
sentence as any of its members. There are several types of metaphors.
 according to the structure:
is one word or word The sea is a hungry lion.
simple combination based on Jane can be such a
one or several features frightened kitten at times.
common for two objects The pigeons fountained
into the air.
extends beyond one All the world's a stage,
extended / sentence and often go And all the men and
sustained beyond that, claims not women merely players:
only the similarity They have their exits and
between two subjects, their entrances;
but also goes forth and And one man in his time
compares the various plays many parts.
aspects of both subjects (W. Shakespeare)
as well
 according to the semantics:
fixed in dictionaries with a ray of hope
trite faded imagery a flight of fancy
seeds of evil
to fish for compliments
the author’s individual The tight little days turned
original / genuine metaphors with bright seven times, and clicked
unexpected images, not on tooth of the week
common in everyday which in turn engaged the
usage slow, constantly moving
wheel of months.
(L. Wilsom)
If a metaphor involves likeness between inanimate and animate objects, we
deal with personification. Personification is the attribution of human
characteristics to inanimate objects. Personification metaphorically represents an
animal or inanimate object as having human attributes – attributes of form,
character, feelings, behavior, and so on. Ideas and abstractions can also be
personified.
What are some human characteristics?
 speak
 show emotions (happiness, anger, love, jealousy,
etc.)
 take part in other human activities (shopping,
working, cooking, etc.)

56
The objects can be anything around, from the pen on the desk to the potted
plant in the corner of the room; from the Sun and the clouds to the earth itself. To
do so, the writer needs an eye full of imagination and a head full of the right words.
From Mr. Sun
Mr. Sun
Wakes up at dawn,
Puts his golden
Slippers on,
Climbs the summer
Sky at noon,
Trading places
With the moon. (J.P. Lewis)
Personification is used as a means of giving a voice to things that do not have
one, but need one as it can be observed in Emily Dickinson’s poem Have You Got
a Brook in Your Little Heart:
‘Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?’
Here, flowers are said to be “bashful”, birds are said to “blush” and shadows
are said to “tremble”. The ability to be timid, blush and tremble is respectively
given to flowers, birds and shadows. Personification allows the writer to enliven
non-human elements by attributing human qualities to them.
W. Shakespeare personified contrasting elements such as life and death, light
and dark, day and night, etc. The abundant use of personification might just be the
reason behind the immortality of Romeo and Juliet; these little things and play of
words woven intricately make generations after generations fall in love with W.
Shakespeare and his masterpiece Romeo and Juliet.

Personification creates visual imagery, captivating the reader's attention and


imagination. By giving an inanimate character human-like emotion, the writer
distracts the reader from the original concept, only to go on and accentuate the
emotions felt by the character.
While personification functions primarily as a stylistic device, it can often
serve to make an abstraction clearer and more real to the reader by defining or
explaining the concept in terms of everyday human. Ideas can be brought to life
through personification and objects can be given greater interest. However, writers

57
try always to be fresh: ‘winking stars’ is worn out; ‘winking dewdrops’ may be all
right.
Regardless of the types of metaphors, it is necessary to keep in mind Aristotle’s
observation 2,500 years ago in On Rhetoric: “Those words are most pleasant 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.”

Transference of meaning underlies another lexical stylistic device –


metonymy. The term metonymy originates from the Greek word μετωνυμία,
which means “a change of name” and calls a thing or concept not by its own name,
but rather by the name of something associated in meaning with that thing or
concept. In other words, it describes something in an indirect way by usually
referring to things associated with it. These associations are based on contiguity or
nearness of objects in reality.
This contiguity or nearness may be spacial, causal, functional, instrumental,
temporal, etc. As a result, different types of metonymy emerge:
a) the material of which an object is made may become the name of the object:
a glass, boards;
b) the name of the place may become the name of the people or of an object
placed there: the House ( = members of Parliament), the White House ( = the
Administration of the USA)
c) names of musical instruments may become names of musicians when they
are united in an orchestra: the violin, the saxophone
d) the name of some person may become a common noun: boycott (it was
originally the name of an Irish family who were so much disliked by their
neighbours that they did not mix with them)
e) names of inventors very often become terms to denote things they invented:
watt, om, roentgen
f) some geographical names can also become common nouns through
metonymy: holland (= linen fabrics), brussels (= a special kind of carpets),
china (= porcelain).
Metonymy is used in literature to change the mode of though by using a strong
word association based on contiguity. For example, one might call a psychiatrist a
whitecoat. Close relations between two objects: a medical practitioner specializing
in mental illnesses and a typical medical uniform, provide metonymy which
emphasizes the mechanical aspect of the work of the psychiatrist, as opposed to the
more human or emotional dimension of the profession. In this way, authors can
also add more complexity and meaning to ordinary words by using metonymy,
thereby drawing the reader’s attention to what otherwise would not be noticed.
Consider another example:
Miss Tox’s hand trembled as she slipped it through Mr. Dombey’s arm, and felt
herself escorted up the steps, preceded by a cocked hat and a Babylonian collar.
(Ch. Dickens, Dombey and Son)
Here metonymy a cocked hat and a Babylonian collar stands for the wearer of
the articles in question and point out the insignificance of the wearer rather than his
58
importance, for his personality is reduced to his externally conspicuous features –
the hat and red collar. Metonymy allows the writer to address even a minor
character in novel in a more poetic and unique way (which is another function of
metonymy).
One particular type of metonymy is differentiated and viewed independently. It
is based on the relations between a part and the whole and called synecdoche.
Therefore, it is possible to speak for a part of a thing or subject, indirectly implying
the entire thing itself: There are hungry mouths to feed (“the mouths” stand for the
hungry people).
Synecdoche stresses a characteristic feature that can be used instead of its
possessor:
Then they came in. Two of them, a man with long fair moustaches and a silent
dark man... Definitely, the moustache and I had nothing in common. (D. Lessing,
Retreat to Innocence)
In this example, the part the moustache) is used to represent the whole – the
man whose salient feature (facial appearance) catches the eye. Thus, the moustache
stands for the man himself. The function of the synecdoche here is to indicate that
the speaker knows nothing of the man in question, moreover, there is a definite
implication that this is the first time the speaker has seen him.
Not only people can be referred to with the help of synecdoche. Some other
examples of things include:
 a car referred as wheels.
 the alphabet referred as the ABCs.
 cows referred as heads of cattle.
 a gossip referred as a wagging tongue.
Unlike synecdoche, the definition of metonymy is more expansive, including
concepts that are merely associated in meaning and not necessarily parts of the
original thing or concept.
The difference between metonymy and synecdoche is summarized in the
following table:

Metonymy vs Synecdoche
 Metonymy is a lexical stylistic  Synecdoche is a lexical stylistic
device in which something is device where a word or phrase that
introduced by a new name that is refers to a part of something is
related to the original thing or used to represent the whole or vice
concept. versa.

 Metonymy uses a related name or  Synecdoche uses a part to


concept. represent the whole or vice versa.

 Metonymy examples include  Synecdoche examples mostly


different parts of speech. include common nouns.

59
Pun is a form of wordplay, which suggests two or more meanings, by
exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an
intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Another word for pun is paronomasia,
which comes from the Greek word paronomazein, which meant, “to make a
change in naming.”

RULE:
1. a strip of wood used for measuring length or
marking straight lines
2. exercise ultimate power or authority

ROCK:
1. a piece of rock broken away from a mountain or
a cliff
2. dance to or play rock music
In this wordplay, where one word has two
meanings or similar-sounding words are used, a
certain ambiguity of a sentence arises which
purposely adds humorous or rhetorical effect.
Pun is “an important part of the stylistic arsenal of writers because it allows a
controlled ‘double meaning’ to be located in what is actually a chance connection
between two elements of language”. (P. Simpson)
Thus, ambiguity occurs when a word or phrase in a sentence has more than one
meaning and accordingly one linguistic expression allows more than one
understanding or several interpretations.
The pictures are examples of pun:

1. tire ['taɪə] = feel weary 1. dog = a domesticated four-legged animal


2. tire ['taɪə] = rubber covering for wheels of often kept by people as a pet or to guard or
vehicles hunt.
2. go to the dogs = deteriorate shockingly

A pun is most often used for humor, but puns can also make you think
differently about a subject, particularly if it introduces ambiguity or changes the
original meaning of the text.
Classic works of literature are full of puns, as writers across the ages have
played with the sounds and meanings of the language to achieve interesting effects.
The history of English literature holds testimony to the fact that puns have been a
popular medium to evoke appreciation in the minds of readers and audiences. It is
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possible to find puns in literary works from the Bible to Shakespeare, to modern
poetry. Puns continue to resonate with readers. Authors have used puns over the
centuries to entertain perceptive readers and make reading more interesting by
injecting some clever word play. Puns are not just humorous, they can also make
the readers pause and consider what they have read from a different angle, giving a
deeper appreciation for a writer’s talent and grasp of the language.
In particular, the Shakespearean epoch is famous for using puns, where
comedies, tragedies, and rom-coms have had their share of fame, duly accredited.
The use of pun in Romeo and Juliet, a play that delves on human eccentricities and
the theme of star-crossed lovers, has been sumptuous in nature. A well-known
example of a pun from Romeo and Juliet could be treated for analysis. It is when
Mercutio, bleeding to death, utters: Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a
grave man. Mercutio is dying, and he utters the word grave, which has two
meanings. The first is that he will be buried and found in the grave. The flip side of
the word signifies a serious and critical demeanor, endured by the character.
Nowadays pun is also widely used in both literature and daily communication.
Two types of pun are distinguished.

typographic visual
 homophonic
 homographic
 homonymic
 compound
I. Typographic pun:
The first three types of typographic pun is based on homophones, homonyms,
and homographs. To distinguish between these three, it is necessary to remember
the meaning of these words:

1. Homophonic pun depends on similar-sounding words with different


meanings. This type of pun is created with the help of homophones (homo “the
same”, phone “sound”):

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In homophonic pun the nuances of the sentence structure are usually ignored to
bring in the humor element. For example:

"Why is it so wet in England? Because


many kings and queens have reigned
there."
Similarly pronounced homophones rained
and reigned create ambiguity in the sentence as
two different meanings emerge simultaneously
while reading this sentence: 1. rain falls;
2. rule as monarch

The following examples are also homophonic puns:

Homophones: Homphonic pun:

3. Homographic pun involves words that have the same spelling, but
different meanings. This type of pun is created with the help of homographs (homo
“the same”, graph “write”)

In the following sentence homograph row has the same spelling but different
pronunciation and meaning:
There was a row about who should row in that row
of the ship among the slaves.

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[rau] [rəu] [rəu]

This type of pun uses words that are spelled the same but sound different.
These puns are often written rather than spoken, as they briefly trick the reader into
reading the “wrong” sound.
This famous line contains both homographic and homophonic pun:

You can tune a guitar, but you Unless of course, you play bass.
can't tuna fish. (D. Adams)

Here homophones tune a (adjust the musical instrument to produces the


right notes) and tuna (fish eaten as food) are used alongside with homograph
bass which adds ambiguity through identical spelling but different pronunciation
of [beɪs] (a string instrument) and [bæs] (an edible fish).

4. Homonymic pun is based on homonyms:

Homonymic pun contains aspects of both the homophonic pun and the
homographic pun. In this type of pun, the wordplay involves a word that is spelled
and sounds the same, yet has different meanings.
For example: Two silk worms had a race and ended in a tie.
A “tie” can of course either be when neither party wins, but in this pun also
refers to the piece of clothing usually made from silk.

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Homonymic pun is often ised in jokes:

1. bend 2. thin

While the first speaker uses the word lean in the first meaning, the other has
the second meaning in his mind. This discrepancy creates linguistic ambiguity
which results in humorous effect as the two meanings of the word lean are realised
simultaneously in the context.
In the following cartoon the same happens to the word spirits in the context:

1. ghosts 2. strong alcoholic drinks


Generally, “to pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms.” (W. Redfern)

5. Compound pun relies on a string of words, which forms another word, or


string of words, thereby adding the comic element. Here is a famous compound
pun:
“Why can a man never starve
in the Great Desert? Because
he can eat the sand which is
there.” (R. Whately)

Woman: What is the brightest


idea in the world?
Man: Your eye, dear.
The similar sounds of ‘idea’
and ‘eye, dear’ are the key
points of forming the pun.
Overall, it is important to remember that a pun is a juggle of words that (may)
sound similar; however, they are diverse in significance, and importance. The
words, or phrases, used in one context do carry a connotation. A pun is a play of
words, yet it is also a play of intent and content. It is a panoramic play of words, a
twist of wits, lips, and tongues, a pun is a linguistic tool that adds dollops of
humor, a pinch of wit, and a twang of spontaneity to get the feat right.

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II. Visual pun is the use of a word or symbol in such a way as to suggest two
or more meanings or associations. For example:

In the picture, the image and the phrase with deliberate changes of spelling are
both eye-catching, humorous and engaging, and plunge the reader in a
sophisticated wordplay aimed to solve these visual puns:

Using a picture to convey the pun is quite popular nowadays. Usually, logos,
emblems, symbols, and other graphic elements are used to attract attention and to
put the message across adding either additional associations or humorous effect.
Shop owners have long understood the magic power of visual pun that helps
them to be distinctive in the market and appeal to different categories of customers:
 to those who appreciate allusions to famous people, films or novels:

 to those who appreciate humorous or playful manner:

Some people consider puns to be lightweight and worthy only of eye-rolls or


groans. However, puns can require inquisitive mind and a good deal of knowledge
on the part of the audience.
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Puns can function as a stylistic device, where they serve as a persuasive
instrument for an author or speaker. Especially if used responsibly a pun “can be
an effective communication tool in a variety of situations and forms”. A major
difficulty in using puns in this manner is that the meaning of a pun can be
interpreted very differently according to the audience’s background.
If puns are particularly clever, they are rewarding for the reader or listener
when they decipher them because pun is “a form of wit, to which wise men stoop
and fools aspire” (A. Bierce).

Zeugma, which has been a part of the English language since the 15th century,
comes from the ancient Greek zeugnunai for “a yoking” or “bonding,” because this
stylistic device literally “yokes” or joins two separate parts of a sentence.
However, just like two yoked oxen, the two animals
do not immediately fall into step with one another.
This is also the case in language: zeugma’s
components do not work seamlessly, and it is actually
that tiny disconnection between the two “yoked”
words that creates the pleasing comedic or dramatic
effect of the zeugma.
Thus, zeugma is a stylistic device in which a word (usually a verb) applies to
more than one noun belonging to different semantic classes and thus blending
together grammatically and logically different ideas.

For instance, in the sentence:


John lost his coat and his temper,
the verb “lost” applies to both the
nouns “coat” and “temper.”
Losing a coat and losing temper
are logically and grammatically
different ideas, which are brought
together in this sentence.

Zeugma makes the sentence unique and delivers the actual idea in a very
pictorial and impressive style. Zeugma plays with a double meaning of the
governing word. Look at the following example where the comedic effect comes
from the surprising and clever sentence construction:

He took his hat and his vacation.

On the first read, the sentence does not seem correct. When we read “he took
his hat,” we decide to run with the literal meaning of the verb “to take”, but when
we hear, “and his vacation”, we are asked to switch to the more figurative meaning
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of “to take”, as in “to take a vacation”. While the grammar and logic of the
sentence are completely correct, we are not used to reading sentences that switch
so nimbly between literal and figurative meanings of a word, and it is actually
quite fun to read.
As a rule, the more literal or concrete meaning of the verb usually comes
before the more abstract meaning. In this way, zeugma employs literal meaning of
a word in one part of the sentence, but figurative in another as can be observed in
the following sentence:

The farmers in the valley grew potatoes, peanuts, and bored.

This is an example of zeugma being used for humor. Like many jokes, it comes
in three parts: the first two establish a pattern, and the third changes it. It is an
example of zeugma because the word grew is being used in two different senses:
literally, the farmers grew potatoes and peanuts, but figuratively they also grew
bored.
The basic function of zeugma is surprise. In the above given example the
potatoes and peanuts lead us to expect that the third word will be another crop. But
the word bored violates this expectation and surprises the reader. Our brains try to
fit the new word into the old pattern, and it results in the humorous image of
boredom growing out of the earth like a crop!
Zeugma can definitely create a more powerful sentence as “it contracts two
sentences into one, it links unrelated terms – mental with moral, abstract with
physical, high with low – and thus generates surprise.” (W. Redfern)

His boat and his dreams sank.


The emotions of a person losing a
lifelong dream as a sailor are more
vividly pronounced in this
sentence than in a construction
such as this: The man's boat sank.
He realized his dreams were
slipping away.

Zeugmas are versatile. They can make an idea or phrase stick in the mind, can
be humorous, or can create a sense of drama. In the next example, zeugma has a
dramatic effect:

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He lost his briefcase, then his job, then his mind.

The word lost is used literally and figuratively, with each image slightly more
unfortunate than the last. Through zeugma, this 10-word sentence tells a story,
which revolves around the single verb “lost.” We can follow the progression of
events through the story quite easily, thanks to the flexibility of the word.
Zeugma, when used skillfully, produces a unique artistic effect, making the
literary works more interesting and effective as it serves to adorn expressions, and
to add emphasis to ideas in impressive style. It adds flavor to literary texts as it
helps produce a dramatic effect, which could possibly be shocking in its result.
Zeugma examples are also found in literary works of famous writers and poets
from several centuries ago, to add vividness and conciseness to their texts.
Ch. Dickens created many examples of zeugma. In his first novel, The
Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, we can find the following example of
zeugma:
All these things, combined with the noises and interruptions of
constant comings in and going out, made Mr. Pickwick play rather
badly; the cards were against him, also, and when they left off at
ten minutes past eleven, Miss Bolo rose from the table
considerably agitated, and went straight home in a flood of tears,
and a sedan chair.
In this excerpt, the character Miss Bolo goes home “in a flood of tears, and a
sedan-chair.” The zeugma appears in this sense of going home both in a physical
and emotional state.
The writers and poets exploited this stylistic device to add simplicity or
vividness to a long passage, to build up the plot in a precise manner or to indicate
connections between the elements used in the plot. Besides, it serves to embellish
and emphasize a sentence, thereby escalating its beauty to greater heights.

Irony is a stylistic device that has been used for many years in speech,
everyday life, and literary works.
The word “irony” comes from the Greek character Eiron, who was an
underdog and used his wit to overcome a stronger character. The Greek word
eironeía derived from this character and came to mean “dissimulation” The word
then entered Latin as ironia, and eventually became common as a stylistic device
in English in the 16th century.
Although irony has been used for a long time, there has not been an exact
definition of irony. There have been hundreds of definitions suggested over the
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years; however, a consensus is that irony is a contradiction or incongruity between
what is expected and what actually occurs. Simply, irony is a difference between
the appearance and the reality.

After your drink has spilled


all over your expensive new
clothes,
and you say, “Oh, great” you
do not actually mean that the
Oh, great!
incident is positive.
Here, using the word “great” ironically indicates a higher negative
implication, even though the wording is positive.

The term “irony” usually refers to three particular types of irony:

verbal situational dramatic

Verbal irony is the use of words to mean something different from what a
person actually says. The main feature of verbal irony is that it is used by a speaker
intentionally. It occurs in a conversation where a person aims to be understood as
meaning something different to what his or her words literally mean.

For example, if someone has a painful visit to the


dentist and when it is over says ironically, “Well,
that was pleasant,” they are using verbal irony
because the intended meaning of their words (that it
was not at all pleasant) is the opposite of the literal
meaning of the words.

Here are some more examples of verbal irony presented in the pictures:

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The picture below provides a summary of verbal irony:

Verbal irony is the most common form of irony. In fact, it is so common that
when people mention “irony,” they often are actually referring to verbal irony.
Situational irony involves a discrepancy between what is expected to happen
and what actually happens, or when the exact opposite of what is meant to happen,
happens.
Situational irony consists of a situation in which the outcome is very different
from what was expected. There are contradictions and contrasts present in cases of
situational irony. Examples would be the following:
1.
Someone buys a gun to protect
himself, but the same gun is
used by another individual to
injure him.

One would expect that the gun


would keep him safe, but it has
actually caused him injury.

2.
A woman has been saving
painfully to buy a golden
watch.

Just hours after buying the


watch, her daughter arrives
home with the same watch as a
gift for her!
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3.
In The Wonderful Wizard of
Oz, the citizens of the Emerald
City assume that Oz is great
and all-powerful.

Yet the man behind the curtain


is revealed to be an old man
with no special powers.

This type of irony has been employed by different writers, as


in the O. Henry story “The Gift of the Magi,” a young wife cuts
off her hair in order to buy her husband a chain for his prized
watch, but the husband sells his watch to buy his wife a comb for
her beautiful hair.
Situational irony can be observed both in everyday life and in books. The
picture below gives an overview of situational irony:

Dramatic irony is popular in works of art such as movies, books, poems and
plays as it is considered by many writers as a potent tool for exciting and
sustaining the interest of readers and audiences. It originated in Greek tragedy and
often leads to tragic outcomes. It occurs when the audience is aware of something
that the characters in the story are not aware of.
An example of dramatic irony is in a movie where a detective does not know
that the criminal responsible for the crimes in the city is his partner. The audience
however is already aware of this fact and waits anxiously to know what will
happen once the character finds out what they already know.
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Dramatic irony is especially well suited to the theater,
which displays constantly shifting sets, scenes, and characters
to a stationary audience that, therefore, often has a more
complete perspective compared to any of the characters. One
excellent example of dramatic irony can be found in
Shakespeare’s play, Othello. Through the play, the audience
watches as Iago plots against his commander Othello, and seeks
to make Othello believe that his wife Desdemona has been
unfaithful to him. The audience watches as Iago plots to himself and with others.
Sometimes Iago even directly reveals his plans to the audience. Meanwhile,
Othello continues to trust Iago, the audience watches as the plan they know that
Iago is pursuing slowly plays out just as he intended, and Othello eventually
murders the entirely innocent Desdemona. The way that the play makes the
audience aware of Iago’s plot, even as Othello is not, means that the play is full of
dramatic irony almost for its entire length.
The picture below illustrates dramatic irony:

Difference between dramatic irony and situational irony is a must know topic.
Here are some highlights, which help distinguish between the two:
 Situational irony is when there is a mismatch between the expectations of
someone and the outcomes that he or she would gain;
 Situational irony is used widely in literary works to give a comic or tragic
aspect to a story;
 Dramatic irony is when the audience or else the readers are aware of the
truth or reality, but the characters are not aware of the reality of the
situation;
 While situational irony takes the reader or audience completely by surprise
where something contrary of the expected results take place, in dramatic
irony the reader or audience is aware of the situation.

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The picture below explains the difference between these two types of irony:

Authors like to use irony, as it is a tool that can be used for many different
purposes. Ironic statements can underscore the fragility, complexity, and beauty of
human experience:
 In dialogues, verbal irony can display one character’s wit, and another
character’s thick headedness.
 Situational irony often demonstrates how human beings are always at the
mercy of an unpredictable universe – and that life can always take an
unexpected turn.
 Dramatic irony emphasizes that human knowledge is always partial and
often incorrect, while giving the reader or viewer the satisfaction of a more
complete understanding than that of the characters.

Ultimately, irony is used to create meaning – whether it is humorous or


profound – out of the gap between the way things appear and how they actually
are.
Although these three kinds of irony may seem very different at first glance,
they all share one important quality: a tension between how things appear and how
they really are.
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Antonomasia (from Greek ἀντονομασία “to name differently”) is a lexical
stylistic device, which draws attention to a certain characteristic of a person by
giving or applying a proper name that emphasizes this most obvious quality or
aspect.
Antonomasia makes everyday speech more expressive. For example, if a
student has a grumpy teacher it is possible to say:

Normal sentence
She’s grumpy, boring, doesn’t want to listen to anyone, and
definitely doesn’t want to help anyone.
Sentence with Antonomasia
Mrs. Grumpy doesn’t want to listen to anyone, and definitely
doesn’t want to help anyone.
Replacing the teacher’s actual name with her defining characteristic,
grumpiness, serves to highlight just how much the mood is associated with the
person.
Consider another example – two women discussing men:
Normal sentence
He’s such a good guy. I enjoy his company so much! I just
hope he’s the right guy for me.
Sentence with Antonomasia
He’s such a good guy. I enjoy his company so much! I just
hope he’s Mr. Right.

Antonomasia that gives the man the title “Mr. Right” helps to emphasize the
quality she hopes to find in this man.
There are two ways to create antonomasia:
1) through common nouns being used as proper nouns as in the above examples.
This technique is widely used in fiction where antonomasia defines or suggests a
leading quality of the character. There is a special literary term for antonomasia in
fiction, i.e. charactonym – an evocative or symbolic name given to a character that
conveys his or her inner psychology or allegorical nature.

For instance, Sir Toby Belch who whoops it up 24/7,


drinking, eating, belching, singing, dancing, and trash-
talking his way through Twelfth Night by W.
Shakespeare.
Another well-known example of charactonym is Mrs. Malaprop, a character
in R.B. Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals, who has
a habit of replacing words with incorrect and
absurd utterances, producing a humorous effect
and, as a result, the word malapropism
appeared in English, which means the mistaken
use of a word in place of a similar-sounding
one, often with an amusing effect.
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2) through the use of proper names of famous people or literary characters. In
this case, antonomasia serves as a variety of allusion making reference to a
particular person whose personal qualities, achievements or way of life resemble
the person described by antonomasia. Here we can deal with antonomasia based on
allusions to mythological, historical and biblical figures, literary characters and our
contemporaries as in the following examples:

She is perfectly unbearable. Never met such a


Gorgon!

(a female creature in Greek mythology


whose name means terrible or dreadful, was fierce,
frightening, and repulsive)

She fell for him, knowing well that he is nothing


less than a Casanova.

(charismatic man who makes


numerous romantic conquests)

He proved a Judas to the cause.

(is known for the betrayal of Jesus


and the name is often used synonymously
with betrayal or treason)

Do not act like Mr. Bean.

(a slow-witted, sometimes ingenious, selfish, and


generally likable movie character)

Excuse me, Tarzans, could you please come down


from that tree.

(is a fictional character, has enhanced strength, speed,


endurance, reflexes, and senses)

Antonomasia is created mainly by nouns (Becky Sharp, Miss Ape), more


seldom by attributive combinations (Dr. Fresh Air) or phrases (Mr. What’s-his
name).
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To conclude, it should be remembered that antonomasia is one of those once-
in-awhile devices, which can give a nice touch in the right place.

Epithet (from the Greek ἐπίθετος “attributed, added”) is a lexical stylistic


device that describes a person or thing in such a way that it helps
in making its characteristics more prominent than they actually are.
For example, when W. Shakespeare refers to Romeo and Juliet as
star-crossed lovers, that is an epithet because their crazy-intense
romance is one of their most defining qualities.
Epithets were widely used in earlier times to help the reader visualize the
characters and bring color and vividness to the narrative. Epithets were also used
as descriptive titles to distinguish their bearers or as a mark of respect:

Charles Charles Richard Alexander


the Bald the Fat the Lion-Heart the Great

Nowadays epithets are also popular in everyday speech and in literature. They
are used to reflect individual perception of a thing or a person. This is mainly an
emotional and sometimes unexpected description.
An epithet is so commonly used that it unofficially becomes part of a person’s
name or a place: Winston Churchill – British Bulldog, Margaret Thatcher – The
Iron Lady, Muhammed Ali – The Greatest or The Greatest of All Times, Prague –
The Golden City, Rome – the City of Seven Hills, Detroit – the Motor City.
From the point of view of semantics, epithets are differentiated into:
 fixed
 transferred.
The fixed epithet (also known as Homeric or epic) is a special variety found in
epic poetry, a formulaic phrase (often a compound adjective) used habitually to
characterize a person or thing. Fixed epithets were often used in Greek mythology
to describe the gods or heroes. They convey vivid imagery in fewer words:

grey-eyed Athena white-armed Hera swift-footed Achilles

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Transferred (or figurative) epithets are based on metaphors and metonymies
and thus transfer the images and feelings of the speaker or writer to the things and
people described. Writers often employ them to give richer meanings to the text:

dog-eared school books apple-faced man


Consider the following examples:

As I sat in the bathtub, soaping a meditative foot and singing.it


would be deceiving my public to say that I was feeling boomps-a-
daisy. (P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit)

Of course, the foot does not feel meditative, as it cannot have human emotions.
The transferred epithet here describes the feelings of melancholy experienced by
the person who was feeling meditative, but not the foot.

In an age of pressurized happiness, we sometimes grow


insensitive to subtle joys.

This is an example of how the metaphoric nature, striking and unusual quality
of transferred epithet helps to develop bright, unforgettable image in fewer words,
makes the description of happiness broader, vibrant and strong.
Together with semantic nature, structural characteristics of epithets are also
employed to introduce an image or idea emphatically. Several structural types of
epithets are identified:

Simple (single) only one epithet is used angry wind


epithets the weary road
Pairs of epithets two epithets joined by a wonderful and
conjunction or incomparable beauty
asyndetically a tired old town
Chains (strings) a group of epithets varying You're a scolding, unjust,
of epithets in number from 3 up to abusive, aggravating, bad
(sometimes) 20 and even old creature.
more

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Two-step a fixed structure (Adv. + an unnaturally mild day
epithets Adj.) offering 2 stages of a pompously majestic
the qualifying process: the female
qualification of the object
and the qualification of the
qualification itself
Phrase-epithets a phrase or even a the sunshine-in-the-
sentence, in which words breakfast-room smell
are crammed into one
language unit always a move-if-you-dare
producing an original expression
impression
Inverted two nouns linked by an a sky-rocket of a kid
epithets of-phrase the giant of a man
a flower of a girl

Since epithets are used as a literary tool and a stylistic device, they help the
writers or speakers in breathing new life into the subjects they describe, in making
the description of someone or something broader and hence easier to understand as
well as in making the emotions perfectly clear to the reader.

Hyperbole, derived from a Greek word ύπερβολή, meaning “over-casting,” is


a stylistic device that involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis. It
may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but it is not
meant to be taken literally. Hyperbole is an extravagant statement, which is used
deliberately to create emphasis, effect, or to make a point. Consider the following
examples where exaggeration is obvious:

Figurative meaning:
I am going to be standing here
forever!
Literal meaning:
This is a long line. I am going to be
standing here for a while!

This is an exaggeration because you


will not literally be standing in the
line forever. You might stand in the
line for a long time, but eventually
you will get to the end of the line.

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Figurative meaning:

I told you a million times to pick up


your toys!

Literal meaning:

You are really saying that you have


told him many times and do not want
to tell him again.

This is an exaggeration because the


parent did not literally tell the child a
million times. The parent is
exaggerating to make a point.

Hyperbole may be used for humorous effect as seen from the examples in the
pictures below:

Using this hyperbole the speaker actually meant


“I am very hungry and can eat a lot of food”.

Surely, somebody’s feet cannot kill at all. The idea


of this statement is the following: “I have walked so
much. My feet are tired and they hurt”.
It is a device that is employed in day-to-day speech
to make a boring story more interesting. For instance, when you meet a friend after
a long time, you say, “It’s been ages since I last saw you.” You may not have met
him for three or four hours, or a day, but the use of the word “ages” exaggerates
this statement to add emphasis to your wait.
Used sparingly, hyperbole effectively draws the attention to a message that
needs to be emphasized. That is the reason hyperbole is quite often used in
advertisements:

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In daily conversation, hyperbole is used to create an amusing effect, or to
emphasize the meaning of the statement. However, in literature hyperbole has very
serious implications. By using hyperbole, a writer or a poet makes common human
feelings remarkable and intense to such an extent that they do not remain ordinary.
In literature, usage of hyperbole develops contrasts. When one thing is described
with an over-statement, and the other thing is presented normally, a striking
contrast is developed. This technique is employed to catch the reader’s attention.

“Neptune’s ocean wash the blood


Clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine
Marking the green one red.” (W. Shakespeare, Macbeth)

Macbeth, the tragic hero, feels the unbearable prick of his conscience after
killing the king. He regrets his sin, and believes that even the oceans of the greatest
magnitude cannot wash the blood of the king off his hands. The effective use of
hyperboles is seen in the given lines.

“He cried all night, and dawn found him still there,
though his tears had dried and only hard, dry sobs
shook his wooden frame. But these were so loud that
they could be heard by the faraway hills...”
(C. Colloid, The Adventures of Pinocchio)
The dry sobs of Pinocchio, which are intense and so high-sounding that they
are head in the distance, is an example of hyperbole.

“I’ll love you, my dear, I’ll love you


Till China and Africa meet
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sings in the street,
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up dry.”
(W. H. Auden, As I Walked One Evening)
The use of hyperbole can be seen in the above lines in the meeting of China
and Africa, the jumping of the river over the mountain, the singing of salmon in the

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street, and the ocean being folded and hung up to dry are exaggerations, not
possible in real life.
Therefore, hyperbole is an unreal exaggeration to emphasize the real situation
and hyperbole is the greatest, most spectacular thing in the history of the entire
world!

The term meiosis comes from the Greek word μειόω, which means “to make
smaller” or “to diminish.” Originally, the definition of meiosis referred to a
biological process in which cells divide. The term was borrowed for literary
purposes with a more metaphorical meaning of making something smaller.
Another term for meiosis is understatement.
Meiosis can be defined as a witty understatement that belittles something or
somebody, particularly by making use of terms that give an impression that
something is less important than it is or it should be.

For example, you win 10 million dollars in a lottery. When you


tell a news reporter “I am really glad,” you are making an
understatement.

Similarly, suppose a team loses to its opponent 50 to 0 in a


soccer match, and the captain of the team says in a post-match
ceremony, “We did not do well,” it is an understatement
because he is trying to decrease the intensity of the loss.

Meiosis is very common in our daily lives, classic and modern literature as
well as media. As it is employed in different cases, meiosis performs several
functions.
The effects it produces can be different:

 humorous:
Your friend has just failed a test. An intense response would
be:
Wow! That’s a terrible score! What are you going to do to
improve your grade in the class now?
Using meiosis, the response minimizes the magnitude of the
situation:
That grade’s not so bad. It could have been worse.

 comedic:

Typically, serious statements can become funny through the use of meiosis. For
example, in comedic movies, a series of unfortunate events will often happen as in
the example below:

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The once happy couple is arguing, their car breaks down,
and as they get out of the car to see what is wrong, it begins
to rain heavily. A proper response would be:
This is horrible! What else could go wrong?
We have bad luck!
A comedic meiosis would be:
Looks like we’ve got a bit of trouble on our hands, huh?

 modest:
After doing something amazing, it is tempting to brag or outwardly celebrate.
Using meiosis, though, can allow one to remain modest.
Upon winning a race, a prideful runner would say:
I won the race! I can’t believe I did so well!
A modest runner would use understatement to modestly
accept the win:
I did pretty well. I’m happy that I improved my time.
 polite:
Difficult situations can sometimes result in impolite comments.
When in a heated disagreement, one may say:
I’m never going to agree with you! You’re completely wrong
about this.
Using meiosis, can allow one to remain polite:
I think we have different opinions on this subject.
Consider another example of meiosis in the book “How to Be a Brit” by G.
Mikes which is employed to describe the national character of the British:
“It is not just a specialty of the English sense of humour; it is a
way of life. When gales uproot trees and sweep away roofs of
houses, you should remark that it is ‘a bit blowy.’ I have just been
listening to a man who got lost in a forest abroad for a week and
was scrutinised by hungry wolves, smacking their lips. Was he
terrified? – asked the television interviewer. The man replied that
on the seventh day when there were no rescuers in sight and the
sixth hungry wolf joined the pack, he ‘got a bit worried.’
Yesterday, a man in charge of a home where 600 old people lived,
which was found to be at fire risk where all the inhabitants might
burn to death, admitted: ‘I may have a problem’.”
In literature, meiosis generally highlights a point, explains a situation, or
understates a response and enhances the effect of a dramatic moment:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more or less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
(W. Shakespeare, King Lear)
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Although it is undoubtedly clear that the king has gone mad, his reaction that “I
fear I am not in my perfect mind” is an example of meiosis.
Points to be remembered about meiosis are as follows:
 It is intentional understatement.
 It is used to belittle a person or an event.
 It is opposite to hyperbole or exaggeration.
 It often makes use of synonyms to give ironic effect.
Therefore, meiosis, or understatement, is opposite to another stylistic device,
hyperbole, which is an overstatement.
In conclusion, meiosis serves as proof of the often-used statement, “Less is
more.” It is a stylistic device, which uses weakened descriptions for a variety of
effects from making someone laugh to being polite.

Oxymoron is a stylistic device in which two contradictory terms or ideas are


intentionally paired in order to make a point – particularly to reveal a deeper or
hidden truth.
Oxymoron is derived from the Greek word όξύμωρος, which is oxymoron
itself: oxys means “sharp” and moros means “stupid.” In Ancient Greece,
oxymoron was used deliberately in order to draw attention to a concealed point. It
is often an illustration of a new thing or concept.

In speech and literature, oxymoron is generally a combination of two opposite


ideas joined together to create a unique, original, and often humorous effect. The
following examples demonstrate the humorous effect that oxymoron can be used to
express:

The dog was alone in a crowd. She is acting naturally.

The Tiffany lamp was a genuine imitation.

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There are several structural patterns of oxymoron:
Patterns: Examples:
attributive  deafening silence
 open secret
 goodbye reception
 worthless gold
 heavy diet
non-attributive  damaged by improvements
 silence was louder than thunder
 conspicuous by his absence
 pain for pleasure
adverbial-attributive  clearly confused
 alone together
 awfully delicious
 weirdly normal
verbal  run slowly
 appear invisible
 wake up dead
 agree to disagree

As oxymoron produces a comical effect, it is a lot of fun to use and to find


them in everyday speech:
 There was a love-hate relationship between the two neighboring states.
 The professor was giving a lecture on virtual reality.
 Paid volunteers were working for the company.
 The channel was repeating the old news again and again.
 The doctor was absolutely unsure of the nature of his illness.
 All the politicians agreed to disagree.

Oxymoron is quite often used in advertisements and different notices:

Sometimes oxymoron is used in the names of movies and books to attract the
attention of the audience and the readers:

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Oxymoron is a significant stylistic device often used in fiction and creative
writing as it allows the author to use contradictory, contrasting concepts placed
together in a manner that actually ends up making sense in a strange, and slightly
complex manner. Oxymorons can add color, humor, and meaning to language in
all sorts of ways. Oxymoron is an interesting stylistic device because it helps to
perceive a deeper level of truth and explore different layers of semantics while
writing.
There are thousands of examples of this stylistic device in literature. Even W.
Shakespeare, the eminent playwright, used it in his most memorable works. The
instance wherein Juliet says “Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet
sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow” in “Romeo and Juliet”, and
“Do that good mischief which make this island thine own forever” from “Macbeth”
are the best examples.
Oxymoron has also made its way into a couple of memorable quotes, the best
examples of them include the following:

To sum up, an oxymoron is not simply a contradiction in terms. A true


oxymoron must be deliberately crafted in advance, with the goal of creating a more
powerful effect or revealing a deeper figurative meaning. In fact, it is a stylistic
device, which, if incorporated in a correct manner, can make the speech and
writing pretty powerful!

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METAPHOR

Exercise 1. Analyze all the metaphors you find, identify their tenor and vehicle,
point out the attributes (borrowed from the vehicle) in the table below.
The Haircut

When I woke up on Saturday, mom said I was a sheepdog


with my long, shaggy hair,
and it was time for me to get my hair cut.

When I looked at her, she was a zebra,


half hidden behind the drapes of my overgrown
bangs. I couldn’t help it. I laughed.
She was right, my hair had to be cut.
The barber’s chair was a tower, and he pumped it higher and higher.
I didn’t really mind. I was an explorer, looking at the world in a whole new
way. The pieces of hair on the floor were an exotic carpet of strange brown fibers
that criss-crossed in a crazy pattern. The floor was an odd new planet, and I was
an astronaut looking down from above. The barber pumped the chair again, and I
was a rocket coming in for a landing.
I couldn’t believe the adventure was over so soon.
On the way home, we stopped at the store to buy some milk.
Unfortunately, there was some amazing sale going on at the time.
We were tiny fish swimming in a sea of people. I could not wait to get out of there
and go home. The drive home was a frustrating experience, because
the holiday traffic had turned the street into a parking lot. I hope
it’s a long time before I’m a sheepdog again!

metaphor tenor vehicle attributes

Exercise 2. Study the following guidelines aimed at identifying metaphors in


sentences:

Metaphor is only one kind of figurative language, but it is the most common
and essential. It might be called the engine of literature. It distinguishes creative
writing from fact-based reporting. Basically, a metaphor links two dissimilar things

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in a creative and meaningful way. A metaphor makes this link directly, and can be
hard to identify, e.g.:

Celine’s voice is pure honey.

John heard the wind screaming


through the trees.

Clearly, a voice cannot be “pure honey”. The metaphor asks us to transfer


meaning from “honey” to “voice” or, in other words, to attach the associations
typical of honey to the voice described in the given sentence. For most, honey has
very positive connotations: it is sweet, rich and pleasurable; therefore, a “pure
honey” voice must be sweet, rich, and pleasurable.
In the second sentence, wind cannot really “scream”. It is blowing loudly and
intensely. However, by metaphorically linking “scream” and “wind” – by
transferring meaning from one to the other – the writer creates a second,
“associative” level of meaning. Screams are associated with pain and fear. If John
hears the wind “screaming”, he is probably in a difficult situation. Perhaps he is
lost and/or frightened. (If John heard the wind “singing in the trees”, the impact of
the sentence would change dramatically).

Exercise 3. Identify the metaphors in the following sentences and analyze them
using the above provided guidelines. Ask yourself:
a) what links what?
b) what associations does the vehicle possess?
c) what is the intended meaning of the metaphor?
d) what mood or feeling does the metaphor create? Are the connotations
positive? negative? why?
1.
 His face was a blank wall.
 His face was an open field.
 His face was a disaster zone.
2.
 The past is an ocean
 The past is an out-of-focus movie.
 The past is a fairy tale.
3.
 You’re a bottle of ice water in the middle of the desert.
 You’re a puppy dog trapped in a cage full of tigers.
 You’re a melting ice-cream cone.
4.
 This city is an obstacle course.
 This city is a ray of light.
 This city is a lost dream.
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5.
 His words scarred my soul.
 His words were beautiful rainbows.
 His words set my belly on fire.
Exercise 4. Read the following metaphorical passages with an active
imagination. Stylistic analysis of metaphors will require thought and
concentration.
1. Consider complex metaphorical description of a winter storm hitting a
small town in the northeastern United States:
The sky purpled, and roaring bursts of light briefly set
fire to the snow – this dusty landscape of a moon. Tree
branches clawed into the soggy wool of the sky. (L. Moore,
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?)
Stylistic analysis
The writer uses rich metaphorical language to create, in only two sentences, a
very dramatic image of an intense winter storm.
1. The “roaring bursts of light” refer to lightning flashes, since lightning is the only
kind of light that “roars”. These flashes do not really “set fire” to the snow, they
just illuminate the snow so brightly that it seems as if it were on fire. The
combined metaphors evoke the drama and intensity of the storm.
2. The snow is linked to the “dusty landscape of a moon”, the snow being the
“moon dust”, suggesting that the wintry, desolate landscape looks as barren as
the surface of the moon.
3. It is common knowledge that dogs “claw” at walls when they are terrified by
thunder / lightning. The image of the tree branches ‘clawing’ into the sky: a)
makes them seem alive, and b) suggests that even Nature feels frightened by the
storm;
4. A “soggy wool” sky suggests a very wet, heavy, low-hanging sky. This
metaphor emphasizes the weight of the storm clouds.
The above metaphors are all original giving the author’s individual perception
of the described phenomena.
2. Consider extended metaphor in poetry:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune – without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me. (E. Dickinson, Hope)
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Stylistic analysis
In this poem, the quality of hope is compared to a bird. As is seen, the different
elements that hope encompasses have been explained by drawing a parallel
between the bird and hope. Hope, it says, is like a bird whereby it is always
singing, is unabashed in hardships, can be found everywhere (from the chilliest
land to the strangest sea), and yet, it asks for nothing in return (never…/ It asked a
crumb of me).
This metaphoric comparison is made throughout the poem, and therefore, what
started out as a metaphor in the first line (thing with feathers / That perches in the
soul), was continued into an extended metaphor, developing the complex image of
hope in every successive line.

Exercise 5. Define whether metaphor or personification is used in the following


sentences:
1. St. Paul’s, they said, had always been more than a church, more than a
cathedral: it stood for London itself. It was the soul of the city. It was
invulnerable. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
2. At the end of the hall he spotted an elevator door closing. He jogged to it and
thrust his hand into the gap. The doors jerked back, startled and apologetic.
(D. Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
3. From the outside, Oslo’s heart – which some maintained the town did not
have – beat with a restful pulse. Night rhythm. The few cars there were
swirled around the circular Traffic Machine, were ejected, one by one,
eastwards to Stockholm and Trondheim, northwards to other parts of town or
westwards to Drammen and Kristiansand. (J. Nesbo, Phantom)
4. Beauty is a blind alley. It is a mountain peak which once reached leads
nowhere. (W.S. Maugham, Cakes and Ale)
5. This coffee is strong enough to get up and walk away. (L. Nichols, In Search
of Eden)
6. The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner. (Cynthia Ozick, Rosa)
7. The angry clouds in the hateful sky cruelly spat down on the poor man who
had forgotten his umbrella. (J. Ruskin, The Modern Painters)
8. Earth is an animal that shakes off its fleas when they dig too deep, bite too
hard. It shifts and our cities fall; it sighs and the coasts are overtaken. We
really shouldn’t be here at all. (D. Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
9. I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful. (S. Plath, Mirror)
10. They tramped gaily along, over decaying logs, through tangled underbrush,
among solemn monarchs of the forest, hung from their crowns to the ground
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with a drooping regalia of grapevines. (M. Twain, The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer)
11. At precisely 6:30 a.m. my alarm clock sprang in to life. Opportunity was
knocking at her door. (J. Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why)
12. Fleet Street itself was clear, at least for the moment, so there was no danger of
it cutting off our retreat. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
13. Passion's a good, stupid horse that will pull the plough six days a week if you
give him the run of his heels on Sundays. But love's a nervous, awkward,
over-mastering brute; if you can't rein him, it's best to have no truck with him.
(D.L. Sayers, Gaudy Night)
14. The sun was getting ready to take its nightly rest. The words hesitated to
escape his mouth. (F. Merriwell, The Disappearance of Felicia)
15. Beneath the town, the air glowed a deep and sultry red. The sun could not
break through, and the city was bathed in unnatural twilight. (A. Taylor, The
Ashes of London)
16. The maid worked in silence, frowning constantly, and tugging at laces and
bandages as if Cat were an inanimate object incapable of feeling pain and
discomfort. Afterwards, she showed Cat her reflection in Aunt Livia’s
Venetian mirror. Cat was a richly dressed doll with slanting eyes and
elaborately curled hair. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
17. Pearl Button swung on the little gate in front of the House of Boxes. It was
the early afternoon of a sunshiny day with little winds playing hide-and-seek
in it. (K. Mansfield, How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped)
18. The flames were travelling at about thirty yards an hour, much the same rate
as they had since the fire started early on Sunday morning. (A. Taylor, The
Ashes of London)

Exercise 6. Provide stylistic analysis of the following excerpts. Identify the type
of metaphor, its tenor and vehicle. Specify the associations that the vehicle
supplies to the tenor, explain the implicit meaning of metaphors, comment on the
stylistic effect of personification as a special subtype of metaphor.

1. An hour passed. Dancing palled and the babies took to sterner sport. They ran
into the dining-room, rounded the big table, and essayed the kitchen door,
from which they were rescued by an expeditionary force of mothers. Having
been rounded up they immediately broke loose, and rushing back to the
dining room tried the familiar swinging door again. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The
Baby Party)
2. I ended up just picking out some flip-flops so that I could have something to
buy, and then I sat down on one of the benches opposite a bank of shoes and
watched Kaitlyn snake her way through the aisles, shopping with the kind of

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intensity and focus that one usually associates with professional chess. (J.
Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
3. Sparks showered over us, driven by the savage wind that was driving the fire
itself. Both of us were coughing. A sliver of flame danced on the front of the
boy’s shirt. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
4. The meaning of his life was an elusive seam of water hundreds of feet below
the surface, and he would periodically drop a bucket down the well, fill it,
bring it up and drink from it. But this did not sustain him for long. (D. Eggers,
A Hologram for the King)
5. Hadn't she known that something good was going to happen to her that
morning – hadn't she felt it in every touch of the sunshine, as its golden
finger-tips pressed her lids open and wound their way through her hair? (E.
Wharton, The Mother’s Recompense)
6. The wind fanned the flames, which ignited the network of beams supporting
the roof. A shower of cinders passed us, some clinging to my sleeve. I
brushed them frantically away. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
7. A “full and beautiful life” means a tight attachment to something – at least, it
is so for all idealists – or else a certain boredom supervenes; there is a certain
waving of loose ends upon the air, like the waving, yearning tendrils of the
vine that spread and rotate, seeking something to clutch, something up which
to climb towards the necessary sun. Finding nothing, the vine can only trail,
half-fulfilled, upon the ground. Such is freedom – a clutching of the right
pole. And human beings are all vines. But especially the idealist. He is a vine,
and he needs to clutch and climb. And he despises the man who is a mere
potato, or turnip, or lump of wood. (D.H. Lawrence, Things)
8. Her heart was a stone lying upon her breast outside of her; her pulses lagged
and paused and she knew something strange was going to happen…the
streaks of light were dark blue and the whole house was snoring in its sleep.
(K.A. Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider)
9. And when the idealists had had a bunch of gaping people in, and Erasmus had
showed off in his best European manner, but still quite cordial and American;
then Erasmus said, looking at her with the queer sharp eyes of a rat:
“Europe’s the mayonnaise all right, but America supplies the good old lobster
– what?” “Every time!” she said, with satisfaction. And he peered at her. He
was in the cage: but it was safe inside. And she, evidently, was her real self at
last. Yet round his nose was a queer, evil, scholastic look, of pure scepticism.
But he liked lobster. (D.H. Lawrence, Things)
10. Even the rats were running away. They streaked over the cobbles in waves of
fiery fur, for some of them had already caught fire. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of
London)
11. Alan had not slept. A circus of worries kept his mind darting all night long,
taking in the action. By the end it was almost funny. When the sun broke over
the sea, his face heavy on the pillow, he’d chuckled to himself. (D. Eggers, A
Hologram for the King)
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12. We were both really full, but dessert — a succulently rich crémeux
surrounded by passion fruit — was too good not to at least nibble, so we
lingered for a while over dessert, trying to get hungry again. The sun was a
toddler insistently refusing to go to bed: It was past eight thirty and still light.
(J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
13. Paris is simply an artificial stage, a revolving stage that permits the spectator
to glimpse all phases of the conflict. Of itself, Paris initiates no
dramas….Paris is simply an obstetrical instrument that tears the living
embryo from the womb and puts it in the incubator. Paris is the cradle of
artificial births. (H.Miller, Tropic of Cancer)
14. The past is a distant, receding coastline, and we are all in the same boat. (J.
Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot)
15. Gus’s mom and dad were standing next to the coffin, hugging everybody as
they passed by, but when they noticed me, they smiled and shuffled over. I
got up and hugged first his dad and then his mom, who held on to me too
tight, like Gus used to, squeezing my shoulder blades. They both looked so
old — their eye sockets hollowed, the skin sagging from their exhausted
faces. They had reached the end of a hurdling sprint, too. (J. Green, The Fault
in Our Stars)
16. The King’s ministers, I thought, were between a rock and a hard place. Either
they had merited God’s displeasure through their wickedness or they were so
ineffectual that they could not prevent the country’s enemies from striking
such a mortal blow at the heart of the kingdom. Either way, the people would
blame the Fire on them and on the King and his court. (A. Taylor, The Ashes
of London)
17. But for some reason that evening the missionary’s thoughts travelled back to
the early days he and his wife had spent on the islands. Tears by now were
struggling with her anger. Her face was red and swollen as though she were
choking.( W.S. Maugham, Rain)
18. Jem bent down for the lantern. As he picked it up, the shadows merged and
swooped to the vaulted ceiling, sliding over stone ribs and bosses. (A. Taylor,
The Ashes of London)
19. The dark spruce forest frowned on either side of the frozen waterway. The
trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and
they seemed to lean toward each other. (J. London, White Fang)
20. And so I considered how to invest this cool deliverance of an evening, this
sudden cargo of hours, standing at my penthouse window, gazing at a winter
roofscape that seemed once more to be crowded with secrets and friends. (M.
Amis, Success)
21. Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
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And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floors
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don't you fall nowa’
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.(L. Hughes, Mother to Son)
22. Ten thousand (daffodils) saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee. (W. Wordsworth, Daffodils)

METONYMY

Exercise 7. Underline the metonymy in the given sentences and explain what
metonymy stands for.

1. The hall applauded.


2. The kettle is boiling.
3. Money just walked in.
4. I am fond of Agatha Christie.
5. We didn’t speak because there were ears all around us.
6. There is too much petticoat in business today.
7. The factory went on strike.
8. The White House will be announcing the decision around noon today.
9. Let me give you a hand, there.
10. The pen is mightier than the sword.
11. He is a man of the cloth.
12. We have always remained loyal to the crown.
13. Lend me an ear.
14. All eyes were on him.
15. The cup is quite tasty.
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16. The United States will be delivering the new product to us very soon.
17. The restaurant has been acting quite rude lately.
18. The Pentagon will be revealing the decision later on in the morning.
19. The Yankees have been throwing the ball really well, and they have been
hitting better than they have been in the past few seasons.
20. If we do not fill out the forms properly, the suits will be after us shortly.

Exercise 8. Provide stylistic analysis of the following excerpts. Identify the type
of metonymy, comment on the stylistic effect and function of the metonymy in
the following sentences.

1. She was still, listening. All the doors in the house seemed to be open. The
house was alive with soft, quick steps and running voices. (K. Mansfield,
Selected stories)
2. My father was a marked man. When the King had been restored, six years
earlier, Parliament had passed an Act of Indemnity, which pardoned all who
had fought against the Crown in the late insurrection. The only people
excepted from this blanket pardon were the Regicides. (A. Taylor, The Ashes
of London)
3. ‘Very naughty!’ he said, ‘the wild Buccaneer!’ and this mot, ‘The Buccaneer,’
was bandied from mouth to mouth, till it became the favourite mode of
alluding to Bosinney. (J. Galsworthy,The Forsyte Saga)
4. Hardly had she sat down when a very stout gentleman wearing a very small
hat that floated on the top of his hat like a little yacht flopped into a chair
opposite hers. I’ll come with you, if it’s all the same”, said Miss Moss. And
she sailed after the little yacht out of the café. (K. Mansfield, Selected Stories)
5. Next they were sent to Soho to get him some French cigarettes, to put him in
mind of a certain charming hotel which overlooked the Seine. Ha had also a
little Manet sent round by the Neuilly Galleries. (J. Collier, Halfway to Hell)
6. Vera came forward in a competent manner. She said, “I am Mrs. Owen's
secretary. There is a car here waiting”. She added, “This is Mr. Lombard”.
The faded blue eyes, shrewd in spite of their age, sized up Lombard. For a
moment a judgement showed in them – had there been any one to read it. (A.
Christie, And Then there were None)
7. I could not run or dance or eat foods rich in nitrogen, but in the city of
freedom, I was among the most liberated of its residents. I did indeed wear the
sundress – this blue print, flowey knee-length Forever 21 thing – with tights
and Mary Janes because I liked being quite a lot shorter than him. I went into
the hilariously tiny bathroom and battled my bedhead for a while until
everything looked suitably mid-2000s Natalie Portman. At six P.M. on the dot
(noon back home), there was a knock. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
8. The word ‘overheated’ began to be used, and small white brows were dried
with small white handkerchiefs. A general attempt to make the babies sit
down began, but the babies squirmed off laps with peremptory cries of

94
“Down! Down!” and the rush into the fascinating dining-room began anew.
(F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
9. Alan followed her through a glass door. – Watch the step, she said, but it was
too late. He’d tripped on the runner below the door, and his arms flew forward
as if attempting flight. A dozen pairs of eyes saw it happen, and a dozen
mouths smiled. It was not a simple trip. It was comical, wild, theatrical. (D.
Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
10. The messenger was not long in returning, followed by a pair of heavy boots
that came bumping along the passage like boxes. (Ch. Dickens, Dombey and
Son)
11. He felt the contrast between the unfinished house with the ladder and the rich
garden with the peacock. It was almost as if the aristocratic birds and bushes
had been there before the bourgeous bricks and mortar. (G.K. Chesterton, The
House of the Peacock)
12. The windows were flung wide in the houses. From within here came the
sound of pianos, little hands chased after each other, practicing scales. (K.
Mansfield, Taking the Veil)
13. The play had begun fairly cheerfully. […] Then the hero had gone blind.
Terrible moment! Edna had cried so much she had to borrow Jimmy’s folded,
smooth-feeling handkerchief as well. Not that crying mattered. Whole rows
were in tears. Even the men blew their noses with a loud trumpeting noise. (K.
Mansfield, Taking the Veil)
14. David stood undecided, at a loss; and then suddenly he registered the painting
over the bed. It was Braque, one he knew he had seen in reproduction. It must
have been listed as “private collection”, he had never associated it with
Breasley. (J. Fowles, The Ebony Tower)
15. There were obviously more than mere criminal considerations at stake, and
she felt publicity was highly undesirable until at least a first thorough
investigation had been made by the police. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
16. It was a great land-locked harbor big enough to hold a fleet of battleships; and
all around it rose, high and steep, the green hills. Near the entrance, getting
such breeze as blew from the sea, stood the governor’s house in a garden. The
Stars and Stripes dangled languidly from a flagstaff. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)

PUN

Exercise 9. Study the examples of pun in the table below. Identify what type of
typographic pun is used in each picture; prove your ideas by naming which word
creates linguistic ambiguity in the sentence and what several meanings of this
word arise simultaneously in the context:

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Exercise 10. Identify the type of pun and analyze its stylistic function in the
following jokes:

1. Did you hear about the Frenchman who jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing
a parachute and landed in the river? The police didn’t arrest him because he
was clearly in Seine.
2. The philosophy professor had no choice but to object to the student
suggesting that light can be considered an object.
3. Three brothers bought a ranch in Texas and planned to raise cattle. They
couldn’t think of a name for their ranch so they asked their mother, who said,
“You should name it ‘Focus’.” The brothers were puzzled. “Why?” they
asked. “Because,” said their mother, “Focus’ is where the sun’s rays meet.”
4. I could not even digest a digest of their findings. It did not help that my
stomach had difficulty digesting food then.
5. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his
grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”
6. - Have your eyes ever been checked?
- No, they’ve always been blue.
7. The grammarian was very logical. He had a lot of comma sense.
8. Why are fish so smart? Because they live in schools.
9. Santa’s helpers are known as subordinate Clauses.
10. The victim wound the bandage around his newly formed wound.
11. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. (G. Marx)
12. “Is life worth living?” – “It depends on the liver.”
13. Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
14. The contract clearly states that it will be void in the event that she contracts a
deadly disease.
15. What musical is about a train conductor? “My Fare, Lady”.
16. I believe we should all pay our tax bill with a smile. I tried — but they wanted
cash.
17. The vegetarian said they’d met, but he’d never seen herbivore.
18. The pirate with a bow was told to bow at the bow of the ship out of courtesy
to the queen.
19. At the drunkard’s funeral, four of his friends carried the bier.
20. I was hit with a can of soda, but I was okay, because it was a soft drink.
21. I bet the butcher the other day that he couldn’t reach the meat that was on the
top shelf. He refused to take the bet, saying that the steaks were too high.
22. How do celebrities stay cool? They have many fans! Where do you find giant
snails? On the ends of giants’ fingers.
23. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
24. Man in Restaurant: I’ll have two lamb chops, and make them lean, please.
Waiter: To which side, sir?
25. There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten
different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win.
Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
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Exercise 11. Identify the type of pun and analyze its stylistic function in the
following excerpts:

1. “Mine is a long and a sad tale!” said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.
“It is a long tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at the
Mouse's tail; “but why do you call it sad?” And she kept on puzzling about it
while the Mouse was speaking. (L. Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland)
2. If there is a will, I want to be in it. (M. Twain, quote)
3. “We called him Tortoise because he taught us” (L. Carroll, Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland)
4. “You is trying to change the subject,” the Giant said sternly. “We is having an
interesting babblement about the taste of the human bean. The human bean is
not a vegetable.” “Oh, but the bean is a vegetable,” Sophie said. “Not the
human bean,” the Giant said. “The human bean has two legs and a vegetable
has no legs at all.” (R. Dahl, The BFG)
5. “You see the earth takes twenty-four hours to turn round on its axis – ‘Talking
of axes,” said the Duchess, “chop off her head!” (L. Carroll, Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland)
6. “I always told you, Gwendolen, my name was Ernest, didn’t I? Well, it is
Ernest after all. I mean it naturally is Ernest.” “On the contrary, Aunt
Augusta, I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of
Being Earnest” (O. Wilde, Importance of Being Earnest)
7. Sophie didn’t argue any more. The last thing she wanted to do was to make
the Giant cross. “The human bean,” the Giant went on, “is coming in dillions
of different flavours. For instance, human beans from Wales is tasting very
whooshey of fish. There is something very fishy about Wales.” “You means
whales,” Sophie said. “Wales is something quite different.” “Wales is
whales,” the Giant said. “Don’t gobblefunk around with words. I will now
give you another example. Human beans from Jersey has a most disgustable
woolly tickle on the tongue,” the Giant said. “Human beans from Jersey is
tasting of cardigans.” (R. Dahl, The BFG)
8. Rosencrantz: Oh yes, it’s dark for day.
Guildenstern: We must have gone north, of course.
Rosencrantz: Off course?
Guildenstern: Land of the midnight sun, that is.
Rosencrantz: Of course. I think it’s getting light. (T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern Are Dead)
9. “There is the tree in the middle,” said the Rose. “What else is it good for?”
“And what could it do, if any danger come?” Alice asked. “It could bark,”
said the Rose. (L. Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)
10. “It says ‘Bough-wough’”, cried a Daisy. “That’s why its branches are called
boughs”. (L. Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

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11. Another thing I said to Caliban the other day – we were listening to jazz – I
said, don’t you dig this? And he said, in the garden. (J. Fowles, The
Collector)
12. The great rivers were represented by veins of jade, the deserts by powdered
diamond and the most notable cities were picked out in precious stones;
Ankh-Morpork, for instance, was a carbuncle (T. Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)
13. They seemed to think the opportunity lost, if they failed to point the
conversation to me, every now and then, and stick the point into me. (Ch.
Dickens, Great Expectations)
14. “Did you hit a woman with a child?” “No, Sir, I hit her with a brick”. (Th.
Smith)
15. When, ding-dong-a-ling-dang, his bell rang again, as if some naughty little
hobbit-boy was trying to pull the handle off. “Someone at the door!” he said,
blinking. “Some four, I should say by the sound,” said Fili. “Besides, we saw
them coming along behind us in the distance.”(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit)

ZEUGMA

Exercise 12. In the following excerpts from literature, identify the cases of
zeugma and its stylistic effect on the reader:
1. We were partners, not soulmates, two separate people who happened to be
sharing a menu and a life. (A. Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses)
2. She lowered her standards by raising her glass, Her courage, her eyes and his
hopes. (Flanders and Swann, Have Some Madeira, M’Dear)
3. “No one”, said I, “whom I have ever known knows as well as you do how to
place properly belt buckles, semi-colons, hotel guests, and hairpins”.
(O’Henry, The Enchanted Profile)
4. He was alternately cudgelling his brains and his donkey when, passing the
workhouse, his eyes encountered the bill on the gate. (Ch. Dickens, Oliver
Twist)
5. But the Mole was very full of lunch, and self-satisfaction, and pride, and
already quite at home in a boat (so he thought). (K. Grahame, The Wind in the
Willows)
6. The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with
derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling
and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a
minute they tugged and tore at each other’s hair and clothes, punched and
scratched each other’s nose, and covered themselves with dust and glory. (M.
Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
7. Now Galadriel rose from the grass, and taking a cup from one of her maidens
she filled it with white mead and gave it to Celeborn. “Now it is time to drink
the cup of farewell,” she said. “Drink, Lord of the Galadhrim! And let not

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your heart be sad, though night must follow noon, and already our evening
draweth nigh.” Then she brought the cup to each of the Company, and bade
them drink and farewell. (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)
8. She wanted to talk, but there seemed to be an embargo on every subject. At
last she recollected that she had been traveling, and they talked of Matlock
and Dove Dale with great perseverance. Yet time and her aunt moved slowly
– and her patience and her ideas were nearly worn out before the tête-à-tête
was over. (J. Austen, Pride and Prejudice)
9. Nervous wife holds her breath and the cell phone
As her hubby’s patience and pool are drained.
Neighborhood tempers are surely well-known,
Nervous wife holds her breath and the cell phone. (R. A. Poteet, Pool’s
Closed)
10. You made me wait for love and a cab ride.
You refused to return keys and kisses.
You left me broken hearted and outside.
You made me wait for love and a cab ride.
I felt cold tears as I cried and I died.
Leaving me against my wants and wishes.
You made me wait for love and a cab ride.
You refused to return my keys and kisses. (C.T. Duet, Zeugma)
11. The massive ship and hopes were lost
No lifeboats left for passengers
Their lips were blue, skin bit by frost
The massive ship and hopes were lost
Atlantic Ocean not yet crossed
The radar failed, no messengers
The massive ship and hopes were lost
No lifeboats left for passengers. (C. Devonshire, Titanic Zeugma)

Exercise 13. Study the following examples and identify whether the humorous
effect is created by pun or zeugma?

1. How do you make a Swiss roll? Push him down a mountain.


2. I work as a baker because I knead the dough.
3. When they departed, she had taken a deep breath and her telephone receiver
from the Chinese tea chest.
4. The rich arrived in pairs and in Rolls Royce.
5. Do you know why it’s easy for a hunter to find a leopard? Because a leopard
is always spotted.
6. He fished for compliments and trout.
7. Do hotel managers get board with their jobs?
8. I met a man who loves eating couches. I think he has a suite tooth.
9. Whether she would break her heart, or break the looking-glass, Mr.
Bounderby could not at all foresee. (Ch. Dickens)
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10. She bought the recent election, an antique cereal bowl, and the farm.
11. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other,
“You stay here; I’ll go on a-head.”
12. He held a high rank and an old notepad.
13. He bit the bullet, his hand, and the dust.
14. Elle wore a pink hat and a beatific smile.
15. You were right, so I left.
16. She killed time and the mailman.
17. When a vulture flies he takes carrion luggage.
18. Now when all the clowns that you have commissioned.
19. I cried when I found out my macaroni had expired. It pasta way.
20. Have died in battle or in vain. (B. Dylan, Queen Jane Approximately)
21. Atheism is a non-prophet institution. (G. Carlin)
22. You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit. (Star
Trek: The Next Generation)
23. Did you take a bath? No, only towels, is there one missing?
24. Get out of my dreams and into my car. (Billy Ocean)
25. Where do fish learn to swim? They learn from a school.(L. Carroll, Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland)
26. On his fishing trip, he caught eight trout and a cold.

IRONY

Exercise 14. Match the type of irony and its definition:


Type of irony Definition
1. verbal irony a. contrast between what a character thinks is true and
what the reader knows is true
2. situational irony b. contrast between what is said and what is meant
3. dramatic irony c. contrast between what the reader or character
expects will occur and actually happens. It often
involves an outcome that is viewed as unexpected
or not what “ought” to happen.

Exercise 15. Study the sentences below and elicit verbal irony:
1. The Sergeant: ... is his Highness the prince very busy?
Varinka: Yes, his Highness the prince is verу busy. He is singing out of tune;
he is biting his nails; he is scratching his head; ... he is too lazy to do
anything. (B. Shaw, The Great Catherine)
2. Meanwhile, there was Mrs. Fielding to be placated. She required progress
reports. […] Nominally, and certainly when it came to Mrs. Fielding’s
demands for information, the inquiry would remain a much higher
responsibility. The sergeant was fully aware of the situation: he was to make

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noises like a large squad. He was not really expected to discover anything,
only to suggest that avenues were still being busily explored. (J. Fowles, The
Enigma)
3. Mrs. Bogart lived across the alley from the rear of Carol’s house. She was a
widow, and a Prominent Baptist, and a Good Influence. She had so painfully
reared three sons to be Christian gentlemen that one of them had become an
Omaha bartender, one a professor of Greek, and one, Cyrus N. Bogart, a boy
of fourteen who was still at home, the most brazen member of the toughest
gang in Boytown. (S.Lewis, Main Street)
4. Miss Sharp’s father was a clever man; a pleasant companion; a careless
student; with a great propensity for running into debt, and a partiality for the
tavern. When he was drunk, he used to beat his wife and daughter; and the
next morning, with a headache, he would rail at the world for its neglect of his
genius and abuse. (W. Thackeray, Vanity Fair)
5. “Never mind”, said the stranger, cutting the address very short, “said enough
– no more; smart chap that cabman – handled his fives well; but if I'd been
your friend in the green jemmy – damn me – punch his head – ‘cod I would –
pig’s whisper – pieman too, – no gammon”. This coherent speech was
interrupted by the entrance of the Rochester coachman. (Ch. Dickens, The
Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club)
6. The hour for parting came; and the grief of that moment was considerably
lessened by the admirable discourse which Miss Pinkerton addressed to her
pupil. Not that the parting speech caused Amelia to philosophize, or that it
armed her in any way with a calmness; but it was intolerably dull, pompous
and tedious. (W. Thackeray, Vanity Fair)
7. Marshal Von Grock was a true Prussian, not only entirely practical but
entirely prosaic. He had never read a line of poetry himself; but he was no
fool. He had the sense of reality which belongs to soldiers; […] He did not
scoff at visions: he only hated them. He knew that a poet or a prophet could
be as dangerous as an army. And he was resolved that the poet should die. It
was his one compliment to poetry; and it was sincere. (G.K. Chesterton, The
Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
8. Her passion for music was complete bunkum. Once at a concert to which I
went with her she slept all through the Fifth Symphony, and I was charmed to
hear her during the interval telling people that Beethoven stirred her so much
that she hesitated to come and hear him, for with those glorious themes
singing through her head, it meant that she wouldn’t sleep a wink all night.
(W.S. Maugham, The Voice of the Turtle)
9. A local busybody, unable to contain her curiosity any longer, asked an
expectant mother point-blank whether she was going to have a baby. “Oh,
goodness, no,” the young woman said pleasantly. “I’m just carrying this for a
friend.” (P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and Wooster)
10. A sacrifice post! They plonked you out there in the mud, you and a couple of
N.C.O’s, and some men – and your job was to get killed if the enemy
attacked. You weren’t allowed to retreat; you knew that nobody would be
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allowed to succor or reinforce you; the idea was that you held out as long as
possible with a couple of Lewis guns, and then fired a coloured light to give
warning to the artillery when capture and death were inevitable. A very
pleasant prospect. A most jolly lookout. (R. Aldington, The Death of a Hero)
11. Mrs. Tower had been seized with the prevailing passion for decoration; and
with the ruthlessness of her sex had sacrificed chairs in which she had
comfortably sat for years, tables, cabinets, ornaments, on which her eyes had
dwelt in peace since she was married, pictures that had been familiar to her
for a generation; and delivered herself into the hands of an expert. Nothing
remained in her drawing-room with which she had any association, or to
which any sentiment was attached; and she had invited me that day to see the
fashionable glory in which she now lived. Everything that could be pickled
was pickled and what couldn't be pickled was painted. Nothing matched, but
everything harmonised. (W.S. Maugham, Jane)

Exercise 16. What type of irony is evident in the pictures below:

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Exercise 17. Below you will find some ironic situations. Provide an explanation
why these sentences are attributed to situational irony:
1. A fire station burns down.
2. A marriage counselor files for divorce.
3. The police station gets robbed.
4. A post on Facebook complaining how useless Facebook is.
5. The teacher fails the test.
6. An anti-technology group sets up a website to recruit new club members.
7. Two people want a divorce, but during the proceedings, they discover they
still love each other and get back together.
8. A Wall Street investor makes fun of others who are afraid of a risky stock
pick but later loses all his money.
9. A mother complains about her lazy children, not realizing they have been
secretly making her a birthday present.
10. A man works hard for many years to save for retirement; on his last day of
work he is given a lottery ticket worth millions.

Exercise 18. Use online resources to find out more about the books the excerpts
from which are given below and comment on the situational irony in these
books:

1. “O my love, my wife! Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, Hath
had no power yet upon thy beauty.” Romeo finds Juliet drugged and assumes
she is dead. He kills himself but then she awakens, sees that he is dead and
kills herself. (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
2. Cronus believed a prophecy that he would be overthrown by his children so
he devoured any children Rhea, his wife, had. However, she tricked him with
Zeus, giving Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of the
baby. Zeus later rescued his siblings and they overthrew their father. (Greek
mythology)
3. When a wife hears of her husband's death she begins to imagine a life of
freedom without him, but he suddenly returns home alive and well. (K.
Chopin, The Story of an Hour)
4. “Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.” (S.T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
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5. Throughout the books, Harry Potter is expected to kill Voldemort, but he
eventually realizes he must allow Voldemort to kill him instead. (J.K.
Rowling, The Harry Potter)

Exercise 19. Study the excerpts and comment on the dramatic irony in literature
and movies:

1. In An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, the protagonist, Sir Chiltern, is asked


by a mysterious woman from his past to use his political clout in support of a
financial scam. Sir Chiltern refuses her, and tells his wife of his decision.
Later, the woman, who is named Mrs. Cheveley, privately threatens to ruin
Sir Chiltern's career if he doesn’t comply with her request, and he is forced to
comply. Mrs. Cheveley then triumphantly announces Sir Chiltern’s decision
to his wife, Lady Chiltern, who is shocked to learn of her husband’s
corruption:
Lady Chiltern: “Why did you wish to meet my husband, Mrs.
Cheveley?”
Mrs. Cheveley: “Oh, I will tell you. I wanted to interest him in this
Argentine Canal scheme, of which I dare say you have heard. And I
found him most susceptible,—susceptible to reason, I mean. A rare
thing in a man. I converted him in ten minutes. He is going to make a
speech in the House to-morrow night in favour of the idea. We must
go to the Ladies’ Gallery and hear him! It will be a great occasion!”
2.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare is one of the best examples of dramatic
irony. In this case, Duncan says that he trusts Macbeth, not knowing about the
prophecy of witches that Macbeth is going to be the king, and that he would
kill him. The audience, on the other hand, knows about the prophecy. This
demonstrates dramatic irony:

“There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.”

3. J. Richman’s comedy movie, There’s Something About Mary, contains several


instances of dramatic irony. For instance, when Ted thinks that the police have
arrested him for picking up a hitchhiker, the audience knows that the police are
actually interrogating him about a murder. Therefore, when Ted delivers these
seemingly innocuous lines, it is ironic to the audience:

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“I’ve done it several times before.”
“It’s no big deal.”

ANTONOMASIA

Exercise 20. Study the following excerpts with antonomasia and explain the
way antonomasia has been created (whether through a charactonym or
through allusion to mythological, historical and biblical figures, or literary
characters). You may need to get some information from online resources to
do appropriate stylistic analyses.

1. Lady Sneerwell: Why truly Mrs. Clackit has a very pretty Talent – a great deal
of industry – yet – yes – been tolerably successful in her way – To my
knowledge she has been the cause of breaking off six matches, of three sons
being disinherited and four daughters being turned out of doors. Of three
several elopements, and two divorces. (R.B. Sheridan, The School for
Scandal)
2. You would have told all Paris, if I had not made you keep your temper, and
where would you have been now? – in prison at St. Pelagie for debt, and not
established in London and have some house with every comfort about you –
you were in such a fury you were ready to murder your brother, you wicked
Cain, and what good would have come of remaining angry? (W. Thackeray,
Vanity Fair)
3. The curious and sometimes creepy effect which Mr. Pond produced upon me,
despite his commonplace courtesy and dapper decorum, was possibly
connected with some memories of childhood; and the vague verbal
association of his name. He was a Government official who was an old friend
of my father; and I fancy my infantile imagination had somehow mixed up the
name of Mr. Pond with the pond in the garden. When one came to think of it,
he was curiously like the pond in the garden. He was so quiet at all normal
times, so neat in shape and so shiny, so to speak, in his ordinary reflections of
earth and sky and the common daylight. And yet I knew there were some
queer things in the pond in the garden. Once in a hundred times, on one or
two days during the whole year, the pond would look oddly different; or there
would come a flitting shadow or a flash in its flat serenity; and a fish or a frog
or some more grotesque creature would show itself to the sky. And I knew
there were monsters in Mr. Pond also: monsters in his mind which rose only
for a moment to the surface and sank again. They took the form of monstrous
remarks, in the middle of all his mild and rational remarks. Some people
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thought he had suddenly gone mad in the midst of his sanest conversation.
But even they had to admit that he must have suddenly gone sane again. (G.K.
Chesterton The Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
4. The basic facts of chemistry and physics remain. Like is drawn to like.
Dogma may bind some minds; fear, others. But there are always those in
whom the chemistry and physics of life are large, and in whom neither dogma
nor fear is operative. Society lifts its hands in horror; but from age to age the
Helens, the Messalinas, the Du Barrys, the Pompadours, the Maintenons, and
the Nell Gwynns flourish, and point a freer basis of relationship than we have
yet been able to square with our lives. (Th. Dreiser, The Financier)
5. Jerry: The guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about
the ordering procedure. He’s secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi.
Elaine: Why? What happens if you don’t order right?
Jerry: He yells and you don’t get your soup. (Seinfeld, The Soup Nazi)
6. I’m a myth. I’m Beowulf. I’m Grendel. (K. Rove, TV interview)
7. Go and ask Simon – he’s the Einstein of the family. (M. Stark, Encyclopedic
Learner’s Dictionaries)
8. Then the talkative and meddlesome servant of Doctor Caius, Mistress
Quickly, emerged in the doorway secretly hoping to get a profit out of her
intimate friendship with Anne Page. (W. Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of
Windsor)
9. At the hotel bar she was immediately hit on by the local Don Juan. (Merriam-
Webster, vocabulary entry)
10. Sir Toby Belch with the force for vitality, noise and good cheer, as his name
suggests, storms onto the stage the morning after a hard night out,
complaining about the sombre melancholy that hangs over his niece’s
household: “What a plague means my niece to take the death of her brother
thus? I'm sure care’s an enemy to life.”(W. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)
11. He signed the log, got up and left the cockpit to flash his row of pearly-white
pilot teeth set in his tanned pilot face to the passengers. The smile that would
tell them that he was Mr. Confidence in person. Pilot. The professional title
that had once made him something in other people’s eyes. He had seen it, how
people, men and women, young and old, once the magic word ‘pilot’ had
been enunciated, had looked at him and discovered not only the charisma, the
nonchalance, the boyish charm, but also the captain’s dynamism and cold
precision, the superior intellect and the courage of a man who defied physical
laws and the innate fears of mere mortals. (J. Nesbo, Phantom)
12. He is a regular Sherlock Holmes; no one can cheat him in his business.
13. Mrs. Malaprop: Sir, you overpower me with good breeding. He is the very
pineapple of politeness! You are not ignorant, captain, that this giddy girl has
somehow contrived to fix her affections on a beggarly, strolling,
eavesdropping ensign, whom none of us have seen, and nobody knows
anything of. (R.B. Sheridan, The Rivals)
14. Robert, the Casanova of the plains, was in a nicely stirred frenzy of desire and
frustration. (M. Bragg, Crystal Rooms)
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EPITHET

Exercise 21. Analyze the semantic nature of epithets in the following excerpts,
identify whether they are figurative or fixed ones:

1. Smokey came toward Jack now, his paper cap tipped forward, his narrow
weasel’s head slightly inclined, his lips parted to show his alligator teeth. (S.
King, The Talisman)
2. A true love never tires or wanes but is with us always, like our blood, our
breath. I shall never weary of that brow, nor those grey, wistful eyes.” (W.
Levitan, Abelard and Heloise)
3. On fine days, the old man sat in the garden and shouted and waved his stick at
marauding birds and small boys. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
4. It seemed so glandular, the enormous fleshy ferns and cacti reaching toward
the street as if to lure pedestrians into some fatal, steroid-laden embrace.
There were, however, no pedestrians, so perhaps the plants had already
eaten… (J. Stahl, Permanent Midnight)
5. To love oneself is the beginning of the life-long romance. (O. Wilde, Phrases
and Philosophies for the Young)
6. When he got off the train at his station he shook his head at an importunate
taxi man, and began to walk up the long hill towards his house through the
crisp December twilight. It was only six o’clock but the moon was out,
shining with proud brilliance on the thin sugary snow that lay over the lawns.
(F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
7. On a nearby roof, a bird took flight but not even that could spoil this beautiful
moment as rosy-fingered dawn cupped Romford in its hands and thumbed
open the new day’s crack. (G. Marenghi, Darkplace)
8. Like all bitter men, Flint knew less than half the story and was more
interested in unloading his own peppery feelings than in learning the truth. (J.
Cheever, The Trouble of Marcie Flint)
9. We drift through the hush of God’s twilight pale,
With no response to our friendly hail,
We raise our sails and search for majestic light,
While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night,
Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea,
Back to the place that he asked us to be,
Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near,
In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears,
Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine,
The wasted tales of wishful time,
Are we a fish on a line lured with bait. (Sh. Alder, The Voyager)
10. And yet Valerie and Erasmus went out of doors; they even went out to get
away from its ancient, cold-floored, stone-heavy silence and dead dignity.
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“We’re living on the past, you know, Dick,” said Valerie to her husband.
(D.H. Lawrence, Things)
11. “Suppose I broke away and left you, or made it impossible you to stay. That I
was base and false; in every way unworthy of your love, and it was clearly
right for you to go, what would you do then?” he interrupted with a
triumphant laugh. (L.M. Alcott, Phillip and Rosamund)
12. Unruly mobs of young clouds gather in the bright sky, riotous and surging,
full of threat that convinces no one.”(K. Kesey, Sometimes A Great Notion)
13. Long dormant feelings poured through my dried-up limbs and wound through
me, slowly filling the emptiness. Like an irrigated field, I felt myself blossom
and grow with new vigor. He was the sun, and the tenderness he showed me
was life-giving water. (C. Houck, Tiger’s Curse)
14. A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he
was buried under a casement of flesh. Head shaped like a Crenshaw, no neck,
reddish hair ruched back. Features as bunched as kissed fingertips. Eyes the
color of plastic. The monstrous chin, a freakish shelf jutting from the lower
face. (E.A. Proulx, The Shipping News)
15. A little smile, a word of cheer,
A bit of love from someone near,
A little gift from one held dear,
Best wishes for the coming year.
These make a merry Christmas! (J.G. Whittier, Narrative and Legendary
Poems)

Exercise 22. Identify epithets in the following excerpts, define their structural
type and analyze their stylistic function:

1. Such was the background of the wonderful, cruel, enchanting, bewildering,


fatal, great city. (O. Henry, The Duel)
2. Daniel claims that his parents don’t want Anna to get a divorce and he has
told his sister to leave her pig of a husband and come live with his family. (C.
Spargo, Newspaper Article)
3. Here he fell ill of some mysterious ailment that kept him in hospitals for
months. He bore it with the mute and uncomprehending patience of a dog.
(W.S. Maugham, Salvatore)
4. But if he thought his hail-fellow-well-met air, his activity in public works, his
open purse when subscriptions were needed for the annual regatta or for the
harvest festival, his willingness to do anyone a good turn were going to break
the barriers at Blackstable, he was mistaken. (W.S. Maugham, Cakes and Ale)
5. The lane was bordered on the left by wild, low-growing brambles, on the right
by a high, neatly manicured hedge. The men’s long cloaks flapped around
their ankles as they marched. (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows)

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6. Mrs. Bogart was not the acid type of Good Influence. She was the soft, damp,
fat, sighing, indigestive, clinging, melancholy, depressingly hopeful kind. (S.
Lewis, Main Street)
7. The street lamp at the corner flickers and glares, so that the bitten shadows of
the unwinded maples seem to toss faintly upon the August darkness. From a
distance, quite faint though clear, he can hear the sonorous waves of massed
voices from the church: a sound at once austere and rich, abject and proud,
swelling and falling in the quiet summer darkness like a harmonic tide. (W.
Faulkner, Light in August)
8. Tom’s arrogant eyes roamed the crowd. “Perhaps you know that lady,”
Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in
state under a white-plum tree. Tom and Daisy stared, with that particularly
unreal feeling that accompanies the recognition of a hitherto ghostly celebrity
of the movies. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
9. That was the night – Thursday night – that Jack first saw Genny County”s
answer to Randolph Scott. The crowd was a little smaller than it had been
Wednesday night - very much a day-before-payday crowd - but there were
still enough men present to fill the bar and spill over into the tables and
booths. (S. King, The Talisman)
10. What little light there was showed her the curtains drawn about the bed. It
also caught on someone standing beside it in the dark – a dwarf-like man with
a great wig; and for a nightmarish instant she thought that Sir Denzil
Croughton was waiting for her. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
11. Sunday night, we had pizza with green peppers and broccoli. We were seated
around our little circular table in the kitchen when my phone started singing,
but I wasn’t allowed to check it because we have a strict no-phones-during-
dinner rule. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
12. There was one thing about which Geoffrey and his virago of a wife agreed
and that was that their son Henry was not only going to keep his hold on
Normandy but was going to take the crown of England on the death of
Stephen. (P. Jean, The Plantagenet Prelude)
13. Thus, instead of two rival and contending flames, a larger and a lesser, each
burning with a lurid and uncertain glare, we had a blended and a softened
light whose genial ray diffused an equable warmth throughout the land. (Ch.
Dickens, Little Dorrit)
14. This ‘very singular-looking man’, as Mrs. Small afterwards called him was of
medium height and strong build, with a pale, brown face, a dust-coloured
moustache, very prominent cheekbones, and hollow cheeks. He had sherry-
coloured eyes, disconcertingly inattentive at times. (J. Galsworthy, The
Forsyte Saga)
15. It occurred to me that the reason my parents had no money was me. I’d
sapped the family savings with Phalanxifor copays, and Mom couldn’t work
because she had taken on the full-time profession of Hovering Over Me. I
didn’t want to put them even further into debt. I told Mom I want to call
Augustus to get her out of the room, because I couldn’t handle her I-can’t-
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make-my-daughter’s-dreams-come-true sad face. (J. Green, The Fault in Our
Stars)
16. Bishop came in with meekness, and yet with a strong and rapid step as if he
wanted to get his seven-league dress-shoes on, and go round the world to see
that everybody was in a satisfactory state. Bishop had no idea that there was
anything significant in the occasion. That was the most remarkable trait in his
demeanour. He was crisp, fresh, cheerful, affable, bland; but so surprisingly
innocent. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
17. At first it amused him to go to the tiny flat off the Buckingham Palace Road
in which these two young actors lived. He came several times and he thought
it quite an adventure when they asked him to have a luncheon with them
which was cooked and served by a scarecrow of a woman whom they called
Evie. (W.S. Maugham, Theatre)
18. Jack looked toward Smokey, as desperate as a cornered animal but Smokey
was staring back with the thin-lipped, out-of-patience expression that he got
on his face just before he popped Lori one. He started toward the phone,
barely aware that his feet were moving; he stepped deeper and deeper into
that capsule of coldness, feeling the gooseflesh run up his arms, feeling the
moisture crackle in his nose.(S. King, The Talisman)
19. The three places in question were three little rotten holes in this Island,
containing three little ignorant, drunken, guzzling, dirty, out-of-the-way
constituencies, that had reeled into Mr Merdle’s pocket. (Ch. Dickens, Little
Dorrit)
20. Harry led them all back into the kitchen where, laughing and chattering, they
settled on chairs; Ron, long and lanky; Hermione, her bushy hair tied back in
a long plait; Mad-Eye, battle-worn, one-legged, his bright blue magical eye
whizzing in its socket; Fleur with her long silvery blonde hair; Hagrid, with
his wild hair and beard, standing hunchbacked to avoid hitting his head on the
ceiling; and Mundungus Fletcher, small, dirty, and hangdog, with his droopy
beady hound’s eyes and matted hair. Harry’s heart seemed to expand and
glow at the sight: He felt incredibly fond of all of them, even Mundungus,
whom he had tried to strangle the last time they had met!” (J.K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

HYPERBOLE

Exercise 23. Explain the use of hyperbole in the pictures below:

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Exercise 24. Study the sentence below and identify hyperbole there:
1. Mr. Baptist, sole lodger of Mr. and Mrs. Plornish was reputed in whispers to
lay by the savings which were the result of his simple and moderate life, for
investment in one of Mr. Merdle’s certain enterprises. The female Bleeding
Hearts, when they came for ounces of tea, and hundredweights of talk, gave
Mrs. Plornish to understand, that how, ma’am, they had heard from their
cousin Mary Anne, which worked in the line, that his lady’s dresses would fill
three wagons. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
2. The dead are visible only in the terrible lidless eye of memory. The living,
thank heaven, retain the ability to surprise and to disappoint. Your Hazel is
alive, Waters, and you mustn’t impose your will upon another’s decision,
particularly a decision arrived at thoughtfully. She wishes to spare you pain,
and you should let her. You may not find young Hazel’s logic persuasive, but
I have trod through this vale of tears longer than you, and from where I’m
sitting, she’s not the lunatic. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
3. I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from
head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far.
(M. Twain, Old Times on the Mississippi)
4. At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain
had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century. (G. Márquez, Living
to Tell the Tale)
5. A man can have a belly you could house commercial aircraft in and a grand
total of eight greasy strands of hair, which he grows real long and combs
across the top of his head so that he looks, when viewed from above, like an
egg in the grasp of a giant spider, plus this man can have B.O. to the point
where he interferes with radio transmissions, and he will still be convinced
that, in terms of attractiveness, he is borderline Don Johnson. (D. Barry,
Revenge of the Pork Person)
6. He is just as good and sweet and lovable and unpretending as a man can be,
but he doesn't know enough to come in when it rains. Now that is absolutely
true. He is the supremest fool in the universe; and until half an hour ago
nobody knew it but himself and me. (M. Twain, Luck)
7. … the washerwoman had lost the two girls who usually came in to assist her;
presumably they and their families were somewhere among the flood of
refugees. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
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8. My toaster has never once worked properly in four years. I follow the
instructions and push two slices of bread down in the slots, and seconds later
they rifle upwards. Once they broke the nose of a woman I loved dearly. (W.
Allen, My Speech to the Graduates)
9. Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all
the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so
frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had
to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before.
(Babe the Blue Ox, American folktale)
10. Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay. (W. Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud)
11. “I should have thought a woman of your tact would find a way to deal with a
situation like that.” “Ah, but don’t you see, I haven’t a chance. She’s so
immeasurably kind. She has a heart of gold. She bores me to death, but I
wouldn’t for anything let her suspect it.” (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
12. While he rode along that one abrupt bridge, there spread out to infinity all
round him something a myriad times more inhuman than the sea. For a man
could not swim in it, nor sail boats on it, nor do anything human with it; he
could only sink in it and practically without a struggle. (G.K. Chesterton, The
Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
13. She was of a wonderful generosity, and would give away everything she
possessed than a story of misfortune touched her soft heart. She was a great
lover, prepared to sacrifice the world for the man she loved she was tender,
unselfish, and disinterested. In fact she was much too good to be true. (W.S.
Maugham, The Voice of a Turtle)
14. It was not a mere man he was holding, but a giant; or a block of granite. The
pull was unendurable. The pain unendurable. (J.R. Ullman, A Boy and a Man)
15. Why does a boy who’s fast as a jet take all day and sometimes two to get to
school? (J. Ciardi, Speed Adjustments)

MEIOSIS

Exercise 25. Study the pictures below; define the function that meiosis performs:

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Exercise 26. Identify meiosis in the following excerpts and name its function:
1. And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me
now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn’t a finger-
mark on it. […] But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask
for more than my proper share.” (J.K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat)
2. Between the lower east side tenements the sky is a snotty handkerchief. (M.
Piercy, The Butt of Winter)
3. “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not really an
operation at all.” The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on. “I
know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air
in”. (E. Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants)
4. Isaac and I communicated almost exclusively through sighs. Each time
someone discussed anticancer diets or snorting ground-up shark fin or
whatever, he’d glance over at me and sigh ever so slightly. I’d shake my head
microscopically and exhale in response. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
5. King Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary!
Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch!
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King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
Black Knight: No, it isn’t.
King Arthur: What’s that, then?
Black Knight: [after a pause] I’ve had worse. (G. Chapman, Monty Python
and the Holy Grail)
6. Minerva McGonagall is a powerful witch and animagus, able to turn into a cat
with markings around the eyes, similar to her square spectacles. McGonagall
has a stern exterior, keeping her classes strictly controlled and following the
rules closely. Yet, she has a warm heart and cares deeply for her friends and
students. When asked by Harry whether the teachers would be able to
magically protect Hogwarts from Voldemort, she said: “We teachers are
rather good at magic, you know.” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows)
7. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate
purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without
comment, a series of mere household events. (E.A. Poe, The Black Cat)
8. Gulliver, an American miniature horse, is set to become in the world. The cat-
sized pony was born measuring just 30 centimeters tall and weighing 3 kilos.
His owner is seeking an entry for him in the Guinness World Records.
(news.cgtn.com)
9. Rainwater is the chief article of diet at supper. The bread is worth two-thirds
rainwater, the beefsteak-pie is exceedingly rich in it, and the jam, and the
butter, and the salt, and the coffee have all combined with it to make soup.
(J.K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat)
10. “Seen lots of murders?” “One or two”, said Poirot modestly. (A. Christie,
Murder on the Orient Express)

Exercise 27. Hyperbole and meiosis are two sides of the same coin. Hyperbole,
making something seem bigger or more important than it really is, uses
exaggeration to express strong emotion, emphasize a point, or evoke humor.
Meiosis makes something seem less important than it really is. Look at the
following examples. In the sentences below identify whether you deal with
hyperbole or meiosis.

1. Sally was a tad annoyed when her brother sneaked a peak at her secret diary.
2. “The weather is brisk,” Nathan admitted, as the thermometer read minus ten
degrees Fahrenheit.
3. That hotel room was so small that even the mice had hunched shoulders.
4. “Oh, I’ve been known to bang out a chord or two,” said the renowned concert
pianist.
5. Every word Laurie says is a lie, including “a” and “the.”
6. It rained enough yesterday to float a steel mill.
7. I’ve wanted to go to France since the beginning of time.
8. Herbert doesn’t actually brush his teeth; he just waves a toothbrush near his
mouth.
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9. How ugly is that shirt? Well, if you paid more than a nickel for it, you were
ripped off.
10. Maya was somewhat pleased when she aced the calculus final.
11. You might say Albert Einstein had a good head for numbers.

OXYMORON

Exercise 28. Find oxymoron in the following pictures and provide the reason for
your choice:

Exercise 29. Identify the structural pattern of oxymoron in each excerpt:


1. Reality is too complicated and scary for that. Instead, it’s way easier to ignore
all data that doesn’t fit your preconceptions and believe all data that does. I
believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe, and we’ll agree to
disagree. It’s liberal tolerance meets dark ages denialism. It’s very hip right
now. (N. Hill, The Nix)
2. You had to admire a guy who called his own new book a classic before it was
published and anyone had a chance to read it. (W. Goldman, The Princess
Bride)
3. ...lies can sound awfully pretty when a girl is in love with the person telling
them. (G. Zevin, All These Things I’ve Done)
4. The bookful blockhead ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue still edifies his ears,
And always list’ning to himself appears. (A. Pope, An Essay on Criticism)
5. …it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had
been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which
things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other
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secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at
any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even
of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain. (O. Wilde,
The Picture of Dorian Grey)
6. The shackles of an old love straitened him,
His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
Yet the great knight in his mid-sickness made
Full many a holy vow and pure resolve. (A. Tennyson, Lancelot And Elaine)
7. I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him.
So, again, good night.
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady. (W. Shakespeare, Hamlet)
8. The roof fell in with a rumble that was audible above the crackle of fire.
There was a high, wordless cry. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
9. I knew Salvatore first when he was a boy of fifteen with a pleasant, ugly face,
a laughing mouth and care-free eyes. He used to spend the morning lying
about the beach with next to nothing on and his brown body was as thin as a
rail. (W.S. Maugham, Salvatore)
10. All changed, changed suddenly / A terrible beauty is born. (W.B. Yeats,
Easter 1916)
11. The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not. (W. Wordsworth, The World is Too Much With Us)
12. The wind had moderated a little overnight and had shifted from the east to the
south. The air was full of dark flakes, fluttering and turning. “Black snow,” he
said and, though the morning was already so warm, he shivered. (A. Taylor,
The Ashes of London)
13. A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace, flamed; yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv’d only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end. (J. Milton, Paradise Lost)
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14. A strong believer in the voting value of personal contact, Fielding gave such
surgeries twice a month. The agenda of that ominously appropriate day and
date was perfectly normal. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
15. Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical! Dove-feather’d raven! Wolvish-ravening
lamb! (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
16. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But ’tis not so. (W. Shakespeare, The Life and Death of Julius Caesar)
17. Piggy needs but a word. When the girls named him, an undeserving stigma
was cast upon the noble family of swine. (O’Henry, An Unfinished Story)
18. Ugliness is one of the seven deadly virtues, Gladys. You, as a good Tory,
must not underrate them. Beer, the Bible, and the seven deadly virtues have
made our England what she is. (O. Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey)
19. When young Rockwall entered the library the old man laid aside his
newspaper, looked at him with a kindly grimness on his big, smooth, ruddy
countenance, rumpled his mop of white hair with one hand and rattled the
keys in his pocket with the other. (O’Henry, Mammon and the Archer)
20. Some of them fled, although they had been trained to cope with just such an
unthinkable eventuality. The old young legs twitched and quivered. Claw
hands beat and twisted and danced on the air. (St. King, The Jaunt)
21. I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. But I found out
afterwards that he was a mild man of a heavy temperament, whose place in
the business was to keep himself in the background, and be constantly
exhibited by name as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. (Ch. Dickens,
David Copperfield)
22. My God, I thought, what a hideous thing! The portrait itself wasn’t so bad. He
had caught the woman’s expression – the forward drop of the head, the wide
blue eyes, the large ugly-beautiful mouth with the trace of a smile in the
corner. (R. Dahl, Someone Like You)
23. Nor, indeed, was it the death of Basil Hallward that weighed most upon his
mind. It was the living death of his own soul that troubled him. (O. Wilde, The
Picture of Dorian Grey)
24. Moreover, in half an hour's time, Connie heard Clifford talking to Mrs.
Bolton, in a hot, impulsive voice, revealing himself in a sort of passionless
passion to the woman, as if she were half mistress, half foster-mother to him.
(D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover)
25. No outlet was observed in any portion of its vast extent, ... yet a flood of
intense rays rolled throughout, and bathed the whole in a ghastly splendour.
(E.A. Рое, The Fall of the House of Usher)

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UNIT 5

LEXICAL-SYNTACTICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES

Learning Objectives:

To understand  Lexical-syntactical stylistic devices


To identify  Antithesis
 Climax
 Anticlimax
 Simile
 Litotes
 Periphrasis
Antithesis, climax, anticlimax, simile, litotes and periphrasis are considered
lexical-syntactical stylistic devices, which are generally based on the employment
of both determined scope of lexical meanings and fixed structure.
The term antithesis derives from the Greek ἀντί (anti) meaning “against” and
θέσις (thesis) meaning “position”. Antithesis can be defined as a stylistic device
involving a seeming contradiction of ideas, words, clauses, or sentences within a
balanced grammatical structure. This combination of a balanced structure with
opposite ideas serves to highlight the contrast between them.
Antithesis is a pair of statements aimed to show contrast due to the use of
antonyms and similar grammatical structures.
In this Japanese proverb antithesis is based on
antonyms: little – much, victory – defeat that vividly
oppose the key notions, emphasizing the stark
contrast between them and making them memorable.
Consider other examples of antithesis:
That’s one small step for a man – one giant leap for
mankind.” (N. Armstrong, US astronaut, 1969)

In this example, N. Armstrong is referring to man walking on the moon.


Although taking a step is an ordinary activity for most people, taking a step on the
moon, in outer space, is a major achievement for all humanity.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine”.

(A. Pope)
Antithesis in this example is used to point out that humans possess both
worldly and godly qualities; they can all make mistakes, but they also have the
power to free others from blame.
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“The world will little note, nor long remember, what we
say here, but it can never forget what they did”.

(A. Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address)

In his speech, A. Lincoln points out that the details of that moment may not be
memorable, but the actions would make history, and therefore, never entirely
forgotten.
Antithesis can be a little tricky to see at first. To start, notice how each of these
examples is separated into two parts. The parts are separated either by a dash, a
semicolon, or the word “but.” Antithesis always has this multi-part structure
(usually there are two parts, but sometimes it can be more). The parts are not
always as obvious as they are in these examples, but they will always be there.
Next, notice how the second part of each example contains antonyms: “small
step” versus “giant leap”; “human” versus “divine”; “we say” versus “they do”.
Finally, notice that each of the examples contains some syntactically similar
structures and semantically opposite ideas. This is key! The two parts are not
simply contradictory statements. They are a matched pair that have many
grammatical structures or concepts in common; in the details, however, they are
opposites.
The use of antithesis is very popular in speeches and common idioms, as the
inherent contrasts often make antithesis quite memorable. Here are some examples
of antithesis from famous speeches:
 “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
(M. L. King, Jr.)
 “Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for
drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.” (W. Churchill)
 “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the
few who are rich.” (J.F. Kennedy)
Antithesis is used in literature when the writer employs two sentences of
contrasting meanings in close proximity to one another. The purpose of the device
is to create:
 a stark contrast using two divergent elements that come together;
 a strong argument;
 one vivid picture;
 a better understanding of the subject or the characters.

Antithesis can be a helpful tool for the author both to show a character’s
mindset and to set up an argument. If the antithesis is something that the character
is thinking, the audience can better understand the full scope of that character’s
thoughts. While antithesis is not the most ubiquitous of stylistic devices, some authors
use antithesis quite extensively.

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W. Shakespeare uses antithesis in many of his sonnets and plays:
“To be, or not to be, that is the question –
Whether ‘tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?”
(W. Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Arguably, the most famous six words in all of Shakespeare’s work are an
example of antithesis. Hamlet considers the important question of “to be, or not to
be.” In this line, he is considering the very nature of existence itself. Though the
line is quite simple in form, it contrasts these very important opposite states.
Hamlet sets up his monologue with this antithesis and continues with others,
including the contrast between suffering whatever fortune has to offer and
opposing his troubles. This is a good example of W. Shakespeare using antithesis
to present to the audience or readers Hamlet’s inner life and the range of his
thinking.
The author of “A Tale of Two Cities”, Ch. Dickens, uses a plethora of
figurative language and stylistic devices throughout the novel, antithesis including.
Dickens’ reasoning for the use of these types of devices is to add a more complex
understanding to the novel.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of
times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age
of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it
was the epoch of incredulity, it was the
season of Light, it was the season of
Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the
winter of despair, we had everything before
us, we had nothing before us, we were all
going direct to Heaven, we were all going
direct the other way…”
(Ch. Dickens, The Tale of Two Cities)
The opening paragraph of the novel employs many different stylistic devices
all at once. There are many examples of antithesis back-to-back, starting with the
first contrast between “the best of times” and “the worst of times.” Each pair of
contrasting opposites uses a parallel structure to emphasize their differences. Ch.
Dickens uses these antithetical pairs to show what a turbulent and violent time it
was during the setting of his book. In this case, the use of antithesis is a stylistic
device that foreshadows the conflicts that will be central to the novel.
To recap: antithesis can be used in different contexts, but it has three key
points:
 two or more parts;
 semantically opposed ideas;
 similar grammatical structures.

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In general, antithesis is seen as a manipulative stylistic device for eliciting
emotional effects.
It is essential not to confuse two different stylistic devices: oxymoron and
antithesis. The difference between oxymoron and antithesis is summarized in the
following table:

Oxymoron vs Antithesis
 Oxymoron is a stylistic device in  Antithesis is a stylistic device in
which apparently contradictory which an opposition or contrast of
terms appear in conjunction. ideas is expressed using similar
grammatical structures.
 Oxymoron contains two opposite  Antithesis contains two opposite
words. words, clauses, sentences or
concepts.
 In an oxymoron, the opposite  In an antithesis, the opposite words
words or antonyms can be noted or antonyms are not always
together. together.

The term climax has its etymological origin in the Greek language where the
word κλῖμαξ literally means “staircase” or “ladder”. Climax is an arrangement of
words, clauses or sentences in a gradual increase in significance, importance, or
emotional tension. In the Russian school of stylistics climax is also known as
gradation. Thus, ideas arranged in an increasing order of their importance
emphasize the meaning in a clear and effective way as in the famous words of
Julius Caesar:

“I came, I saw, I conquered.”

Climax is a lexical-syntactical stylistic device that renders balance and brevity


to speech or writing. It is a powerful tool that can instantly capture the undivided
attention of listeners and readers alike. Hence, its importance cannot be
underestimated.
Like in the process of mounting a ladder, climax mounts by degrees words or
clauses of increasing weight with an emphasis on the high point or culmination of
an experience or series of events. Consider the following example:
Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good;
A shining gloss that fadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies when first it gins to bud;
A brittle glass that’s broken presently:
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour.
(W. Shakespeare, The Passionate Pilgrim)
W. Shakespeare uses the string of synonyms or semantically related words to
show the gradual increase of emotional intensity, reaching its peak with the
consequent inexorable decline. The final lines contain two examples of climax: in
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the second-to-last line, words increase in beauty and delicacy, from the middling
“doubtful good” to “flower”. In the last line, the words once again increase in
intensity, but this time in a progression from bad to worse (“lost” to “dead”).
The schemes suggested by Russian scientists for classifying climax encompass
several categories, among them logic, emotive and quantitative climax. According
to Professor V.A. Kukharenko, climax can be differentiated taking into account the
arrangement of synonyms or semantically related words in the sentence. Hence,
two categories of climax are distinguished:
 with the ascending arrangement of synonyms
 with the descending arrangement of synonyms.
In all the above mentioned examples climax with the ascending
arrangement is characterized by a feeling of mounting intensity, importance, or
emphasis across successive words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. Consequently,
tension is built over the course of three or more discrete words, phrases, clauses,
or sentences.
Consider the following example:
It’s a mistake.., a blunder…, lunacy! He hurried that phrase, or
swallowed it, or choked on it as though it had bothered him before.
(W. Deeping, The Road)

Powerful effect on the reader or listener is created by the presence of certain


characteristics or qualities, as well as by their absence.
Climax with the descending arrangement uses negative form of the
structures and emphasizes the absence of characteristics or quality. Consider the
following example:

Nowhere was a house to be seen, nor a tree,


nor a flower, nor sign of any living thing.
(fairy tale)

The descending arrangement, with every successive clause diminishing in


quantity, creates vivid and memorable picture.
Climax is effectively used not only in literature, but also in everyday life and
political speeches. Consider the following examples:
“And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night,
good luck, a merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of
you on the good earth”.
(F. Borman, Astronaut)
“When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we
have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the
truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while
they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to
never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war,
secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.”
(B. Obama’s 2004 DNC speech)
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As words are added to the sequence, a pattern is set up, first of a similar theme
and then of increasing importance and impact. Because the grammatical structure
of the clauses is identical, it is easier to see that the ideas in each successive clause
grow in intensity and significance.
To sum up, climax performs a number of functions:
 establishes a clear relationship of hierarchy between things on a list
 makes clear which idea in a series is assigned the most value
 makes words (and the order in which they occur) easier to remember
 builds excitement and anticipation
 adds a touch of drama and suspense.
Climax is not to be confused with anti-climax. While climax is about creating
tension and anticipation that leads to a point of surprise, anti-climax creates
anticipation only to lead to defeated expectations.
Anti-climax, or back gradation comes from the Greek ἀντί κλῖμαξ “down a
ladder”. This lexical-syntactical stylistic device creates an abrupt shift from a
serious or noble tone to a less exalted one, often for humorous effect. As a result,
anti-climax leads to a disappointing situation, or a sudden transition in discourse
from an important idea to a ludicrous or trivial one. It is when, at a specific point,
expectations are raised, everything is built-up, and then suddenly something boring
or disappointing happens – this is anti-climax.
“Oh, poor Mr. Jones,” mourned Mrs. Smith, ‘Did you
hear what happened to him? He tripped at the top of the
stairs, fell down the whole flight, banged his head, and
died’. ‘Died?’ said Mrs. Robinson, shocked. ‘Died!’
repeated Mrs. Smith with emphasis. ‘Broke his glasses,
too.’”(I. Asimov, Treasury of Humour)
A sequence of tragic events makes the reader empathize with the unlucky
character when suddenly the tone of narration changes with Mrs. Smith’s remark
about glasses. This humorous descent from the serious and tragic events to
something frivolous or trivial like glasses creates anti-climax in the story.
Anti-climax in the following example also creates humorous effect:
“Among the great achievements of Benito Mussolini’s
regime were the revival of a strong national
consciousness, the expansion of the Italian Empire, and
the running of the trains on
time.”(http://encarta.msn.com)

The above examples show that clauses arranged in order of ascending


importance suddenly at the end shift back to the unimportant. As a result, the
listener’s expectations (where they would expect to hear the most important thing)
are defeated leading to a humorous effect.
Both climax and anti-climax have an effect of building excitement and
anticipation and they are used in writing of all types, from speeches and songs to
novels and plays.

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Simile (from Latin similis “image”, “likeness”, “comparison”) is a lexical-
syntactic stylistic device that directly compares two fundamentally different things.
To make the comparison, similes most often use the linking words “like” or “as”.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s line, “A woman is like a teabag – you never


know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”, is an example
of simile. E. Roosevelt compares two different things, women and
teabags, to describe how women reveal the full extent of their
strength in tough situations.

Structurally simile consists of two elements: the tenor and the vehicle. The
tenor is the element of the simile that is really being talked about, and the vehicle
is the element that it is being compared to.
Jonathan is as strong as a tiger.

Object 1 Object 2
(tenor) (vehicle)
Class: human Class: feline
Analogy
(like/as)
Point: strength

Consider the following sentence:

The child was as


angry as a bear

In this sentence “child” is the tenor, “bear” is the vehicle since it carries the
meaning about the word (child) which compared to it. In simile, each element
maintains its own bright image. Here a child is compared to a bear in a way that
suggests they have certain features in common such as being strong, angry, and,
definitely, exasperated by something.
To make the comparison, similes most often use the linking words “as” or
“like” as in the following example:

John’s words felt like shards of glass when he spoke such


hateful things.

In this example, John’s words are compared to shards of glass, which means
that just as the shards of glass would lead to immense hurt, similarly, his words are
just as hurtful and cause much hurt.

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Thus, similes help the speaker or writer to paint a more specific picture by
making the reader understand the characteristics of one thing by comparing it to
something else.
Simile draws a parallel between some explicit or implicit properties that two
semantically unrelated entities have in common. These properties are called
foundation of simile. The example provided below illustrates this idea:

Watching the movie was as good as watching a snail


cross the road. The plot of the movie (the tenor) was
developing as slowly as a snail (the vehicle) is
crossing the road. You can easily draws a parallel
between the tenor and the vehicle, so
the foundation of simile in this sentence
is explicit.

Another example illustrating the foundation of simile:

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any


address on it?” (M. Twain)

M. Twain uses a more sophisticated image for comparison: the person (the
tenor) is compared to an unaddressed envelope (the vehicle). The foundation of
simile is rather implicit. Implicit foundation is always richer in possible
associations: just like a letter without any address which is most likely to be lost
and never reaches its addressee, makes a gloomy picture. In the same way, this
person looking lost, bewildered and confused produces a gloomy impression.
Sometimes the foundation of the simile is not quite clear from the context, and
the author supplies it with a key, explaining the similarity between the tenor and
the vehicle, which is expanded in a detailed and extended foundation.

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let
wasps and hornets break through. (J. Swift)

In this case laws (the tenor) are compared to cobwebs (the vehicle) and this
may cause different associations, but the writer specifies them by exploiting an
opposition between flies and wasps, the smaller and relatively harmless pests and
bigger and painfully stinging insects.
The link between the tenor and the vehicle may also be expressed by notional
words: “to resemble”, “to seem”, “to recollect”, “to appear”, etc. The absence of
the linking word like (typical of simile) makes the comparison less evident and not
easily observed at first sight. That is the reason Russian scholars name this kind of
simile disguised simile.

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Consider the following examples:
1. “Mr. Barnacle who had only one idea in his head and
that was a wrong one, had appeared by this time. This
eminent gentleman and Mr. Merdle seated diverse ways,
holding no verbal communication with each other, bore a
strong general resemblance to the two cows in the Cuyp
picture over against them”. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
2.

“A little after midnight Dolores Lane came in and stood


holding a microphone the way a drowning man
hangs on to a lifebelt”.(J.H. Chase, Cade)

Thus, bringing about vivid and memorable images, similes lend texts several
layers of depth and make any literary work a pleasure to read.
In everyday conversation, similes are used to clarify ideas, create bright
images, and emphasize key points. Used quite often, similes quickly become trite
and are registered in dictionaries.

As busy as a bee As gentle as lamb


As sick as a dog As wise as an owl

What a simile tells you directly, a metaphor just hints at. (N. Joshi)

Simile and metaphor are often confused due to their similarities. However, in
fact, the two imply different aspects of language.
Simile and metaphor are two stylistic devices that are used to make
comparison. While it may seem they are the same as they serve the same purpose,
it is not the truth. Actually, they are different and are used in different concepts.
Simile is primarily used to make direct comparisons. It can be easy to tell
simile apart as it uses the words “as” and “like” to make the comparisons. Simile
directly compares one thing to another, such as a person, an object, or even a
situation. While the works “like” and “as” are more popularly used, simile can also
use words such as “so”, “than”, or various verbs such as “resemble”, etc.
Similarly, metaphor is also primarily used to make comparisons. However,
metaphor makes indirect comparisons. It is often used to compare things that
typically have nothing to do with each other. The two things traditionally have
nothing to do with each other, but they are compared nonetheless to make a point.

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“Life is like a box of “That baby is as cute as a
chocolates”. button!”

Simile

“My life is an open book.” “Baby, you’re a firework.”

Metaphor

The summary on the difference between simile and metaphor is presented in


the table below:

Simile vs Metaphor
 Simile is a stylistic device that  Metaphor is a stylistic device
involves the comparison of the two where a word or phrase is
different objects or actions. applied to an object or action to
which it is not literally
applicable.
 Similes use connecting words such  Metaphors do not use connecting
as “like” and “as”. words such as “like” and “as”.
 Similes make explicit comparisons.  Metaphors make implicit
comparisons.
The nature of the comparison differs:
 A simile makes an explicit comparison by asserting that two different things
are similar.
A simile sets thing A and thing B side by side to
compare them. In the sentence “The world is like
your oyster,” the listener is asked to mentally
visualize and compare “the world” and “an oyster”
as though he or she were holding one in each hand
and draw a comparison between the two.
 A metaphor asserts an implicit comparison by
stating that one thing is the other thing.
Instead of setting two entities A and B side by side
through the use of connecting words, metaphor
superimposes them. The metaphor “The world is
your oyster” asks the reader to imagine his or her relationship to the world as
being the relationship of an oyster to the space inside its shell.

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This is not to say that either a simile or metaphor is stronger or better than the
other, just that they are subtly different in the sort of comparison they create, and
this difference affects how a reader imaginatively interacts with the text.

The term litotes originates from the Greek word λιτότης meaning “simple”,
“plain”. The first known mention of this word is in a letter from Cicero in 56 B.C.
Cicero uses the word to mean simplicity or frugality of life.
Over time, the meaning and the function of the word changed
from “simple” to the idea of understatement that involves
double negatives.
Litotes is a lexical-syntactical stylistic device that describes the object
indirectly. It does that through the negation of the opposite. Litotes has a two-
component structure in which two negations are joined to give a positive
evaluation. The first component of litotes always contains the negative particle
“not”, the second, which is always negative in semantics, contains either a
negatively affixed word or a negative phrase.
However, the interpretation of negation may depend on the context, including
cultural context. In speech, it may also depend on intonation and emphasis; for
example, the phrase “not bad” can be said in such a way as to mean anything from
“mediocre” to “excellent”.
For example, the person saying “I’m not bad” may have recently
gone through a divorce and is trying to reassure a friend that things
are okay. Or you may ask your friend how is he doing, and he might
respond, “I’m not bad.” In fact, this means that the he is doing fine
or even quite well.
Litotes invoke a certain restraint when describing something. The
negation of one quality emphasizes its opposite. If a person is “not
unimaginative,” this negation of the negative quality “unimaginative”
implies that the person is, in fact, imaginative. Litotes works by
making its understatement obvious. It usually does this by negating a statement
through double negatives.
Litotes is a common stylistic device that appears everywhere, from daily
conversation and pop culture to literature and political contexts. “Litotes is one of
those methods which are used to talk about an object in a discreet way. It clearly
locates an object for the recipient, but it avoids naming it directly”. (J.R.
Bergmann)
Though stating the facts and describing the characteristics figuratively,
indirectly somehow ignoring them while talking about them in a negative way,
litotes is the best way to make them appear important and prominent.
Figurative meaning Direct meaning

It wasn’t a terrible trip. The trip was unforgettable.

129
He isn’t unhappy with He is content with the
the presentation. presentation.

The famous British author G. Orwell disliked the use of litotes, and mocked
their usage in his essay “Politics and the English Language.” He encouraged
readers to avoid them in favor of more direct statements, writing, “One can cure
oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog
was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.” While G. Orwell
was responding to certain grievances he had with written English in his day, he
perhaps neglects the historical significance of litotes.
With regard to literature, the relationship between litotes and English language
is so old that its instances can be found even in the literary works of the Anglo
Saxon period. Beowulf is the famous example of using litotes:
“By the wall then went he; his weapon raised
High by its hilts the Hygelac-thane,
Angry and eager. That edge was not useless
To the warrior now.”
The real meaning of the litotes “That edge was not useless” is that the sword
was indeed very useful.
Rather than minimizing its importance, litotes emphasizes the idea and rather
discovers a unique way to attract the readers’ attention to it. As J. Heinrichs notes,
what makes litotes remarkable is its “paradoxical ability to turn up the volume by
turning it down.”
In literary circles, plenty of poets as well as writers have used this stylistic
devise to convey memorable and vivid images. Litotes changes the thought process
and thereby beautifies and adorns the literary works:

“Not seldom clad in radiant vest


Deceitful goes forth the dawn,
Not seldom evening in the west
Sinks smilingly forsworn.”
(W. Wordsworth, An Evening Walk)
Litotes in most of the literary works present a passive tone and demand more
careful attention from the reader.
Litotes is not to be confused with meiosis. Both stylistic devices involve
downplaying the characteristics of something. Meiosis is a lexical stylistic device
with no specific pattern that minimizes the importance of something. Litotes being
a lexical-syntactical stylistic device employs a specific pattern, which is a double
negative structure with positive meaning. Thus, litotes adds emphasis to the ideas,
rather than decreases their importance. This is the main difference between litotes
and meiosis. Consider the following examples:

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Direct meaning Figurative meaning
Litotes Meiosis
It is not It is a bit warm.
It is boiling hot. unbearably
hot.

He is not He has a unique


without a style.
He is a terrible dancer. talent in
dancing.

He was not a He was rather


bad playwright good at writing
W. Shakespeare is a at all. plays.
great playwright.
Your room is This place really
not unclean. needs room
Your room is dirty. service.

While both litotes and meiosis seem to lessen, they instead increase the force of
the expression – a striking proof of the flexibility of language when wielded with
skill.
The term periphrasis originates from the Greek word περίφρασις, which
means “talking around” (περί means “around” and φρασις means “declare”). Being
a lexical-syntactical stylistic device, periphrasis is both a grammatical pattern and
manner of speaking that uses more words than necessary to evoke a certain
meaning. It can be defined as the use of excessive and longer words to convey a
meaning, which could have been conveyed with a shorter expression, or in a few
words. It is an indirect or roundabout way of explaining something. Periphrasis is,
at times, beneficial for certain reasons, though is often considered redundant. It is
also an elegant variation or sometimes an unnecessary, usually longer synonym for
a simple, concise word or phrase. For example, using “I am going to” instead of “I
will” is periphrasis.
The following passage also contains periphrasis: “The first time I saw you, I
didn’t know what had happened to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off your face, like
it cast a spell on me. The way you laughed made my entire day… And here you are
today, right in front of me, the love of my life!” There is much smaller and much
shorter version of this passage. It is “I love you”.
These are some common examples of periphrasis:

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Figurative Meaning Direct Meaning

the elongated yellow fruit banana

fluffy white stuff snow

the briny deep ocean

the manly art boxing

a gentleman of the long a judge


robe

As it is seen from the examples, periphrasis occurs when a single word is


replaced by several others to form a longer phrase that names the same thing. At
the same time the use of this excessive language does not change the meaning
while making sentences long. Periphrasis is not just going round and round, but it
also gives a different impact and leaves an impression on the person reading it.
Prof. I.R. Galpering distinguishes two types of periphrasis:

logical figurative

based on one of the inherent or based on imagery –


fundamental properties of the object: metaphor or metonymy:

instrument of destruction = pistol to tie a knot = to get married


the most pardonable human weakness in disgrace of fortune = bad luck
= love

Periphrasis may be viewed as

trite original
my better half = a wife, a husband hair butcher = hair dresser
the fair sex = women zipper-skinned fruit = tangerine

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Trite periphrasis is not a hallmark of creative writing while original periphrasis
is genuine and indicates the stylistic skills of the speaker or the writer.
Periphrasis might be used for many different reasons. It is used when
 the writer or speaker wants to impress the reader;
 the character or a person attempts to appear more intelligent by talking
around the point and using “big words”;
 the writer or speaker wants to achieve humorous effect.
Periphrasis occur in literary works, which the following examples illustrate:
“Under the impression”, said Mr. Micawber, “that your
peregrinations in this metropolis have not as yet been extensive,
and that you might have some difficulty in penetrating the
arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of the City
Road – in short”, said Mr. Micawber, in another burst of
confidence, “that you might lose yourself – I shall be happy to
call this evening, and install you in the knowledge of the
nearest way.” (Ch. Dickens, David Copperfield)
In this excerpt, Ch. Dickens has used periphrasis in the speech of
Wilkins Micawber: the instances of periphrasis “you might have some
difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon” and
“install you in the knowledge of the nearest way” are used to create
the impression that he is more intelligent and educated than he really
is. In the end, all his speech has humorous effect because what he
actually meant was “you may get lost in London” and “I will tell you
the directions”.
Humorous effect is also achieved through periphrasis in the following example:
Harris always does know a place round the corner where you
can get something brilliant in the drinking line. I believe that if you
met Harris up in Paradise (supposing such a thing likely), he would
immediately greet you with: “So glad you’ve come, old
fellow; I’ve found a nice place round the corner here,
where you can get some really first-class nectar.” (J.K. Jerome, Three
Men in a Boat)
In this passage J.K. Jerome elegantly replaced an alcoholic drink
first by logical periphrasis “something brilliant in the drinking line”
and then by figurative periphrasis “first-class nectar” bringing subtle
humorous tones in the narration.
In literary works, periphrasis is also used to create vivid and memorable
images.
Consider the following examples:
That punctual servant of all work, the sun, had just risen, and
begun to strike a light on the morning, when Mr. Samuel Pickwick
burst like another sun from his slumbers, threw open his chamber
window, and looked out upon the world beneath.
(Ch. Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club)

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Figurative periphrases allow the writer to speak about the sun and Mr.
Pickwick’s awakening in a slightly elevated tone that cannot but impress the reader
as well as the periphrastic description of the morning dew in the following
example:

The leaves were spangled with drops of silver, which shone the
brilliant light of the sun. (Fairy tale)

From the above examples of periphrasis, it is possible to surmise that this


device is used to embellish sentences by creating splendid stylistic effects to draw
readers’ attention.
Periphrasis expresses an individual, purely subjective attitude to the object
described. Nevertheless, the use of this device creates vivid images and description
in prose and lends poetic flavor to prose. Overall, it adds beauty to the language
and elicits curiosity in the mind of the reader.

ANTITHESIS

Exercise 1. Identify the function of antithesis the following excerpts and explain
the stylistic effect it creates:

1. My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the
lows. The pina and the colada. (E. DeGeneres, Seriously … I’m kidding)
2. “It’s wonderful,” he said to them one day at supper. “It’s a true rebirth. Her
soul, which was black as night, is now pure and white like the new-fallen
snow. Her remorse for all her sins is beautiful.” (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
3. The battle is to decide whether you shall become a New Yorker or turn the
rankest outlander and Philistine. You must be one or the other. You cannot
remain neutral. You must be for or against – lover or enemy – bosom friend
or outcast. (O. Henry, The Duel)
4. ’Cause you're hot then you're cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up. (K. Perry, Hot N’Cold)
5. And the passion that held Strickland was a passion to create beauty. It gave
him no peace. It urged him hither and thither. He was eternally a pilgrim,
haunted by a divine nostalgia, and the demon within him was ruthless. (W.S.
Maugham, The Moon and the Sixpence)
6. The flame of love was burning high we vowed to never let it die
134
But now you’re growing tired of me so let’s agree to disagree
Let’s agree to disagree there’s nothing left for you and me
You won’t be happy till you're free so let’s agree to disagree.
But you don't want no part of me so let’s agree to disagree
Let’s agree to disagree...(B. Owens, Let’s Agree to Disagree)
7. Gerard was a difficult and demanding boss at the best of times, a workaholic
with a perfectionist personality. Failure was anathema to him; success his
God. The man who would be king of Queensland’s tourist industry was
ruthless when crossed and given to caustic comments whenever anyone didn’t
come up to his impossibly high standards. (M. Lee, Fugitive Bride)
8. A man in cycling gear pedalled past, helmet, orange goggles and heaving,
brightly coloured jersey. His thigh muscles bulged under the tight shorts, and
the bike looked expensive. That must have been why he took it with him
when he and the rest of the cohort followed the Arsenal player round the
corner to the other side of the building. Everything was new. Everything was
the same. But there were fewer of them, weren’t there? (J. Nesbo, Phantom)
9. So why go to Nashville,
knowing you never ever gonna be mainstream?
Go to somewhere like Texas,
where they dig roots and blues and country that's real.
It’s better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
And the fallen angels just laugh.. (R.W. Hubbard, Lucifer and the Fallen
Angels)
10. Notwithstanding his fine tongue, he is but a sorry scrub reminds me the work
of the painter whose pictures show best at a distance, but very near more
unpleasing. A saint abroad, and a devil at home. (J. Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s
Progress)
11. Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth is full of sport,
Age’s breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lime;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild and Age is time.
Youth, I do adore thee! (W. Shakespeare, Age and Youth)
12. Power, Cat thought, resides in small things. If anything confirmed Uncle
Alderley’s position in the world, it was the fact that, while the City was
burning to ashes on his doorstep, he himself was dining at home quite as if
nothing were amiss. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)

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Exercise 2. Study the excerpts below and identify the cases of oxymoron or
antithesis:

1. My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure. (P. Hay,
Theatrical Anecdotes)
2. “You mean that if you do overtime you have to do more overtime to pay for
it?” said Moist, still pondering how illogical logical thinking can be if a big
enough committee is doing it. (T. Pratchett, Making Money)
3. Reporter: You say you’ve never made a picture before? Samuel Goldwyn:
Yes, but that’s our strongest weak point. (S. Goldwyn,
http://www.cobbles.com)
4. Gabriel Gale, as the young man was called, was a minor poet, but something
of a major painter; and in his capacity of celebrity and lover of landscape, he
had been invited often enough into larger landscape gardens of the landed
aristocracy. (G.K. Chesterton, The House of the Peacock)
5. Everyone talks about how the world caters to the rich. But online, there are
not so many choices for Americans of wealth. Help the poor millionaires. (D.
Chilton, The Wealthy Barber)
6. If, as our dreaming Platonists report,
There could be spirits of a middle sort,
Too black for heav’n, and yet too white for hell,
Who just dropp’d halfway down, nor lower fell. (J. Dryden, The Hind and the
Panther)
7. I do think this is the most terrible red herring, sergeant. What worst there was,
was long over. And one does have two daughters as well. One mustn’t forget
about that. We really have been a quite disgustingly happy family. (J. Fowles,
The Enigma)
8. I find no peace, and all my war is done
I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice,
I flee above the wind, yet can I not arise;
9. And nought I have and all the world I season. (T. Wyatt, Translation of
Petrarch’s Rima, Sonnet 134)
10. We find ourselves rich in goods but ragged in spirit, reaching with
magnificent precision for the moon but falling into raucous discord on earth.
(R. Nixon, Inaugural Address)
11. These girls like to act and pretend to be much older than they are, and are
horrid best friends to each other (they fight and get into drama all the time)
(thetoptens.com)
12. 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. (P. Lopatte, Writing New York: A Literary Anthology)

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CLIMAX & ANTI-CLIMAX

Exercise 3. Study the following excerpts, analyze the arrangement of synonyms


or semantically related words that create climax and identify whether the
arrangement is ascending or descending.

1. No barrier wall, no river deep and wide,


No horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania’s land from Gaul. (G. Byron, Childe
Harold’s Pilgrimage)
2. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all
truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the
subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly
personified and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. (H. Melville, Moby
Dick)
3. At 6:20 a.m. the ground began to heave. Windows rattled; then they broke.
Objects started falling from shelves. Water heaters fell from their pedestals,
tearing out plumbing. Outside, the road began to break up. Water mains and
gas lines were wrenched apart, causing flooding and the danger of explosion.
Office buildings began cracking; soon twenty, thirty, forty stories of concrete
were diving at the helpless pedestrians panicking below. (F. Douglass,
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave)
4. There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm
resolve of a determined soul. (E.W. Wilcox, Will)
5. I drew for you portrait of a man, just an ordinary fisherman who possessed
nothing in the world except a quality which is the rarest, the most precious
and the loveliest that anyone can have. And in case you have not guessed
what the quality was, I will tell you. Goodness, just goodness. (W.S.
Maugham, Salvatore)
6. The concerto was applauded at the house of Baron von Schnooty, it was
praised
highly at court, it was voted best concerto of the year by the Academy, it was
considered by Mozart the highlight of his career, and it has become known
today as the best concerto in the world. (R. A. Harris, A Handbook of
Rhetorical Devices)
7. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear
Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored
him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or
woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of
Scrooge. (Ch. Dickens, Christmas Carol)
8. Iceland, Norway, China, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France,
Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, Maui, America, Japan, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily,
Cyprus, Chad, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg. In

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five years, I’ve been to them all and it’s cost me the grand total of no pounds,
no shillings and no pence. (J. Clarkson, Clarkson on Cars)
9. Sometimes I chewed my pencil and gazed at the wall paper for hours trying to
build up some gay little bubble of unstudied fun. And then I became a harpy,
a Moloch, a Jonah, a vampire, to my acquaintances. Anxious, haggard,
greedy, I stood among them like a veritable killjoy. (О. Henry, Confessions of
a Humorist)
10. And what about her poetry? Not a line, not a word. Not a hint that she had
ever cared for it. (A. Munro, Dear Life)
11. “I’ve been noble since they took you to the hospital,” he said through his
teeth. “I'm tired of it. I don't eat, I don’t sleep, I can’t even work. I remember
your voice moaning in my ear like the cry of the damned while I was having
you.” (D. Palmer, Lawless)
12. “Sassenach, I've been stabbed, bitten, slapped, and whipped since supper –
which I didna get to finish. I dinna like to scare children an I dinna like to flog
men, and I’ve had to do both. I’ve two hundred English camped three miles
away, and no idea what to do about them. I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I’m sore.
If you’ve anything like womanly sympathy about ye, I could use a bit!” (D.
Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber)
13. But there lived in a huge castle beyond the forest, a fierce giant, who one day
came and laid their house in ruins with his club. When the Little Old Woman
came home, her house was in ruins and her husband was nowhere to be seen.
Neither cattle nor sheep, nor any of the fine things that she had was to be
seen. (J.M. Kronheim, The Little Old woman Who Lived in a Shoe)
14. Keep your eyes open, Fireheart. Keep your ears pricked. Keep looking behind
you. Because one day I’ll find you, and then you’ll be crow food. (E. Hunter,
Forest of Secrets)
15. “There are only three things I really care about,” [Arthur Merivale] added,
with the air of one who is half in jest.” “They are?” “Cricket – and a career –
and – and you!” Muriel picked another plum and continued chaffing him.
“It’s really nice to know for certain that you approve of me. Still you are
dreadfully, painfully honest. Just think where I come in the scale of your
affections! First the bat, then the bar, and then – poor me!” She laughed
brightly at his discomfiture. “But the scale was crescendo”, he pleaded. “You
was a rhetorical climax”. (C. Headlam, The Marriage of Mr. Merivale)

Exercise 4. Study the following excerpts, differentiate the cases of climax and
anticlimax, and distinguish the categories of climax.

1. It was stupid, pointless, irritating beyond belief that he still had four days left
of being unable to perform magic… but he had to admit to himself that this
jagged cut in his finger would have defeated him. He had never learned how
to repair wounds, and now he came to think of it – particularly in light of his
immediate plans – this seemed a serious flaw in his magical education. (J.K.
Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
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2. Very well then, no small talk, no history, no nostalgia. To business. (J.
Barnes, The Sense of an Ending)
3. The whistle blows below us and the moment breaks. We are safe. For now.
(A. Condie, Matched)
4. When the Giant came to the spot where the Old Lady and her children lived,
he saw his old shoe, and with a laugh that shook the trees, he thrust his foot
into it. The children, in great alarm, rushed about inside the shoe, and
frightened and trembling, scrambled through the door and the slits, which the
Giant had formerly made for his corns. And the Old Lady was ready to cry, to
scream, to run away. (J.M. Kronheim, The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a
Shoe)
5. The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and
enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend
money. (M. Twain, Pudd’head Wilson)
6. And as I’m sinkin’
The last thing that I think
Is, did I pay my rent? (J. O’Rourke, Ghost Ship in a Storm)
7. In order to maintain authority in her school, it became necessary to remove
this rebel, this monster, this serpent, this firebrand. (W. Thackeray, Vanity
Fair)
8. The enemies had conquered about three fourth of the Empire and the Emperor
realized he didn’t have his breakfast. (R. A. Harris, A Handbook of Rhetorical
Devices)
9. Then the tingling, putrid smell of smoke ran up the nostrils. Nothing could be
seen; it was so hazy. It was hot and sweat was dripping down the chest. All
that could be seen was fiery, blazing orange. The fire burnt Peter’s house
down and he lost his cell phone. (descriptionari.com)
10. From morning till night, nor hum of bee, nor song of bird, nor voice of man,
nor any sound fell on Finola’s ear. (R. A. Harris, A Handbook of Rhetorical
Devices)
11. In moments of crisis I size up the situation in a flash, set my teeth, contract
my muscles, take a firm grip on myself and, without a tremor, always do the
wrong thing. (H. Pearson, George Bernard Shaw: His Life and Personality)
12. I can’t die yet. I’ve got responsibilities and a family and I have to look after
my parents, they’re completely irresponsible and couldn’t survive without my
help. And there are so many places I haven’t visited: the Taj Mahal, the Grand
Canyon, the new John Lewis department store they’re building in Leicester.
(S. Townsend, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years)
13. It may, perhaps, be fairly questioned, whether any other portion of the
population of the earth could have endured the privations, sufferings and
horrors of slavery, without having become more degraded in the scale of
humanity than the slaves of African descent. Nothing has been left undone to
cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral stature,
obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully
they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which
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they have been groaning for centuries! (F. Douglass, Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass, An American Slave)
14. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time.
In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering
young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their
lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. (W. Shobchak, The
Big Lebowski)
15. My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in
life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and
tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop
it… (E.M. Kennedy, Tribute to Senator Robert F. Kennedy)
16. In a moment, the whole company was on their feet. That somebody was
assassinated by somebody vindicating a difference of opinion was the likeliest
occurrence. Everybody looked to see somebody fall, but only saw a man and
a woman standing staring at each other; the man with all the outward aspect
of a Frenchman and a thorough Republican; the woman, evidently English.
(Ch. Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)
17. This is the Court of Chancery; which has its decaying houses and its blighted
lands in every shire; which has its worn-out lunatic in every madhouse, and its
dead in every churchyard; which has its ruined suitor, with his slipshod heels
and threadbare dress, borrowing and begging through the round of every
man's acquaintance; which gives to the moneyed might, the means abundantly
of wearying out the right; which so exhausts finances, patience, courage,
hope; that there is not an honorable man among its practitioners who would
not give …the warning, ‘Suffer any wrong that can be done you, rather than
come here!’”(Ch. Dickens, Bleak House)
18. As he hesitated over the after-dinner drink, she intervened to say, “Oh, let’s
have sherry rather than brandy by all means. When I sip sherry, it seems to
me that I am transported from the everyday scenes by which I may, at that
moment, be surrounded. The flavor, the aroma, bring to mind irresistibly – for
what reason I know not – a kind of faerie bit of nature: a hilly field bathed in
soft sunshine, a clump of trees in the middle distance, a small brook curving
across the scene, nearly at my feet. This, together with the fancied drowsy
sound of insects and distant lowing of cattle, brings to my mind a kind of
warmth, peace, and serenity, a sort of dovetailing of the world into a beautiful
entirety. Brandy, on the other hand, makes me burp”. (I. Asimov, Isaac
Asimov’s Treasury of Humor)
19. He has seen the ravages of war, he has known natural catastrophes, he has
been to singles bars. (W. Allen, Speech to the Graduates)
20. What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? You can say
that she was beautiful and intelligent. She loved Mozart and Bach and the
Beatles. And me. Once, when she specifically lumped me with those musical
types, I asked her what the order was, and she replied, smiling,
“Alphabetically”. (E. Segal, Love Story)

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SIMILE

Exercise 5. Some well-known similes you will often come across are:

Think of similes in the following cases:

 as black as …  to work like …


 as hungry as …  to sing like …
 as white as a …  to eat like …
 as sweet as …  to sleep like …

Exercise 6. Look at the pictures below with simile. Define the vehicle and the
tenor:

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Exercise 7. Similes can help a writer paint a more specific picture by helping the
reader to understand the characteristics of one thing by comparing it to
something else. Identify the tenor and the vehicle in similes below, name the
foundation, and explain what additional characteristics the vehicle adds to the
better understanding of the tenor.

1. She tried to get rid of the kitten, which had scrambled up her back and stuck
like a burr just out of reach. (L. M. Alcott, Little Women)
2. The very mystery of him excited her curiosity like a door that has neither lock
nor key. (M. Mitchell, Gone with the Wind)
3. The late afternoon sky bloomed in the window for a moment like the blue
honey of the Mediterranean. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
4. The other was fair with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale
sapphires. (B. Stoker, Dracula)
5. She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat. (J. Joyce, The
Boarding House)
6. Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant.
(A. Roy, The God of Small Things)
7. When he lifted me up in his arms I felt I had left all my troubles on the floor
beneath me like gigantic concrete shoes. (A. Tyler, Earthly Possessions)
8. Without warning, Lionel gave one of his tight little sneezes: it sounded like a
bullet fired through a silencer. (M. Amis, Lionel Asbo: State of England)
9. When Lee Mellon finished the apple he smacked his lips together like a pair
of cymbals. (R. Brautigan, A Confederate General From Big Sur)
10. You know life, life is rather like opening a tin of sardines. We’re all of us
looking for the key. (A. Bennett, Beyond the Fringe)
11. I am as graceful as a refrigerator falling down a flight of stairs. (L. Pitts,
Curse of Rhythm Impairment)
12. If you want my final opinion on the mystery of life and all that, I can give it to
you in a nutshell. The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination.
But the combination is locked up in the safe. (P. De Vries, Let Me Count the
Ways)
13. Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon
and waiting for the echo. (D Marquis, Antiquary)
14. They crowded very close about him, with their hands always on him in a
careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he
was there. It was like men handling a fish, which is still alive and may jump
back into the water. (G. Orwell, A Hanging)
15. Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubble gum. (B. Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen)

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Exercise 8. Analyse the new surprising associations between things that similes
bring to the following excerpts, describe the foundation of the similes (whether
explicit or implicit) and the stylistic effect they create.

1. “Do you think it’s funny to be so serious when I’m not even out of high
school?” she asked. “I don’t see how it could be any other way,” said Lee.
“Laughter comes later, like wisdom teeth, and laughter at yourself comes last
of all in a mad race with death, and sometimes it isn't in time.” (J. Steinbeck,
East of Eden)
2. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the
whispering and the champagne and the stars. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great
Gatsby)
3. She had an emptiness in her eyes like a ghost tired of haunting. (S. Jaffe, 10
Bits of My Brain)
4. The dinner and dessert being three hours long […] Lord Decimus, like a tall
tower in a flat country, seemed to project himself across the table-cloth, hide
the light from the honourable Member, cool the honourable Member’s
marrow, and give him a woeful idea of distance. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
5. Withdrawal of U.S. troops will become like salted peanuts to the American
public; the more U.S. troops come home, the more will be demanded. (H.
Kissinger, in a Memo to President Richard Nixon)
6. First came the vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and
then again another term and then again the vacation. It was like a train going
in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the
refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation;
tunnel, out; noise, stop. How far away it was! (J. Joyce, A Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man)
7. I love your silences, they are like mine. You are the only being before whom I
am not distressed by my own silences. You have a vehement silence, one
feels it is charged with essences, it is a strangely alive silence, like a trap open
over a well, from which one can hear the secret murmur of the earth itself. (A.
Nin, Under a Glass Bell)
8. Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols, weighing
down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans. (F.S.
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
9. Ann brought her down to the best parlour. She left Cat stuffed and trussed like
a goose for the oven, to wait on the pleasure of uncle Alderley and Sir Denzil
Croughton. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
10. Never had there been so full an assembly, for mysteriously united in spite of
all their differences, they had taken arms against a common peril. Like cattle
when a dog comes into the field, they stood head to head and shoulder to
shoulder, prepared to run upon and trample the invader to death. (J.
Galsworthy, The Man of Property)
11. “To love someone is like moving into a house”, Sonja used to say. “At first
you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is
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one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling
through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it
simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade
worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so
much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You
become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key
gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give
when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to
creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home”. (F. Backman, A
Man Called Ove)
12. Two hours later, as Jack was bagging up the last of the previous night's
bottles, the telephone began to shrill again. This time his head snapped up like
an animal which scents fire in a dry forest except it wasn’t fire he sensed, but
ice. (S. King, The Talisman)
13. If one did not have at least a little luck, one would never survive childhood.
But luck can be spent, like money, and lost, like a memory; and wasted, like a
life. (C.M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of
Her Own Making)
14. I glanced to the left, beyond the woman beside me to the upturned face of the
boy. The glare made him look less than human: it drained the life away and
reduced him to a sharp but flattened representation, like a head stamped on a
coin. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
15. As the gong sounded, Philip Lombard came out of his room and walked to the
head of the stairs. He moved like a panther, smoothly and noiselessly. There
was something of the panther about him altogether. A beast of prey – pleasant
to the eye. He was smiling to himself. A week – eh? He was going to enjoy
that week. (A. Christie, And Then There Were None)

Exercise 9. Similes add color and feeling to a piece of writing, bringing about
surprising images. Evaluate the foundation of the similes and the stylistic effect
created by the disguised and extended similes in the excerpts below:

1. Beside the highway, flat empty land stretched for miles, interrupted by the
occasional huge corporate headquarters. In short, Holland looked like
Indianapolis, only with smaller cars. “This is Amsterdam?” I asked the
cabdriver. “Yes and no,” he answered. “Amsterdam is like the rings of a tree:
It gets older as you get closer to the center.” (J. Green, The Fault in Our
Stars)
2. The few cars there were swirled around the circular Traffic Machine, were
ejected, one by one, eastwards to Stockholm and Trondheim, northwards to
other parts of town or westwards to Drammen and Kristiansand. Both in size
and shape the Traffic Machine resembled a brontosaurus, a dying giant that
was soon to disappear, to be replaced by homes and businesses in Oslo’s

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splendid new quarter with its splendid new construction, the Opera House. (J.
Nesbo, Phantom)
3. Edward was lying on his back. For an instant she didn’t recognize him: he had
taken off the silk handkerchief he wore at home when he was not wearing his
wig. His naked scalp was as bald as a newly peeled potato and not unlike one
in shape. He had thrown off the covers in the heat. He wore a white linen
nightgown, open at neck. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
4. Ruby hated the jokes. Alan knew a thousand and everyone who knew Alan
knew that he knew a thousand. Why he remembered so many he’d never
know. But whenever one was wrapping up, another appeared before him.
Never failed. Each joke was tied to the next, like a magician’s string of
scarves. (D. Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
5. It was a glorious morning, late spring or early summer, as you care to take it.
When the dainty sheen of grass and leaf is blushing to a deeper green: and the
year seems like a fair young maid trembling with strange, wakening pulses on
the brink of womanhood. (J.K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat)
6. And the thing that kept me always in a sweat of apprehension was the fact
that every fresh blunder he made increased the luster of his reputation! I kept
saying to myself, he’ll get so high that when discovery does finally come it
will be like the sun falling out of the sky. (M. Twain, Luck)
7. And when a post was found for him in Cleveland University, to teach French,
Italian, and Spanish literature, his eyes grew more beady, and his long, queer
face grew sharper and more rat-like with utter baffled fury. He was forty, and
the job was upon him. “I think you’d better accept, dear. You don’t care for
Europe any longer. As you say, it’s dead and finished. They offer us a house
on the College lot, and mother says there’s room in it for all our things. I think
we’d better cable ‘Accept’.” He glowered at her like a cornered rat. One
almost expected to see rat’s whiskers twitching at the sides of the sharp nose.
(D.H. Lawrence, Things)
8. A good hostess, Olivia noticed that Sir Denzil’s nostrils were twitching.
‘Would you care to try the carp, sir? I made the sauce myself, and I pride
myself on my sauces’. Sir Denzil looks like a fish himself, Cat thought. Quite
possibly a carp. By this stage, his colour was high and there was a certain
glassiness in his eye that reminded Cat irresistibly of the carp as it had been
when it first arrived in the kitchen. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
9. “Honey,” my mom said. “What’s wrong?” “I’m like. Like. I’m like a grenade,
Mom. I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like
to minimize the casualties, okay?” My dad tilted his head a little to the side,
like a scolded puppy. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
10. Mrs. Bogart was not the acid type of Good Influence. She was the soft, damp,
fat, sighing, indigestive, clinging, melancholy, depressingly hopeful kind.
There are in every large chicken-yard a number of old and indignant hens
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who resemble Mrs. Bogart, and when they are served at Sunday noon dinner,
as fricasseed chicken with thick dumplings, they keep up the resemblance. (S.
Lewis, Main Street)
11. As he walked past them backwards and forwards for the sake of exercise, he
had heard Mrs. Davidson’s agitated whisper, like the distant flow of a torrent,
and he saw by his wife’s open mouth and pale face that she was enjoying an
alarming experience. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
12. The child silently, almost sinisterly, avoided any rude contact with these
ancient monuments of furniture, as if they had been nests of sleeping cobras,
or that “thing” most perilous to the touch – the Ark of the Covenant. His
childish awe was silent, and cold, but final. (D.H. Lawrence, Things)
13. The hilly country in the middle of the north edge of Sussex, looking very
pleasant on a fine evening at the end of September, is seen through the
windows of a room which has been built so as to resemble the after part of an
old-fashioned high-pooped ship, with a stern gallery; for the windows are ship
built with heavy timbering, and run right across the room as continuously as
the stability of the wall allows. A row of lockers under the windows provides
an unupholstered windowseat interrupted by twin glass doors, respectively
halfway between the stern post and the sides. Another door strains the illusion
a little by being apparently in the ship’s port side, and yet leading, not to the
open sea, but to the entrance hall of the house. (B. Shaw, Heartbreak House)
14. First came the vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and
then again another term and then again the vacation. It was like a train going
in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the
refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation;
tunnel, out; noise, stop. How far away it was! (J. Joyce, A Portrait of the
Artist as a Young Man)
15. Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you
weep. (C. Sandburg, Incidentals)

Exercise 10. Look at the pictures and decide where metaphors and similes are.
Explain your choice.

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Exercise 11. Simile and metaphor differ only in degree of stylistic refinement.
Simile directly compares two objects. In metaphor, two objects clash together
and surprise the reader.Identify metaphor or simile in the sentences below:

1. Katie swims like a dolphin.


2. The wind was a wolf howing in the dark.
3. The alarm clock is my siren, warning me of a new day.
4. The small boy jumped around and played like a monkey at the doctor’s office.
5. An ocean of garbage is taking over the garage – it’s time for a yard sale!
6. The house was lit up like a Christmas tree.
7. Jan dove into the water as quickly and as effortlessly as a seal.
8. The kicking baby was a little kangaroo.
9. The voice of the principal over the intercom was as loud as thunder and
startled all of the children.
10. This blanket is a soft bag of feathers.
11. After such long exposure to the direct sun, the leaves of the houseplant looked
like pieces of overcooked bacon.
12. The wind caressed my neck like the gentle hand of a mother.
13. Even though she lost the game, Mary stood with her head up, as proud and
immovable as a mountain.
14. Writing a poem is trying to catch a fluff of cloud with open-fingered hands.

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15. Her face, turned to him now, was fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant
light in it. (R. Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
16. After playing all afternoon at the fall festival, the child slept as soundly as a
bear hibernating for the winter.
17. My faithful dog Puddles followed me like my shadow when we lost our way
in the woods near my house.

Exercise 12. Study the following excerpts with similes and metaphors. Identify
the tenor, the vehicle and the foundation for comparison. Analyze the stylistic
effect created by these stylistic devices:

1. The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his
own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and
with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion; and so let all young persons take
their choice. (W. Thackeray, Vanity Fair)
2. He marched in, to the sounds of the overture, like an old war-horse to battle.
Folding his opera hat, he sat down, drew out his lavender gloves in the old
way, and took up his glasses for a long look round the house. (J. Galsworthy,
The Man of Property)
3. She saw Waddington light a cigarette. A little smoke lost in the air, that was
the life of man (W.S. Maugham, The Painted Veil)
4. Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book alighted,
almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering. In the
dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the
words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervour, Montag had only
an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his mind for the next minute as if
stamped there with fiery steel. (R.D. Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
5. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other
like pale flags, twisting them up towards the frosted wedding-cake of the
ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as
wind does on the sea. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
6. I have heard, the cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day. (W. Shakespeare, Hamlet)
7. But Mrs. Davidson had given two or three of her birdlike glances at heavy
grey clouds that came floating over the mouth of the harbour. A few drops
began to fall. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
8. Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. (A.
O’Malley, Keystones of Thought)
9. But the weather was dreadful, a boisterous wind whistled down the street,
piercing you to the bone, and the few women who had an errand were swept
along by their full skirts like fishing boats in half a gale. The cold rain
scudded in sudden squalls and the sky, which in summer had enclosed the
friendly country so snugly, now was a great pall that pressed upon the earth
with sullen menace. (W.S. Maugham, Cakes and Ale)
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10. The concussion knocked the air across and down the river, turned the men
over like dominoes in a line, blew the water in lifting sprays, and blew the
dust and made the trees above them mourn with a great wind passing away
south.[…] The men lay gasping like fish laid out on the grass. (R.D.
Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
11. Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-wing bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. (L. Hughes, Dreams)

LITOTES

Exercise 13. Read the following excerpts; analyze the structure of litotes and the
stylistic effect they create:

1. This is a poet. Her poem was about New York and buildings and just how
unhappy she had been there. “Between the lower east side tenements the sky
is a snotty handkerchief.” […] What an idea. A woman who was kind of ugly
said that. (E. Myles, Inferno)
2. But she was evidently at a loss for words. It was not unnatural if Gilbert felt a
certain embarrassment, and I was too busy preventing myself from laughing
to think of anything to say. Mrs. Fowler alone kept perfectly calm. (W.S.
Maugham, Jane)
3. Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the
ideal never goes unpunished. (J.W. von Goethe)
4. “Mr Davidson and I talked it over, and we made up our minds the first thing
to do was to put down the dancing. The natives were crazy about dancing.” “I
was not averse to it myself when I was a young man,” said Dr .Macphail.
(W.S. Maugham, Rain)
5. He smiled back, but the smile quickly turned into a grimace as a shock of pain
came from his ankle, “What’s wrong?” “Nothing…” Ryan said, bending
down to feel the spot. His hand came up drenched in blood. “That is definitely
not nothing. Now, come on. I need to get you to my house!” Ryan tried to
protest, but the girl ran into the office, and grabbed a first aid kit. She took out
some bandages and wrapped them around his ankle. (R. Sherwood: Escape
from Ragnarok)
6. He talked and talked. He was not unpleasant to listen to. He had no notion
that he was putting into fiction his own day-dreams […] I always enjoyed the
novels of Ouida, and Peter’s idea didn’t at all displease me. (W.S. Maugham,
The Voice of the Turtle)
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7. “Yeah, what the hell.” Anne said and looking at me gave that not unsour
smile. (R. Warren, All the King’s Men)
8. I was quiet, but not uncommunicative; reserved, but not reclusive; energetic at
times, but seldom enthusiastic. (J. Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress)
9. When I’m ridin’ in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He’s tellin' me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get me no satisfaction
And I try, and I try, and I try, t-t-try, try
I can’t get no, I can’t get me no. (The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction)
10. …and so deeply do I feel
Her goodness, that not seldom in my walks
A momentary trance comes over me
And to myself I seem to muse on one
By sorrow laid asleep or borne away. (W. Wordsworth ,The Ruined Cottage)
11. Because though no beauty by fashion-mag standards, the ample-bodied Ms.
Klause, we agreed, was a not unclever, not unattractive young woman, not
unpopular with her classmates both male and female. (J. Barth, The Bard
Award)
12. Let him fly far,
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught. (W. Shakespeare, King Lear)
13. A figure lean or corpulent, tall or short, though deviating from beauty, may
still have a certain union of the various parts, which may contribute to make
them on the whole not unpleasing. (J. Reynolds, Complete Works)
14. Not improbably, it was to this latter class of men that Mr. Dimmesdale, by
many of his traits of character, naturally belonged." These lines are examples
of litotes as double negative stresses that Dimmesdale most likely belong to a
group of men who are pious and moral. (N. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter)
15. Gabriel Gale as the young man was called, was […] something of a major
painter; and in his capacity of celebrity and lover of landscape, he had been
invited often enough into larger landscape gardens of the landed aristocracy,
where peacock as pets are not uncommon. (G.K. Chesterton, The House of the
Peacock)
16. “You can be just friends with people, you know,” Orla said. “I think it’s crazy
how you’re in love with all those raven boys.” Orla wasn’t wrong, of course.
But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in
love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were
with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing
out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment
either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one
another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship
that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening,
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quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the
other.”(M. Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue)

Exercise 14. Identify either litotes or meiosis in the following sentences. Prove
your choice.
1. She was not without taste.
2. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake interrupted business somewhat in the
downtown area.
3. He was not unfamiliar with the works of Dickens.
4. Whatever his faults, Sir Isaak Newton did have a fairly good mind for
science.
5. This day-old lobster bisque is not entirely inedible.
6. I cannot disagree with your point.
7. The Middle East is currently having some political squabbles.
8. He did not dislike a bit of scandal.
9. To the uninitiated, neurophysiology can be a bit of a challenge.
10. She wasn’t unhappy with her new car.
11. Our school spirit is, shall we say, less than overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
12. He is not unaware of what you said behind his back.
13. The meal leaves a bit to be desired.
14. I wouldn’t say no to a drink
15. The two concepts are not unlike each other.

Exercise 15. The pictures below are examples of either litotes, meiosis or both.
Name the stylistic device in each picture.

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PERIPHRASIS

Exercise 16. Identify the cases of periphrasis in the following sentences and
match them with the direct meanings in the table below. Specify the stylistic
effect periphrasis creates:

1. William III of England died of complications following a horse riding


accident in which, it was believed, his horse stumbled over a mole’s burrow.
Following this, Jacobites would toast the health of the little gentleman in
black velvet who brought about the death of their enemy.
2. Despite of cruel twists and turns of life you must pray to heaven's guardian
for relief.
3. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head
weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and the shield-bearer went before him.
4. “Problem with these gangbangers is they’re dense, not burdened with an
overabundance of schooling,” Meyer comments.
5. The reason of my sleepless night was standing in the doorway with an
innocent look.
6. John to his parents: “There was room for improvement in the organization and
support of my ideas, and while Mrs. Smith recognized my attempts to be brief
and forthright, she would appreciate additional substance in my argument.”
7. Athletes should be able to compete without performance-enhancing drugs,
reasonably confident in the belief that the playing field is level.
8. As a matter of fact, the assignment in question is temporarily unavailable due
to the secrecy of its location.

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Periphrasis Direct meaning
1. a baby
2. uneducated
3. the God
4. steroid
5. I lost my homework
6. a mole
7. I got a C on the paper
8. a warrior

Exercise 17. Guess the direct meaning of the periphrases given in the table below
and match them with the pictures. Specify the reason the speaker has preferred
periphrasis in each case:

1. zipper-skinned 2. He-Who-Must-
fruit Not-Be-Named

3. the furry, paddle- 4. vermin de-


tailed mammal infestation
apparatus
5. the elusive 6. under-nose hair
white substance crops
7. follicle 8. misapplication
redistribution elimination device
mechanism
9. bovine milk 10. cubic containment
factory system

11. instrument of 12. horizontal


destruction tranquility terminal

13. the object of his 14. hair butcher


admiration

Exercise 18. Study the following excerpts, identify whether the periphrases are
logical or figurative, guess their direct meaning and name the effect they create:
1. So, with a slight hole in their material capital, they returned to Massachusetts
and paid a visit to Valerie’s parents, taking the boy along. The grandparents
welcomed the child – poor expatriated boy – and were rather cold to Valerie,
but really cold to Erasmus. (D.H. Lawrence, Things)

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2. Then she took off her hat and placed it neatly with her gloves and cloak on the
sofa corner. Mrs. Fowler’s grey hair was very plainly done, showing all her
forehead and her ears, with a parting in the middle. It had evidently never
known the tongs of Monsieur Marcel. (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
3. Armado: “Sir, it is the King’s most sweet pleasure and affection to
congratulate the Princess at her pavilion, in the posteriors of this day; which
the rude multitude call the afternoon.” (W. Shakespeare, Loves Labours Lost)
4. “If the bulls grab me it’s three years for mine,” she gasped. “This alters the
whole thing,” he said. “You can’t make her go back when you know this.
Give her another chance. She wants to turn over a new leaf.” “I’m going to
give her the finest chance she’s ever had. If she repents let her accept her
punishment.” (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
5. “I had a few good kisses with my ex-girlfriend, Caroline Mathers. The last
one was just less than a year ago.” “What happened?” “During the kiss?”
“No, with you and Caroline.” “Oh,” he said. And then after a second,
“Caroline is no longer suffering from personhood.” “Oh,” I said. “I’m sorry,”
I said. I’d known plenty of dead people, of course. But I’d never dated one. I
couldn’t even imagine it, really. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
6. “Wait to do that till you’ve seen my young man.” Mrs. Fowler’s eyes
certainly twinkled behind her preposterous spectacles. “Don’t expect anyone
too old. You wouldn’t like me to marry a decrepit old gentleman with one
foot in the grave, would you?” (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
7. My aunt gave me a generous helping, which I ate with the air of one who,
impelled by a stern sense of duty, performs an act that is deeply distasteful to
him. (W.S. Maugham, Cakes and Ale)
8. It was a dinner to provoke an appetite, though he had not had one. The rarest
dishes, sumptuously cooked and sumptuously served; the choicest fruits; the
most exquisite wines; marvels of workmanship in gold and silver, china and
glass; innumerable things delicious to the senses of taste, smell, and sight,
were insinuated into its composition. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
9. “Cab!” said Mr. Pickwick. “Here you are, sir,” shouted a strange specimen of
the human race, in a sackcloth coat, and apron of the same, who with a brass
label and number round his neck, looked as if he were catalogued in some
collection of rarities. This was the waterman. (Ch. Dickens, The Posthumous
Papers of the Pickwick Club)
10. In a brief statement Friday night, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge
confirmed that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned to this country and
is active once more. “It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard
styling himself Lord – well, you know who I mean – is alive and among us
again,” said Fudge, looking tired and flustered as he addressed reporters. “It is
with almost equal regret that we report the mass revolt of the dementors of
Azkaban, who have shown themselves averse to continuing in the Ministry’s
employ. We believe that the dementors are currently taking direction from
Lord-Thingy. (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

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11. “We need to be together.” “Why?” I asked softly. The word was carried away
on the wind, but he heard.“Because I want you.” I gave him a sad smile,
wondering if we’d meet again in the land of the dead. “Wrong answer,” I told
him. I let go” (R. Mead, Blood Promise)
12. Dan Cupid / Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, / Th’ anointed
sovereign of sighs and groans, / Liege of all loiterers and malcontents. (W.
Shakespeare, Loves Labours Lost)
13. After supper, you find your tobacco is damp, and you cannot smoke. Luckily
you have a bottle of the stuff that cheers and inebriates, if taken in proper
quantity, and this restores to you sufficient interest in life to induce you to go
to bed. (J.K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat)
14. She walked two blocks north on Sixth Avenue, turned and went west [... ] to
the place where the gay green awning marked “Club Francais” paints a stripe
of shade across the glimmering sidewalk. Under this awning Mrs. Brady
halted briefly, to remark to the six-foot doorman that it looked like rain and to
await his performance of his professional duty. (K. Brush, Night Club)
15. Meanwhile the rain fell with a cruel persistence. You felt that the heavens
must at last be empty of water, but still it poured down, straight and heavy,
with a maddening iteration, on the iron roof. Everything was damp and
clammy. Through the sleepless nights the mosquitoes droned their angry
chant. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
16. “I do not like boasting,” said the poet, “but unfortunately the argument can
only take that form. I am a sentimentalist, as Mr. Bull would say; I am by
trade a sentimentalist; a mere scribbler of sentimental songs.” (G.K.
Chesterton, The House of the Peacock)
17. The film rights have been sold at a great price. Though the amount that Mrs.
Albert Forrester is reputed (in literary circles) to have made is probably
exaggerated, there can be no doubt that she will have earned enough money
from this one book to save her for the rest of her life from any financial
anxiety. (W.S. Maugham, The Creative Impulse)
18. I even summoned up from the memory bank’s deepest recess […] those
dreadful tea-time visits to Aunt May’s – a sizeable woman who always [..]
began all her toothless monologues with ‘Do you remember when…’ (J.
Clarkson, Clarkson on Cars)
19. By this time the village was old in experience of war, and, English fashion,
had evolved a ritual to meet it. […] Helen, presently, found herself pulling
down the house-blinds one after one with great care, and saying earnestly to
each: “Missing always means dead.” Then she took her place in the dreary
procession that was impelled to go through an inevitable series of unprofitable
emotions. (R. Kipling, The Gardener)
20. A big bee, a golden furry fellow, crept into a freesia, and the delicate flower
leaned over, swung, shook; and when the bee flew away it fluttered still as
though it were laughing. Happy, careless flower! (K. Mansfield, Taking the
Veil)

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UNIT 6

SYNTACTICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES

Learning Objectives:

To understand  Syntactical stylistic devices


To identify  Repetition
 Parallelism
 Chiasmus
 Inversion
 Detachment
 Ellipsis
 Nominal sentences
 Break, aposiopesis
 Polysyndeton
 Asyndeton
 Attachment

Syntactical aspect is essential in literary works and is regarded as the crucial


issue in stylistic analysis. The syntactical stylistic devices aim to attract the
reader’s attention and to produce a desired effect on the reader.
According to the classification developed by professor I. R. Galperin all
syntactical stylistic devices are classified into two main groups. The arrangement
of sentence members is the basis for allocating syntactical devices to the first
group. The second group comprises syntactical devices based on the completeness
of the sentence structure. This classification is presented in the table below:

Syntactical devices classification based on


the arrangement of sentence members the completeness of the sentence
structure
 repetition  ellipsis
 parallelism  nominal sentences
 chiasmus  break, aposiopesis
 inversion  polysyndeton
 detachment  asyndeton
 attachment

The effect of syntactical stylistic devices depends on the specifically arranged


sentences. The order in which words or clauses follow each other is of vital
importance for the logical coherence of the sentence as well as for the figurative
meaning.
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Repetition (from Latin repetitio) is a syntactical stylistic device that repeats
the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer and more
memorable. Repetition is an important stylistic device because it allows a writer or
speaker to place emphasis on things they choose as significant. It tells the reader or
audience that the words being used are central enough to be repeated, and lets them
know when to pay special attention to the language as in the following example:
It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so
far that I could see him. And then, when my head was well in the
room, I undid the lantern cautiously – oh, so cautiously –
cautiously – I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon
the vulture eye. (E.A. Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart)
Not the character’s appearance in the room but rather his actions and the way
he performs them – in a very cautious manner – become central for the narration.
The repetition of the word cautiously three times catches the readers’ attention and
makes understand the importance of every character’s step.
In the following example, the drudgery of working in a corporate office is
emphasized through repetition of the word wasted:

Almost nothing was more annoying than having our wasted time
wasted on something not worth wasting it on.
(J. Ferris, Then We Came to the End)

The idea that “wasted time wasted” is at the front of the writer’s concerns: the
time has been already wasted, but it was going to be wasted again by spending it
on non-worthwhile projects.
According to the American writer J.M. Fox, the only
type of repetition which is bad is sloppy repetition which
is unintentional and sounds awkward. If you repeat on
purpose, repetition is gorgeous.
Being a syntactical stylistic device, repetition can create a memorable picture
in the mind and a specific stylistic effect. Thus, every time the word is repeated, it
is the same word, but in a different context, and by the end of the sentence the
word is seen in an entirely different light. Consider the following example:

I felt happy because I saw the others were happy and because I
knew I should feel happy, but I wasn’t really happy.
(R. Bolano, By Night in Chile)

The word happy is repeated four times, but every time this word is functioning
in a different way:
1. He feels happy.
2. Others feel happy.
3. He is being forced into happiness (is he actually happy?)
4. The truth: He is actually not happy at all.
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This sentence starts with the belief in the narrator’s happiness, but by the end,
the reader is surprised to find that he only feels like he should be happy rather than
actually feeling true happiness. The sentence is a journey that has taken the reader
somewhere, from a stated truth to reversing that truth.
Many jokes rely on repetition. Sometimes repeated words can be funny, simply
because they are kept repeating. The following passage is an example of this
effect:
Paranoids are not paranoid because they’re paranoid, but because
they keep putting themselves, damn idiots, deliberately into
paranoid situations. (T. Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow)
The reader’s attention is focused on the word paranoid but its constant
repetition makes a rather serious beginning of the sentence change into a light one,
producing a somewhat funny effect. Meanwhile the idea is stressed that the
problem with paranoids is not in their brains, but with the external world. Thus,
repetition is employed to produce deeper levels of emphasis, clarity,
amplification, and emotional effect.
There are different types of repetition that writers use within their narrative,
description and dialogue. Each form has its own unique effectiveness that is
sometimes so subtle that the effect goes largely unnoticed by the reader.
The way the writers string certain words together within
a sentence gives the reader different patterns but also gives
them different effects.
Professor I.R. Galperin distinguishes seven types of repetition.
1. Anaphora is the repetition of the same word or group of words at the
beginning of successive clauses, sentences, or lines.
Many orators and politicians use anaphora in their speeches to reinforce certain
ideas and to make them stand out to the audience. One of the best examples comes
from Winston Churchill:
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we
shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with
growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we
shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we
shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing
grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we
shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.
(W.S. Churchill, 4 June, 1940)
Apart from giving prominence to certain ideas, anaphora adds rhythm, thus
making the passage easier to remember and more pleasurable to read. In literary
works, anaphora gives artistic effect to passages both of prose and poetry. Consider
the following example:
It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on
his stomach. It rained all over the place
(J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye)

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It is obvious that the main stylistic function of anaphora is creating the
background for the nonrepeated parts of the sentence that, through its novelty,
become foregrounded.
2. Epiphora is the repetition of the same word or group of words at the end of
each clause. Despite the function of laying emphasis on a particular point, this
pattern creates rhythm and, consequently, flow within the text as in the following
example:
We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only
through our love and friendship can we create the illusion
for the moment that we’re not alone.
(O. Welles, Criminal Minds)
Epiphora lays emphasis on a particular idea, as well as giving a unique rhythm
to the passage, which consequently becomes a pleasurable experience for the
readers.
Due to special rhythm, epiphora is easily memorized:

On my birthdays, I eat pizza. On good days, I eat pizza. And on bad


days, I eat pizza.

The main function of epiphora is foregrounding the final words of the sentence.
3. Framing is the type of repetition in which the beginning of the sentence is
repeated in the end of the sentence or paragraph, thus forming the “frame” for the
non-repeated part of the sentence. This non-repeated part is viewed as the
developing middle part, which explains what was introduced in the beginning, so
that by the time it is used for the second time its semantics is specified. Consider
the following example:
He couldn’t spy on her. If she wanted to keep thing from him –
she must; he could not spy on her.

The repeated part in the end of the sentence bears a strong emphasis, makes the
reader recollect the beginning of the sentence and feel the importance of the
repeated idea for the narration.
Framing is very successfully used in poetry:
This tune vibrates with stirring sound and class
Making some celebrities stand to dance.
He played the piano and the romance
Like music expert and poetic freelance.
Mixture of sweet wine and bliss in a glass
He played the piano and the romance
This tune vibrates with stirring sound and class.
(O. Arowolo, The Player)
Thus, the function of framing is to make emphasis and clarify the notion
mentioned in the beginning of the sentence.

159
4. Anadiplosis, or catch repetition is the repetition of the last word of one
clause at the beginning of the next. Anadiplosis repeats a word in quick succession
in successive clauses in order to add emphasis to the main idea. This works
because readers tend to focus on the repetition of words, and thereby on the idea
emphasized by them, e.g.:
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
(W.B. Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death)
In his poem, W.B. Yeats imagines an Irish airman who is anticipating the very
likely possibility that he will die in battle. In this somber use of anadiplosis, W.B.
Yeats writes that everything before and everything after this battle will not matter
as much as the battle itself.
5. Chain repetition is the repetition of several successive anadiploses that
provide smoothly developing logical reasoning, e.g.:

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads


to suffering.” (Yoda, Star Wars)

Chain repetition in Yoda’s words adds rhythm and emphasizes the words. It
also helps build suspense and intensity to know the climax as in the following
example:
As soon as the cat had lapped up the milk, the cat began to kill the
rat; the rat began to gnaw the rope; the rope began to hang the
butcher; the butcher began to kill the ox; the ox began to drink the
water; the water began to quench the fire; the fire began to burn
the stick; the stick began to beat the dog; the dog began to bite the
pig; the little pig in a fright jumped over the stile, and so the old
woman got home that night (The Old Woman and Her Pig, fairy
tale)
It is not necessary for the repeated words to be exactly beside each other.
Sometimes, other words can be placed in between the repeated words, provided
they are not too far apart as in the following example:
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
(W. Shakespeare, Richard III)

Writers employ chain repetition in their literary texts to produce special


stylistic effects, such as decorating texts by means of its typical repetitive pattern,
and laying emphasis on an important point.
6. Ordinary repetition is the repetition of the word whose definite place in the
sentence cannot be clearly traced. As a result, this repeated word occurs in various

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positions in the sentence. Ordinary repetition emphasizes both the logical and the
emotional meanings of the repeated word, Cf.:
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
So many things seem filled with the intent
To be lost that their loss is no disaster…
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
Of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master
Though it may look like – like disaster. (E. Bishop, One Art)
The repetition of the words lose and its derivatives catches the reader’s
attention, highlights the idea that loss is an inevitable part of life and also reveals
the poet’s attitude to it.
7. Successive repetition is a string of closely following each other repeated
words or clauses. This is the most emphatic type of repetition which signifies the
peak of emotions of the writer or speaker as in the following sentence:

“Stop!”– she cried. “Don’t tell me! I don’t want to hear; I don’t
want to hear what you’ve come for. I don’t want to hear.”

Successive repetition draws the reader’s attention and helps to feel the intensity
of emotions:
It was wretched weather. Stormy and wet, stormy and
wet, mud, mud, mud, in all the streets.
In this example the successive repetition of the clause
“stormy and wet” and also of the word mud creates both the vivid picture of that
wretched weather and emotions it incur.
Whatever the method the writers choose, the use of repetition is a clever tool
if used correctly. Words and clauses as well as the emphasis of these created by
repetition allow the writer to bring emotion, rhythm, pace and atmosphere to
narrative and dialogue. Repetition also allows them to focus the reader on what
they want to convey, all without the readers even noticing.

Parallelism (from Greek παραλληλισμός) is a syntactical stylistic device


employing the same pattern of words to show that two or
more words or ideas are of equal importance. This stylistic
device is based on the specific parallel arrangement of
sentence members that has a differentiating and eye-catching
effect. Similarly structured elements in a sentence are placed in apposition to one
another so as to make it sound better and easier to understand. There are many
famous quotes based on parallelism:

We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new


things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us
down new paths. (W. Disney)

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The words “moving forward”, “opening new doors”, and “doing new things”
appear to be in sync with each other due to the parallel structure, thus giving
emphasis and equal importance to all the three verbs.
Words and phrases should not only match in structure, but also in tense. The
use of parallelism in speech or writing allows speakers and writers to maintain a
consistency within their work, and create a balanced flow of ideas alongside with
dynamic rhythm:
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.
(G. Brooks, We Real Cool)
The parallel structures in this short poem give it a little waltz and jingle feel,
make it rhythmic and symmetrical. Each parallel sentence follows a basic pattern,
starting with pronouns and ending with nouns and adverbs (except the first line,
which ends with an adjective). Parallelism makes the poem more memorable and
easy to grasp.
Parallelism adds balance and rhythm to sentences, giving ideas a smoother
flow and thus persuasiveness. Consider the following example:
Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a
friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other
people's ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the
view, like taking a walk on the beach. (R. Bolaño, 2666)

In this sentence similarly structured clauses (like + gerund) not only give the
sentence a balance, but rhythm and flow as well. They lead the readers to the exact
idea, without any misguidance. Moreover, parallelism also gives an aesthetic touch
to the piece of writing.
In literary works, parallelism creates a bright image as in the description of a
convict in the following example:
A fearful man, all in coarse grey. A man who had been soaked in
water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints,
and stung by nettles, and torn by briars… and whose teeth chattered
in his head as he seized me by the chin. (Ch. Dickens, Great
Expectations)
Readers easily follow parallel structures (past participle + preposition) and
relate them to one other. Parallelism also emphasizes the thoughts of the writer by
giving balance and grace to the passage.
To sum up, parallelism is used:
 to give equal emphasis to certain words of a sentence
 to improve the flow of a sentence
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 to convey the central idea
 to give a rhythmic effect
 to avoid letting the reader’s mind be distracted.

Chiasmus originates from the Greek word χιάζω meaning “crossed” or


“shaped like a letter X”. Chiasmus appears to have begun as a structural form that
later developed into an intriguing stylistic device, which has been used
sporadically in prose and poetry for nearly three thousand years.
It is a syntactical stylistic device where the second half of a
phrase is reversed to mirror the first half. That is, something being
said, then repeated in a very similar, but flipped around way. In this
stylistic device, arrangement of sentence members plays the
primary role. Chiasmus is not just a simple repetition; it also involves an
intensification in the second half.
One classic example comes in the form of the oft-heard phrase:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Here, the position of the words going and tough has been
inverted. The statement explains that tough people do not run
away from difficulties, but face them bravely.
However, it has been given a creative twist by using
chiasmus. The words of one clause are inverted to make
another clause balance the first one. Chiasmatic sentences
typically demonstrate reverse or inverted parallelism.
Surprisingly, such sentences are quite often used in our everyday lives.
Numerous famous quotes attained popularity due to their chiasmatic nature.

In the first quotation, the true comedian, Charlie Chaplin, is convinced that the
mission of his job is to cheer the audience up, to make them laugh and stir positive
emotions even when he is feeling down. The second quotation stresses that
sometimes all people lose inspiration to achieve goals but they should trust
themselves and create the kind of selves they will be happy to live with the whole
their lives. And the words of W. Churchill prove that optimism is a key to success.
It gives meaning to life. Optimism, on the one hand, allowing one to have an
optimistic outlook on life, lets a person gain confidence. On the other hand, it
brings positive change to one’s mind, so that the person can overcome the
problems successfully.
This chiasmatic “criss-cross” structure balances the clauses reversing their
structures producing an artistic effect. Chiasmus draws meaningful contrasts, and it
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is easily memorized. As a result, the attention is focused on the main idea as it is
placed it in the central position.
In chiasmus, the words in both clauses should not have to be the same.
Different words can be used. However, the key element is grammatically reversed
sentence structure. Consider the following example:
We ate all the leftovers so quickly. Speedily we polished off all
that food.

The synonyms “ate – polished off”, “leftovers – food”, “quickly – speedily” do


not precisely mirror one another. The meaning of the two clauses is the same,
though. The arrangement differs. This playful arrangement of sentence members
emphasizes and reinforces the central idea.
Chiasmus is extensively used in literature. Most often it is used as an
inspirational symbol:
The cloud-like rocks, the rock-like clouds,
Dissolved in glory float,
And midway of the radiant flood,
Hangs silently the boat.
The sea is but another sky,
The sky a sea as well,
And which is earth and which is heaven,
The eye can scarcely tell. (H.W. Longfellow, Golden Sunset)
Chiasmus exploiting meaningful contrasts creates bright images, and adds
strong emotions. It is also easily memorized.
However, chiasmus can also be used to induce a few laughs. The following are
some funny examples of chiasmus in literary works:
The right to bear arms is slightly less ridiculous than the
right to arm bears. (C. Addison)
Chiasmus in this sentence displays not only the reverse
structure, but also a slightly reversed meaning due to homographic pun (to bear – a
bear). This enhances the humorous effect.
In the following example, the idea expressed in the first part of the sentence is
reversed and becomes the opposite at the end of the sentence:
Your manuscript is both good and original;
but the part that is good is not original, and
the part that is original is not good.
(S. Johnson)

Chiasmus highlights that neither the quality nor the authenticity of the
described manuscript leaves much to be desired.
Chiasmus can also use sounds rather than whole words, and is the basis for
many “What’s the difference between ...?” jokes. This is called phonetic chiasmus.
Here is an example of this kind of chiasmus:

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What’s the difference between a
fisherman and a lazy schoolboy? One
baits his hook, while the other hates
his book.

Here the reversal of words is accompanied by the reversal of the first


consonants b – h in the mirrored words. Chiasmus creates a humorous effect.
Chiasmus has several purposes, which are:
 to give structure and poetic form, making text more digestible and
memorable;
 to set the scene and draw the reader from where they are into the core;
 to draw attention to the main idea of the sentence.
Overall, chiasmus is seen as a generative principle and an aesthetic idea. It is
also an excellent stylistic tool to move and ‘turn’ people’s minds and emotions.

Inversion or anastrophe from the Greek ἀναστροφή means “to turn back”. It is
a syntactical stylistic device in which the normal order of words in a phrase or a
sentence is reversed, in order to achieve a particular effect of emphasis. It does not
alter the grammatical meaning of the sentence but adds an additional stylistic
colouring. However, it implies that the regular syntax has been altered and the
words have been put in a format that can appeal to the reader.
In the example below the writer uses inverted word order to attract the reader’s
attention to the place the character took refuge to when life turned out difficult.
The author employs inversion, as this part of the narration is important to the plot
of the book:

The world is cruel, terribly cruel. After a last scene


when she gives away her jewellery and so on to
her best friends, into a convent she goes.
(K. Mansfield, Taking the Veil)

Another example of inversion proves the importance of the woman’s name in


the given context:

There’s a lady wants to see you. Miss Peters her name is.
(P.G. Wodehouse, Something Fresh)

In Russian school of linguistics, two types of inversion are distinguished: full,


or complete, and partial.
Full inversion occurs when either the subject or the predicate, i.e., the two
basic structural parts of the sentence, are inverted.

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On the centre of the lake lay the true centre of the
Western World.
(F.S. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night)

In this example, the predicate lay precedes the subject the true centre, which is
the alteration of the standard sentence structure. The inversion occurred as the goal
of the writer was to accentuate the greatness of the center which is not only big but
powerful as well.
Partial inversion refers to other structures of the sentence. It is achieved by
inverting:
 adverbial modifier To the disco Hilda went.
 predicative Insolent Connor’s conduct was.
 direct object Little chances Benny had.
 indirect object To her family Martha gives all her time.
 attribute This is a letter congratulatory.
Inversion serves as an effective device to create rhyming patterns, a specific
tempo, a certain mood, or a dramatic effect. That is the reason it is used in
literature and in prose. However, inversion is more common in poetry as it helps to
maintain a particular meter or rhyming pattern.
W. Shakespeare made ample use of inversion in his literary works, sometimes
making his writings difficult to comprehend. His plays “Romeo and Juliet”,
“Hamlet”, “Macbeth”, and “Othello” have several instances of inversion:
Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace,
For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak…
(W. Shakespeare, Othello)
These are examples of partial inversion: in the first sentence, the predicative
precedes the subject and in the last sentence direct and indirect objects begin the
clause. The purpose of inversions is to stress the emotional outburst of Othello
who is sure that life treated him badly and unjust.
Here is another example of inversion in the poem by T.S. Coleridge where he
used inversion artistically:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
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And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an intense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
(S.T. Coleridge, Kubla Khan)
This poem is the finest example of pure poetry removed from
any intellectual content. Being essentially of the nature of a dream, it enchants by
the loveliness of its colour, artistic beauty, and sweet harmony. Its remote setting
and its delicate imaginative realism renders it especially romantic. The
supernatural atmosphere is evoked chiefly through suggestion and association as
well as inversion.
In prose, inversion either emphasizes a specific word or brings attention to
specific concepts. It also sets apart a character as a character’s speech may be
distinguished in a text by frequent use of inversion.
The fictional character of Star Wars series, Yoda, speaks mostly in inverted
syntax, ordering his sentences object-subject-verb. There is a narrative effect to
the way Yoda speaks. Some of his famous quotes include:
Yoda’s Syntax Standard Syntax
Begun the Clone War has. The Clone war has begun.
Truly wonderful the mind of The mind of a child is truly
a child is. wonderful.
Always in motion is the The future is always in motion.
future.
Inversion is widely used in his speech and it is a clever device for making him
seem very alien and mystique. However, he speaks comprehensible English.
Sometimes the writers use inversion in the names of their books:

The use of inversion as a stylistic device in literary works or poems has many
effects, the most common ones being as follows:
 It helps give emphasis to a particular part of the sentence.
 It gives a dramatic effect while reading and the reader can visualize the
situation better.
 It helps in creating a rhyming pattern.
 It amuses the reader.
In general, the reversed order creates a dramatic impact and lends weight to
the description offered by the poet or the writer.

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Detachment is a syntactical stylistic device based on specific arrangement of
sentence members, i.e., splitting the secondary sentence members from the primary
sentence members using punctuation and, consequently, intonation. This term is
widely used by Russian scholars, while foreign linguists use the grammatical term
parenthesis (from the Greek word παρενθέσεις meaning “to place alongside”)
which denotes the qualifying or explanatory sentence, clause, or word that speakers
or writers insert into a paragraph or passage to address the reader momentarily
about something that has a pronounced effect.
Consider the following example:
Now she came along, with her head held up,
balancing an enormous flat hat of pale yellow velvet, on
which were streaks of ostrich feathers, natural and grey.
(D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love)
In this example, the writer uses detachment to describe the hat of the woman in
detail and to attract the reader’s attention to its specific features. The insertion of
the words “natural and grey” that interrupts the normal syntactic flow of the
sentence does not cause the alteration of the word order in the sentence, though.
Detachment here creates emphasis as this insertion, being detached from the rest of
the sentence with a comma, acquires its own stress and intonation.
The normal progression of a sentence is interrupted by extra information or
explanations enclosed in commas, brackets or dashes. The extra information can be
a single word, a phrase or even a sentence. Traditionally it is considered that the
writers use different punctuation depending on the importance of the information:
Punctuation Information
 brackets important
 commas neutral
 dashes significant
“How writers punctuate interruptions depends on how much separation and
emphasis they want. Commas usually give the least amount of separation and
emphasis, dashes more so. Brackets give greater separation but usually less
emphasis.” (D. Gorrell, Style and Difference)
Like a baseball game headed into extra innings, detached remarks have the
potential to go on indefinitely as in the following example:
The Inspector, normally a peaceable, easy-going man, kind
to his wife and family, fond of books, genial in his enforcement
of the law and very generally liked in Tolnbridge, had now
become a formidable machine, practically insensible to ordinary
fear. (E. Crispin, Holy Disorders)
Detachment makes the statements more convincing, as it puts the readers in a
right form from the very beginning where they read it as an explanation. However,
its main function is to give more explanation. Consider the following example:
She never sought to conceal the fact that she dyed her hair (it was a
very pretty brown with reddish tints), and she said she did this because
hair was hideous while it was going grey; as soon as hers was white
she would cease to dye it. (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
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As far as its purpose is concerned, this detached insertion provides extra
information, interrupts the syntactic flow of words, and allows readers to pay
attention to the explanation:
Below the moon, the houses opposite her window blazed
back in transparent shadow; and something – was it a coin
or a ring? – glittered half-way across the chalk-white street.
(E. Bowen, Mysterious Kor)
In the example detachment “was it a coin or a ring?” marked off by dashes
emphasizes the image of moonlit houses that resemble brightly gleaming coins
sparkling in the night. Moreover, it gives the feeling that the narrator addresses the
reader directly.
This powerful effect of detachment is widely admired by the British novelist
Neil Gaiman: “Suddenly the author would address a private side to you, the reader.
It was just you and him.” (N. Gaiman)
Furthermore, such insertions, or detached remarks loosen the rhythm of a
sentence, suggesting more interesting patterns of speech:
She has an overwhelming sense of family affection, and
because I am her only living connection she’s devoted to
me. When she comes to London it never occurs to her that
she should stay anywhere but here – she thinks it would
hurt my feelings – and she’ll pay me visits of three or four
weeks. We sit here and she knits and reads.
(W.S. Maugham, Jane)
Detachment also offers readers an insight into true feelings and opinions of
characters and narrators and grabs the reader’s attention in a dramatic way. It
creates the sense that the writer could not wait until the next sentence to make an
announcement relevant to the current idea. The emphasis of the interruption is
most profound when dashes are used and when the detachment consists of an entire
sentence.
This device creates the effect of immediacy: the writer is relating some fact
when suddenly something very important arises, or else the writer cannot resist an
instant comment, so he/she just stops the sentence and insert the fact or comment.
Detachment may sometimes give a humorous touch as in the
following example: Curiously enough he found in senior year that
he had acquired a position in his class. He learned that he was
looked upon as a rather romantic figure, a scholar, a recluse, a
tower of erudition. This amused him but secretly pleased him – he
began going out, at first a little and then a great deal. He made the
Pudding. He drank – quietly and in the proper tradition. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The
Beautiful and Damned)
Overall, the purposes of using detachment are
 to give additional information;
 to give a tinge of emotional colouring;
 to address the reader momentarily;
 to give a statement additional emphasis.
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Detachment is an excellent way to highlight important points or thoughts
because what is inserted in a sentence tends to stand out. In addition, detachment
makes a piece of narration feel more accessible as it often expresses the voice of
the writer and helps build common ground with the reader.
Sentences possess the framework for the clear expression of the ideas .
However, using a variety of syntactical devices, which are differentiated, based on
the completeness of the sentence structure helps the writers create special impact
and helps the readers follow the narration.
Ellipsis (from Greek ἔλλειψις, which means “omission or falling short”), is a
syntactical stylistic device. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ellipsis
means, “the act of leaving out one or more words that are not necessary for a
phrase to be understood.” Ellipsis is a linguistically appropriate omission of words
that are understood from the context and thus unnecessary as in the following
example:
Some people go to priests, others to
poetry, I to my friends.

In the above example, the second and the third clauses contain ellipsis. The
omitted words “go to” may be necessary to make a sentence syntactically correct,
but they are not necessary for the reader to fully understand the sentence’s
meaning. Ellipsis here is used to attract the readers’ attention and give more
emphasis to the elliptical clauses as they are more important to the meaning of the
sentence.
Ellipsis can be dated back to Ernest Hemingway, who
presented the Iceberg theory, which is also called the theory
of omission. Influenced by his journalistic career, E.
Hemingway contended that by omitting superfluous and
extraneous matter, writing becomes more interesting. Just as
the visible tip of an iceberg hides a far greater mass of ice
underneath the ocean surface, so the true meaning of a piece
of writing should not be evident from the surface story, rather, the crux of the story
lies below the surface and should be allowed to shine through. As follows, ellipsis
is the omission of a word or series of words though implied by the context:

A mighty maze! but not without a plan.


(A. Pope, Essays on Man)

Here the second elliptical clause conceals the deliberately excluded series of
words (“but this maze is”) that are omitted but can be easily understood form the
context. The reader feels that some part is missing and is involuntarily enticed into
discovering the hidden part of the iceberg.

170
In literary works writers use ellipsis intentionally as the perfect stories convey
far more through subtext than through the actual words written on the page. The
more is written between the lines, the more powerful the “iceberg,” or story,
becomes. Thus, ellipsis encourages the readers to sift through the remaining
dialogue and bits of narrative on their own and discover the hidden tissues of
meanings as in the following example:

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics,


subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and
rhetoric, able to contend. (F. Bacon, Of Studies)

In the example, “histories” is a word that is used to represent all the written
knowledge of the world. And the quote is about the benefits of being
knowledgeable in different areas of study. It makes men wise by learning from the
past mistakes. It makes poets witty by necessitating new poetic styles, since the old
ones get boring after years and years of being written. It makes mathematics subtle
because there are still discoveries to be made. It makes philosophy deep since
people know previous philosophers’ thoughts, and modify them to meet their own
beliefs. It makes moral grave, meaning that the good things from each time are
continuously passed down while the bad are left behind. No matter how good a
person is at thinking, speaking, or arguing, without knowledge of logic and rhetoric
this person will never win.
Ellipsis is often effectively employed in dialogues where it serves to imitate
authentic atmosphere of communication as well as pay the reader’s attention to the
underlying issues in the relationship of the characters:
“You know what happens you have a family, your
responsibilities change, you lose touch with people.”
“It won’t be like that, I promise.”
“Do you?”
“Absolutely.”
“You swear? No more disappearing?”
“I won’t if you won’t.”
Their lips touched now, mouths pursed tight, their eyes
open, both of them stock still. The moment held, a kind of
glorious confusion. (D. Nichols, One Day)
Ellipsis here spotlights the unstated dramatic tension lurking between each
line. The words omitted in the above example would be redundant. Moreover,
fewer misleading words paint a truer picture of what lies beneath.

Ellipsis also helps in advancing the story. Leaving out part of a sentence by
substituting it with ellipsis is often done to save time in terms of “time lapse”. This
use of ellipsis allows authors to move a story along without getting bogged down
in unnecessary details:

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Again for the minute, no reply. Then the girl turned hotly upon
her, suspicion, resentment in her eyes. But what she saw was as a
child’s face – wide eyes, beseeching mouth.
(S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
Due to ellipsis, the narration in the above example becomes fast and dynamic,
and reveals the emotional tension of the passage.
In literary and academic writings, ellipsis is employed to:
 give clarity and brevity to the text
 affect the flow and/ or pace of the narration
 imitate atmosphere of communication
 express the writer’s ideas, which may not be openly said
 emphasize the emotional tension of the passage.
In general, a proper use of ellipsis helps the writer to suggest his desired
meanings. It coaxes readers to fill in the gaps using their imagination.

Nominal sentences (from Latin nōmen “name”) are viewed as a syntactical


stylistic device. These nonverbal sentences comprise only the nominal group, but
are semantically and communicatively self-sufficient. “A sentence
fragment is an incomplete sentence masquerading as a complete
one.” (D. Soles)
Being grammatically incomplete, in traditional grammar these sentence
fragments are usually treated as grammatical errors, and are commonly used by
professional writers to create emphasis or other stylistic effects. H.W. Fowler calls
nominal sentences “a device for enlivening the written
word by approximating it to the spoken. Though the
grammarians might deny it the right to be called a
sentence has nothing to do with its merits. It must be
judged by its success in affecting the reader in the way
the writer intended. Used sparingly and with discrimination, the device can no
doubt be an effective medium of emphasis, intimacy, and rhetoric.” (H.W. Fowler,
E. Gowers)
In both fiction and nonfiction, nominal sentences may be used deliberately to
create a variety of powerful stylistic effects:
1) to give a detailed and vigorously expressive description
Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among
green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls
deified among the tiers of shipping and the waterside
pollutions of a great (and dirty)
city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog
on the Kentish heights. Fog
creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out
on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships;
fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats.
Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich
pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog
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in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his
close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little
‘prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets
into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon
and hanging in the misty clouds. (Ch. Dickens, Bleak House)
The oppressive atmosphere of fog, mist and mud, and implacable November
weather is created by numerous nominal sentences. The purpose of using them is
to give a vivid picture. The splendid passage lodges a stylistic record in the
reader’s mind for later reference as it sets the mood for the further narrative.
2) to create a dramatic pause for emphasis:

The crying stopped. Silence. A dreadful silence.


(J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)

Nominal sentences in the above example strengthen the frightening and sinister
atmosphere reigned in that weird place.
3) to create intense emphasis and succinctness:
Then, turning back to the house, I saw it; the bell
wire ran along the side of the house under a sheltering
gutter. Perhaps 30 or 40 bats were dangling upside
down on the vibrating wire. The same number swooped
and swerved in a dark mass. Obviously their movement
on the wire had set off the bell. I like bats. Clever bats. Good. Now
supper. (J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)
The description fires imagination, featuring magical creatures. It contains this
unnerving line with nominal sentences, which tells the reader everything necessary
to know: the main character is not afraid of anything haunted and is busy with the
real life.
4) to emphasize the individual items in a list or series:
She went on the hunt for food. She ran her nose over the filthy
linoleum on the kitchen floor. Registering and sorting the sounds
as quick as lightning into three categories: edible, threatening or
irrelevant for survival. The pungent smell of grey cigarette ash.
The sugary sweet aroma of blood on a piece of cotton wool. The
bitter odour of beer on the inside of a bottle cap, Ringnes lager.
Smoke from a still-smouldering cigarette with a yellow filter and
black paper, bearing the Russian imperial eagle. The tobacco
was edible. And there: a stench of alcohol, leather, grease and
tarmac. A shoe. She sniffed it. And decided it was not as easy to
eat as the jacket in the wardrobe. (J. Nesbo, Phantom)
The story in the book is periodically interspersed with observations from the
drug dealer as he lays dying on the flophouse floor. And this excerpt describes
what he sees is happening there. He actually sees a mouse trying to get some food.

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The use of nominal sentences gives dynamic rhythm to the passage and describes
the usual behavior of mice in their attempt to survive.
5) to achieve a more natural, conversational tone as well as economy
of expression:
“Heads, heads – take care of your heads!” cried the
loquacious stranger, as they came out under
the low archway, which in those days formed
the entrance to the coach-yard. “Terrible
place –dangerous work – other day – five
children – mother – tall lady, eating
sandwiches – forgot the arch – crash – knock – children look
round – mother’s head off – sandwich in her hand –no mouth to
put it in – head of a family off – shocking, shocking!”
(Ch. Dickens, The Pickwick Papers)
The writer does a brilliant encounter with the minor character of the book, Mr.
Jingle. He immediately grabs attention of the reader, pulling the narrative away
from the novel’s supposed centre. The abundant use of nominal sentences creates
excitement in a compelling way and focuses the reader’s interest on this minor
character.
6) to add a modifying detail or reinforce imagery:
But she looked like she had a boyfriend. Did she?
That secure look. So at ease. Not just a boyfriend,
but a good man, too. A large man maybe. A
boyfriend who lifts heavy things for a living. Or
could, if he wanted to.
(D. Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
The passage is a delight to read, as it is a tale of introspection and connection,
of despair and hope. It is written in a flamboyant, witty, captivating style, where
nominal sentences set a quick pace and at the same time produce the effect of a
detailed but laconic picture. They also serve as a background for mentioning the
emotions, attitudes, moods of the speakers.
Overall, nominal sentences express the general idea of the passage and give
additional meanings to the text. If writers use them properly, they make a written
work more emotional, concise as well as memorable because nominal sentences
are like verbal fireworks scattered through the writing.

Break or aposiopesis (from Greek ἀποσιώπησις “becoming silent”) is a


syntactical stylistic device where a sentence is purposely broken off to
signal an unfinished thought. The sentence breaks off in the middle of a
character’s speech. Thus, the interpretation of the omitted
part is left to the imagination of the reader or the audience.
Break as a stylistic device usually demonstrates the
speaker’s unwillingness or inability to continue for a number of reasons.

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Usually these reasons have to do with an extreme emotion interfering with
continuous thought processes, such as fear, anger, joy, etc. Break is also used when
the speaker means to be suggestive to the audience. Sometimes the silence that
ensues from break is called a “pregnant pause.” As F.S. Syren explains that this
pause is like “that fraught-filled moment, which we endure with bated breath while
we await the next word. It is a pause heavy with expected import, rich with
potential meaning. The word preceding it is usually heavily stressed, and the voice
does not drop.” (F. S. Syren)
In literary works writers use break intentionally to give voice to the character
and show feelings the character is overwhelmed with as in the following example:
His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he
could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly,
he could find out what that thing was . . .
. . . One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking
down the street when the leaves were falling, they came to a place
where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight.
(F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
In this excerpt break is marked by the series of three dots. These three dots can
stand in for whole sections of text that are omitted that do not change the overall
meaning. The dots can also indicate a mysterious or unfinished thought or a pause,
or silence. This punctuation is also referred to as a suspension point.
Break also helps in advancing the story as it saves time in terms of “time lapse”
and, consequently, allows the author to move a story along without being swamped
in excessive details.
Break always occurs midway through a sentence or thought that is left
unfinished. It is not always the case that the end of the sentence is mutually
understood, unlike in examples of ellipsis. In break a sentence is purposefully left
incomplete or cut off and this is caused by an inability or unwillingness to continue
speaking. This allows the ending to be filled in by the listener’s or reader’s
imagination. To show break in a sentence, dash (–) or dots (…) are used. Consider
the following example:
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic
future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us
then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run
faster, stretch out our arms farther.… And then one
fine morning –
(F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
The final paragraph of the novel contains an excellent example of break. The
narrator, Nick Carraway, is commenting on Gatsby’s continued belief in the
American Dream and that someday he will achieve it. F.S. Fitzgerald brilliantly
trails off after “one fine morning” because he wants to demonstrate the hope that
everything will come true and be fixed sometime in the hazy future, though the
characters are unclear about how to attain that future.
Break is used in literature for dramatic effects. It can show that a character is
overwhelmed with emotion. Or, it can allow the reader to fill in horrors or threats
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with their own imaginations. When characters pause due to strong emotion or
searching for words, they appear more realistic and believable.
Similarly, M. Twain’s Aunt Polly is overcome with emotion and is unable to
complete her thought:

She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely,
but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:
“Well, I lay if I get hold of you I’ll – “
She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and
punching under the bed with the broom.
(M. Twain, Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
In a very different example, Mr. Darcy expresses his love to Elizabeth in Pride
and Prejudice. Overpowered with emotion, he can hardly speak:

If, however… your feelings have changed… I would have to tell


you, you have bewitched me body and soul, and I love… I love… I
love you.
(J. Austen, Pride and Prejudice)
The use of break in this dialogue gives characters dramatic real-life emotion
and vibrancy.
In general, the use of break has several purposes:
 to place emphasis on the emotion, intensity, and uncertainty in the
moment
 to give the characters realistic, believable speech
 to express speechlessness caused by great emotion or passion
 to avoid discussing certain topics
 to direct an audience’s attention to a new subject
 to call the reader’s attention to what is being said, for the purpose of
impressing the reader with its importance
 to provoke thought in the reader or the listener.
Thus, break has a wide range of uses. With a wide range of applications, break
can be used in everyday speech, serious discourse, great literature, and pop culture
alike.
Break has some similarities to other stylistic devices, one of which is ellipsis.
However, an ellipsis is an omission that can generally be filled in fairly accurately
from the context and places the emphasis of the sentence on what is present while
deemphasizing the part that is omitted. In contrast, a break usually cannot be
accurately filled in from the context and emphasizes the emotion of the moment.
Compare the two examples:

Ellipsis Break
A man falls in love through his eyes, a “Oh! We had a marvelous time, sir.
woman through her ears. It was just that I thought you might
(W. Wyatt) be worried about Susie –”
(H.E. Bates. Go, Lovely Rose)
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To conclude, ellipsis is an omission of words that are able to be understood
from contextual clues while in break the omission is uncertain and the reader is
supposed to interpret the writing.

Polysyndeton (from Greek words: πολύ, meaning “many”, and συνδετόν,


meaning “bound together with”) is a syntactical stylistic device. It makes use of
coordinating conjunctions: “and”, “or”, “but”, and “nor” which are used to join
successive words, phrases, or clauses in such a way that these conjunctions are
even used where they might have been omitted.
Polysyndeton employs only coordinating conjunctions as they create equal
relationships between parts of a sentence. For example,

We have ships and men and money and


stores.
In the sentence, the coordinating conjunction “and” is used in quick succession
to join words occurring together. In a normal situation, the coordinating
conjunction “and” is used to join the last two words of the list, and the rest of the
words in the list are separated or joined by a comma.
Consider another example:
Let the white folks have their money and power and
segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and
lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly – mostly – let them
have their whiteness.
(M. Angelou, I Know Why the Caged
Bird Sings)

The writer used polysyndeton frequently in her writing and here the effect of it
is to emphasize each item in the list of the privileges that the “white folks” have.
This list is overwhelming in that it encompasses most things in society that might
be desired, yet the writer contrasts the pleasures of this world with what the
rewards in the afterlife might be.
Polysyndeton can appear within a single sentence, but it can also appear as a
series of independent sentences. This passage from Edgar Allan Poe’s story
“Silence” contains polysyndeton within individual sentences and between
sentences:
And as the Demon made an end of his story, he
fell back within the cavity of the tomb and laughed.
And I could not laugh with the Demon, and he cursed
me because I could not laugh. And the lynx which
dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom,
and lay down at the feet of the Demon, and looked at
him steadily in the face. (E. A. Poe, Silence)
Extended use of polysyndeton here creates a kind of sing-song rhythm in
the sentence that generates a particular kind of emotional charge and sometimes
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a ritual quality. Polysyndeton creates a feeling of endless continuity and the
progression is logical.
The following example also has polysyndeton within individual sentences and
between sentences:
I said, “Who killed him?” and he said “I don’t know
who killed him, but he’s dead all right,” and it was dark
and there was water standing in the street and no lights
or windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees
blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff
and went out and found my boat where I had her inside
Mango Key and she was right only when she was full of
water. (E. Hemingway, After the Storm)
This passage juxtaposes many things: destruction, darkness, death,
description of scenery, and personal actions. They all are based on each other
and are thus connected and emotionally dulling as they act as a build-up of
details that work together in giving the full scene in a way that marks them all
as equals meaning that nature’s destruction is as meaningful as finding a boat.
Polysyndeton intentionally overwhelms the reader, giving them very little room for
mentally or visually breathing with the lack of commas.
While it is rare that a writer would need to generate those effects in a
business or academic document, this effect can be useful in short stories,
novels, and poetry.
Authors use polysyndeton in poetry and prose for many different reasons.
Some of the potential uses of polysyndeton are even contrary to each other. For
example, one author might use polysyndeton to speed up a passage, while another
might use it to slow down a list of related clauses. Some authors use polysyndeton
to emphasize a different mental state and individual perception of the real world:
Luster came away from the flower tree and we went
along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I
looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the
grass. (W. Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury)
The writer is describing the action of playing golf through the eyes of a
cognitively disabled adult. Polysyndeton with the repetitive use of “and” hints at a
mental state that is trying to make sense of a strange situation and put clues
together.
W. Shakespeare frequently use polysyndeton:
Her name, that was as fresh
As Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black
As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!
(W. Shakespeare, Othello)
In this polysyndeton example, W. Shakespeare repeats the conjunction “or” to
illustrate the numerous ways that a person might die. Othello recites this list to
show how serious he is that he does not desire to live if he finds out that
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Desdemona’s betrayal is true. The polysyndeton emphasizes that Othello will stop
at nothing to find out the truth and dole out the consequences.
Because polysyndeton is a common habit of everyday speech, writers often use
it to create realistic dialects for their characters, especially when those characters
are young or exhibit a childlike excitement:
I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was
free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was
going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back
to the widow and be respectable. So I went back. (M. Twain,
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
M. Twain was a big fan of polysyndeton and the first pages of the book are full
of funny but unnecessary conjunctions. The author used polysyndeton to create the
impression of a young narrator as young children often string their sentences
together into long run-on sentences using the word “and”.
Polysyndeton regularly appears in song lyrics. Because it sounds like regular
speech and, at the same time, gives that speech a sense of rhythm and emphasis
through repeated conjunctions, polysyndeton offers many valuable effects for
songwriting. For instance, B. Dylan’s song “Masters of War” shows how
polysyndeton can be used to build a specific emotion:
“And I hope that you die /And your death ’ll come soon /
I will follow your casket / In the pale afternoon /
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered / Down to your deathbed /
And I’ll stand over your grave / ’Til I’m sure that you’re dead”
Anger and disgust are palpable in the final lines of B.
Dylan’s song of protest against the politicians behind the Vietnam War. By using
polysyndeton, Dylan continues to add phrase after phrase, far beyond where
listeners might expect him to stop, to fully communicate the depth of his fury and
his hatred for the politicians he calls the “masters of war.”
E. A. Poe once said that polysyndeton adds dignity to what we say, a bit like
the slow motion of a ceremony. These are desirable qualities for most orators, who
seek to deliver a speech that is memorable, powerful, and imparts a specific,
desired message.
US President Ronald Reagan used polysyndeton in his speech on the
Challenger disaster. Polysyndeton is used here to lend gravitas. R. Reagan
delivered this speech hours after the space shuttle Challenger broke apart during
takeoff:
“We will always remember them, these skilled
professionals, scientists and adventurers, these artists
and teachers and family men and women, and we will
cherish each of their stories – stories of triumph and
bravery, stories of true American heroes.” (R. Reagan)
Polysyndeton inserts natural pauses into the speech which give the reader time
to envision these victims as a diverse group of individuals, who had families,

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professions, and goals. Through polysyndeton, R. Reagan was able to
communicate the human scale of the tragedy.
Polysyndeton has several possible purposes and it:
 emphasizes each of the items in a list
 adds or changes rhythm
 conveys different emotions
 captures the attention of the reader or the audience
 creates a “childlike” voice or makes the text more dignified.

The skillful use of language in order to move or persuade the reader is the goal
of literary works and polysyndeton is a powerful stylistic device to achieve it.

Asyndeton (from Greek ἀσύνδετον, which means “unconnected”) is a


syntactical stylistic device which refers to the omission of a conjunction such as
“and” or “as” from a series of related clauses. The power, force, intensity and
vehemence this device infuses into any
writer’s, or speaker’s, work can be
commendable. The rapid effect while keeping
the audience hooked on to the edge is what an
asyndeton statement does. The conjunctions
connecting a series of words, phrases or clauses are omitted and instead, only
commas are used.
Asyndeton is used in literature in all forms from poetry to plays to prose.
Because asyndeton, through the omission of an expected conjunction can disrupt
the normal pattern of syntax in a text, writers sometimes use asyndeton to grab the
reader’s attention and to put focus on particular words or ideas.
O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
— I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank.
(W. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)
In this excerpt, the character Antony uses asyndeton. W. Shakespeare has not
used a conjunction so as to emphasize the relation between the concepts of
conquest, glory, triumph, and spoils. Omission of conjunctions makes the line
more poetic and creates more weight.
Asyndeton is employed to make the descriptions more poetic and imaginative.
Consider the following example:
Going up that river was like traveling back to the
earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted
on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty
stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air
was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the
brilliance of sunshine. (J. Conrad, Heart of Darkness)
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Both sentences contain asyndeton: in the first, the omission of a conjunction is
poetic, while in the second, the four adjectives are listed without conjunction to
show their similarity and the asyndeton seems to bog the description down,
befitting of the warm, heavy air.
Asyndeton in which the omission of a conjunction seems to create tension in
the narrative helps in attracting readers to collaborate with the writers. This creates
immediate impact, and the readers are attuned to what the author is trying to
convey. Consider the example below where asyndeton emphasizes the atmosphere
of an old building usually crowded with people and the readers are invited to feel
its atmosphere:
I stepped into a deserted corridor clogged with too
many smells. Carnations, old people, rubbing alcohol,
bathroom deodorizer, red Jell-O.
(S. M. Kid, The Secret Life of Bees)
Asyndeton is often applied intentionally in order to give a unique emphasis to
the text, thereby drawing the attention of readers towards a particular idea the
author wants to convey. The example below illustrates the idea:
This way, you get to live the summer over for a minute or
two here or there along the way through the winter, and when
the bottles are empty the summer’s gone for good and no
regrets and no sentimental trash lying about for you to stumble
over forty years from now. Clean, smokeless, efficient, that’s
dandelion wine. (R. Bradbury, Dandelion Wine)
Here the use of asyndeton is to express the awe and wonder at the beauty of life
and the world we live in. Although the majesty of life itself is forgotten in
everyday routine, something holds the character on to life. The dandelion wine
takes on new meaning for the main character because he sees each bottle as a little
bit of magic, a tiny amount of life.
Because asyndeton is a common habit of everyday speech, writers often use it
to create realistic speech characteristics for their characters as in the example
below:
I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue
shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black
wool socks with dark little clocks on them. I was neat,
clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I
was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to
be. (R. Chandler, The Big Sleep)
The writer employs this kind of asyndeton in the inner monologue of the main
character who is a private detective to challenge the usual assumption of a private
detective for being drunk, unsociable and unfortunate.

The function of asyndeton is usually to accelerate a passage and emphasize the


significance of the relation between these clauses as in the example below:

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In some ways, he was this town at its best – strong,
hard-driving, working feverishly, pushing, building,
driven by ambitions so big they seemed Texas- boastful.
(M. Royko, A Tribute)
Here the writer uses several words without any conjunctions to describe the
city. They are all associated with power, ambition, youth and desire to prosper.
This continuous flow of thought speeds up the rhythm of the passage and a single
idea tends to be more memorable. An elimination of conjunctions enhances a
reader’s thought process, giving a natural sense of spontaneity to the overall piece.
Therefore, authors may use asyndeton to speed up a passage and propel a reader
toward a conclusion.
The omission of a conjunction focuses attention on certain words and phrases,
but it also mirrors the way people sometimes speak using everyday language. So a
speechwriter might employ asyndeton to make an orator appear simultaneously
natural and powerful, thus making his or her delivery both accessible and
emphatic.
The example below comes in E. V. Debs’s 1918 famous “Canton, Ohio”
speech:
To speak for labor; to plead the cause of the men and
women and children who toil; to serve the working class, has
always been to me a high privilege; a duty of love.

For one thing, the sentence contains more drama without the “and”
conjunctions the listener might normally expect between the clauses. By leaving
out the conjunction, E. V. Debs, a famous labor leader, also eliminates any
hierarchy among these actions. Instead, he makes them equal, makes clear that they
are one and the same to him. In doing so, he avoids creating a tired old list, and
instead urgently communicates his ideals.
Aristotle once mentioned that this kind of stylistic device was the most
effective in spoken oratories than in written prose and quite aptly, some of the most
remembered asyndeton statements are part of some well-known speeches. As it can
be seen, these speeches have really stood out because of the well-coined and
simple asyndeton usage.
Dialogues make a movie what it is. Moreover, a different technique and style
can give an edge to them, making a movie memorable. Many movies have had
asyndeton dialogues and an example of it is presented below:
Anyway, like I was saying, shrimp is the fruit of
the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it,
saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creoles,
shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried.
There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut
shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew,
shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich.
That – that’s about it. (By the character Bubba from Forrest Gump)

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In the example, asyndeton is used to exhaust an idea with a long, extensive list.
Sometimes the omission of a conjunction can make such a list appear to never end,
so the reader might imagine what comes next as in the provided example.
As a stylistic device, asyndeton is used for a variety of different effects and
purposes, depending on the context. The more common reasons include:
 to give a unique emphasis to the text
 to capture the audience’s attention
 to speed up the narrative
 to establish rhythm
 to build tension
 to activate the reader’s imagination.
Asyndeton is an example of how taking a typically written sentence and editing
it slightly can have a powerful stylistic effect. Asyndeton can be an effective tool
used to create a more concise, dramatic effect and to give a unique emphasis to the
text, thereby drawing the attention of readers towards a particular idea the author
wants to convey.

Attachment is a syntactical stylistic device based on


fragmenting (from Greek θραύσμα “a piece broken off”) for
stylistic or emphatic purposes. As the Greek origin implies,
the second part of the utterance, which is its fragment, is
separated from the first one by a full stop although their
semantic and grammatical ties remain very strong. The second part appears as an
afterthought added later and is connected with the beginning of the sentence by a
coordinative conjunction.
However, contrary to the grammar rule, the majority of
modern fiction writers agree that using a conjunction to begin a
sentence is an acceptable practice. “There are sentences starting
with And that date back to Anglo-Saxon times.”(D. Crystal)
Generally, in fiction, the lines between convention and
creativity can be blurry. Attachment allows the writer to get across information
more economically with no loss in clarity as in the example below:
Money was just a score, that was all, the mark of
your ingenuity. And luck.
(L. Dean, Becoming Strangers)

A conjunction is the “luxurious device of a jubilant reason which, no longer


content to create another world, insists on finding its sovereign pleasure in the
manipulation of its creatures. The world of reason is poor compared to the world of
sense – until or, for, but, and, yet, so populate it with endless possibilities.” (W.
Kaufmann)
Beginning a sentence with one of these conjunctions can lend impact or
emphasis to the sentence:

183
I like eggs for breakfast. But my sister prefers pancakes.
So our mom makes both. And we can each have what we
want.
The speaker employs attachment using conjunctions “but”, “so”, “and” in
describing breakfast in the family. Attachment is referred to as potential “attention
grabber” as it highlights the points the speaker wants to draw the readers’ attention
to.
In literary works “sentence combining is about playing with ideas and shaping
them into effective syntactical patterns that make sense for individual writing
situations: sometimes long, sometimes short.” (J. Anderson, D. Dean) Sentence
combining is really about building relationships among ideas and showing them in
clear and interesting ways.
Attachment helps to avoid monotony and provide appropriate emphasis:

There’s always hope. And oceans. Hope and oceans.


(B.A. Loney, To Hear The Ocean Sigh)
Attachment here is used for a piece of information which ultimately has key
plot significance, but which might not appear important at the point of reading
unless highlighted in this way. Attachment also creates a sense of fragmentation, of
something or someone isolated, broken apart or disoriented. Thus, it increases
tension in the scene and conveys the narrative tone.
“Sentence combining is a kind of linguistic Rubik’s cube, a puzzle that each
person solves by using intuitions and syntax, semantics and logic” (D. Daiker). In
the following example, attachment proves to be a useful way of conveying pace,
tone, and intensity:
What sort of place is Dufton exactly? “A lot of mills.
And a chemical factory. And a Grammar School and a war
memorial and a river that runs different colours each day. And
a cinema and fourteen pubs. That’s really all one can say
about it.” (J. Braine, Room at the Top)
Instead of using commas, J. Braine skillfully employs attachment that attains
emphasis to the town’s landmarks and at the same time gives a touch of
informality typical to conversational style.
Many writers use initial “but” to make interesting, readable prose because “but
is a wonderful word. In three letters it says a little of “however,” and also “be that
as it may,” and also “here’s something you weren’t expecting” and a number of
other phrases along that line. There is no substitute for it. It is short and ugly and
common. But I love it.” (B. Yagoda) Consider the following example:
I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t
understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first
place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a
miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a
miracle. (E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web)
E.B. White wrote her book for children. Attachment here conveys a casual
style used by the author intentionally to promote better understanding and cater to
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a certain young audience that will most likely appreciate and respond favorably to
informality.
Therefore, this stylistic device is used for several stylistic purposes, which are:
 to make a dramatic pause
 to create intense emphasis and succinctness
 to achieve a more natural, conversational tone
 to present information economically.
Using attachment and writing a fragment sentence rather than a grammatically
complete one is a stylistically established choice and, this choice can have positive
and powerful effects.
REPETITION

Exercise 1. Various types of repetition are commonly used in our everyday


speech to lay emphasis on the idea we want to convey, or for self affirmation.
Identify the type of repetition and the stylistic effect it has on the reader:
1. Every day, every night, in every way, I am getting better and better.
2. When we win, we win big!
3. My life is my purpose. My life is my goal. My life is my inspiration.
4. Buying diapers for the baby, feeding the baby, playing with the baby: This is
what your life is when you have a baby.
5. I want my money right now, right here, all right?
6. The new boss says, “Work, work, and work,” are the keys to success.
7. In adversity, his close friends left him, his close colleagues left him, and his
best close relatives left him.
8. Jennifer had a problem, and her problem was getting bigger by the minute.
9. I want pizza, he wants pizza, we all want pizza!
10. Everything looked dark and bleak, everything looked gloomy, and everything
was under a blanket of mist.
11. For dinner, I would like a steak, a steak and a salad to fill my plate.
12. All the people were moving in the same direction; all the people were
thinking about the same thing; and all the people were discussing the same
topic.
13. After a long term of studies, the students wanted to go home, they wanted to
play, and they wanted to meet their parents and friends.
14. I am not sure I like school, for school is a place where I must sit still – sit still
and listen to a teacher drone on and on.
15. Their property was sold, their homestead was sold, and their everything was
sold for want.
16. The judge commanded, stamping his mallet on the table, “Order in the court,
order in the court.
17. Tell them to be good, tell them to follow their elders, and tell them to mind
their manners.
18. If you think you can do it, you can do it.

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19. The boy was a good footballer, because his father was a footballer, and his
grandfather was a footballer.
20. The sky was bright. Her smile was bright. My heart was bright.

Exercise 2. Literary works are abundant in repetition as it is an effective


syntactical stylistic device and can take many forms. Identify the type of
repetition used in the following passages and the stylistic effect it produces on
the reader:

1. Marshal Von Grock seldom talked, or even thought, as more theoretical


people would count thinking. And it will generally be found that men of his
type, when they do happen to think aloud, very much prefer to talk to the dog.
They have even a certain patronizing relish in using long words and elaborate
arguments before the dog. It would be unjust to compare Lieutenant Von
Hocheimer to a dog. It would be unjust to the dog who is a much more
sensitive and vigilant creature. (G.K. Chesterton, The Three Horsemen of
Apocalypse)
2. “Highness,” said the Marshal, “he would be deplored; but he would be dead.
He would be deified; but he would be dead. Whatever he means to do, he
would never do it. Whatever he is doing, he would do no more. Death is the
fact of all facts; and I am rather fond of facts.” (G.K. Chesterton, The Three
Horsemen of Apocalypse)
3. I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed
a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun (R. Chandler,
Farewell, My Lovely)
4. He closed his eyes and raised a hand to his face and squeezed the bridge of his
nose. I noted again those shining nails. The elegance of his bones beneath his
flawless skin. Skin that was marble-pale, I realized. Just like mine. (S. Abe,
The Sweetest Dark)
5. The depressed person was in terrible and unceasing emotional pain, and the
impossibility of sharing or articulating this pain was itself a component of the
pain and a contributing factor in its essential horror. (D.F. Wallace, Brief
Interviews with Hideous Men)
6. The sky was gray and low and full of rain but not yet raining. I hung up when
I got Augustus’s voice mail and then put the phone down in the dirt beside me
and kept looking at the swing set, thinking that I would give up all the sick
days I had left for a few healthy ones. I tried to tell myself that it could be
worse, that the world was not a wish-granting factory, that I was living with
cancer not dying of it, that I mustn’t let it kill me before it kills me, and then I
just started muttering stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid over and over
again until the sound unhinged from its meaning. I was still saying it when he
called back. (J. Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
7. I am exactly the man to be placed in a superior position in such a case as that.
I am above the rest of mankind, in such a case as that. I can act with
philosophy in such a case as that. (Ch. Dickens, Bleak House)
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8. Noust in the grass
Grass in the wind
Wind on the lark
Lark for the sun
Sun through the sea
Sea in the heart
Heart in its noust
Nothing is lost. (J. Glenday, Grain)
9. She’s safe, just like I promised. She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she
promised. And you get to die for her, just like you promised. (Jack Sparrow,
The Pirates of the Caribbean)
10. “My dear Miss Summerson,” he returned with a candid hilarity that was all
his own, “I can’t be bribed.” “I don't attach any value to money. I don’t care
about it, I don’t know about it, I don’t want it, I don’t keep it – it goes away
from me directly.” (Ch. Dickens, Bleak House)
11. Hatred was spreading everywhere, blood was being spilled everywhere, wars
were breaking out everywhere. (S. Endo, Deep River)
12. But they made no outcry. They were again “disappointed.” But they never
admitted it. “Indian thought” had let them down. But they never complained.
Even to one another they never said a word. But they were disappointed.
(D.H. Lawrence, Things)
13. And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling. (R. Browning, The Pied Piper
of Hamelin)
14. Labor and care are rewarded with success, success produces confidence,
confidence relaxes industry. (S. Johnson, Songs)
15. Good morning to ye and thou! I’d say to all my patients, because I was the
worse of the hypocrites, of all the hypocrites, the cruel and phony hypocrites,
I was the very worst. (J. Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour)
16. The old Marshal went back slowly and calmly to his tent, slowly and calmly
removed his spiked helmet and his spectacles, and laid them on the table as
before. Then he called out to orderly just outside the tent. (G.K. Chesterton,
The Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
17. Several years before the War they met and married; he a tall, keen-eyed
young man from Connecticut, she a smallish, demure, Puritan-looking young
woman from Massachusetts. They both had a little money. Not much,
however. Even added together it didn’t make three thousand dollars a year.
Still – they were free. Free! (D.H. Lawrence, Things)
18. The uneasiness of the Forsyte family has been justified by the simple mention
of the hat. How impossible and wrong would it have been for any family, with
the regard for appearances which should ever characterize the great upper-
middle class, to feel otherwise that uneasy! (J. Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga)
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19. I didn’t know I was just being made use of. It’s awful one can’t trust one’s
oldest friends to behave like gentlemen. I’ll never dine with you again so long
as I live. Never, never, never. (W.S. Maugham, The Voice of the Turtle)
20. Long I looked into the sky,
Sky aglow with gleaming stars,
Stars that stream their courses high,
High and grand, those golden cars,
Cars that ever keep their track,
Track untraced by human ray,
Ray that zones the zodiac,
Zodiac with milky-way,
Milky-way where worlds are sown,
Sown like sands along the sea,
Sea whoso tide and tone e’er own,
Own a feeling to be free,
Free to leave its lowly place,
Place to prove with yonder spheres,
Spheres that trace athrough all space,
Space and years – unspoken years. (M. Sheeleigh, Trying Skying)

Exercise 3. As the syntactical level provides writers with ample opportunities to


express stylistic potential, they often use several types of repetition
simultaneously to strengthen the stylistic effect. Identify the types of repetition in
the following passages.

1. “The world is changed,” said Grock, “not by what is said, or what is blamed
or praised, but by what is done. The world never recovers from what is done.
At this moment the killing of a man is a thing that must be done.” He
suddenly flashed his brilliant eyes of steel at the other, and added, “I mean, of
course, Petrowski.” (G.K. Chesterton, The Three Horsemen of Apocalypse)
2. They had a studio apartment on the Boulevard Montparnasse, and they
became real Parisians, in the old, delightful sense, not in the modern, vulgar.
It was the shimmer of the pure impressionists, Monet and his followers, the
world seen in terms of pure light, light broken and unbroken. How lovely!
How lovely! How lovely the nights, the river, the mornings in the old streets
and by the flower-stalls and the book-stalls, the afternoons up on Montmartre
or in the Tuileries, the evenings on the boulevards! (D.H. Lawrence, Things)
3. When Terry quit, that was the end of Alan’s patience. The dishonor of it all.
Not just the business aspect, the fact that the Port Authority had dragged PPG
along, had indicated a dozen times that of course PPG, the originator of the
technology, would be the supplier. It was the fact that they would go abroad
for such a thing, would knowingly lead PPG on – millions in equipment
upgrades and retooling to enable them to build the glass – my God, the whole
thing was underhanded and it was cowardly and lacking in all principle. It
was dishonor. And at Ground Zero. Alan was pacing, his hands in fists. The
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dishonor! At Ground Zero! Amid the ashes! The dishonor! Amid the ashes!
The dishonor! The dishonor! The dishonor! (D. Eggers, A Hologram for the
King)
4. As it got closer to ten, I grew more and more nervous: nervous to see
Augustus; nervous to meet Peter Van Houten; nervous that my outfit was not
a good outfit; nervous that we wouldn’t find the right house since all the
houses in Amsterdam looked pretty similar; nervous that we would get lost
and never make it back to the Filosoof; nervous nervous nervous. (J. Green,
The Fault in Our Stars)
5. But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on
the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy
in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is,
They is, They is. (T. Wolff, Bullet to the Brain)
6. And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and
puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It
came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his
puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas,
perhaps, means a little bit more. (Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
1966 TV. short film)
7. He was never here before. He was very large. Very, very large. She was very
nice. Very, very nice. I’ll speak perfectly frankly, Monsieur Barnes. Last
night I found her not so gentile. Last night I formed another idea of her. (E.
Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises)
8. It was better to go to bed to sleep. Only prayers in the chapel and then bed. He
shivered and yawned. It would be lovely in bed after the sheets got a bit hot.
First they were so cold to get into. He shivered to think how cold they were
first. But then they got hot and then he could sleep. It was lovely to be tired.
He yawned again. Night prayers and then bed: he shivered and wanted to
yawn. It would be lovely in a few minutes. He felt a warm glow creeping up
from the cold shivering sheets, warmer and warmer till he felt warm all over,
ever so warm and yet he shivered a little and still wanted to yawn. (J. Joyce, A
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
9. There sat the man, in actual flesh, whom I had heard of so many thousands of
times since that day, thirty years before, when his name shot suddenly to the
zenith from a Crimean battlefield, to remain forever celebrated. It was food
and drink to me to look, and look, and look at that demigod; scanning,
searching, noting: the quietness, the reserve, the noble gravity of his
countenance; the simple honesty that expressed itself all over him; the sweet
unconsciousness of his greatness – unconsciousness of the hundreds of
admiring eyes fastened upon him, unconsciousness of the deep, loving,
sincere worship welling out of the breasts of those people and flowing toward
him. (M. Twain, Luck)

189
10. As my grandfather went, arm over arm, his heart making sour little shudders
against his ribs, he kept listening for a sound, the sound of the tiger, the sound
of anything but his own feet and lungs. (T. Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife)
11. Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my
life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never
shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children,
whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never
shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the
desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God
and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things,
even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. (E. Weasel,
Night)
12. The truth is, they were paid. Paid. They were paid by the saloon-keepers, paid
by the bullies, paid by the women themselves. At last they were forced to
move. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
13. The big stairs led up to a big house with a big front door. Breathe, breathe,
breathe, I told myself. I only have to stay for one second, be afraid for one
second, not scream for one second. I can do it. I can win the bet. I can prove
I’m brave. (Ch. Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)
14. I had known loneliness before, and emptiness upon the moor, but I had never
been a NOTHING, a nothing floating on a nothing, known by nothing,
lonelier and colder than the space between the stars. (P. Carey, Parrot and
Olivier in America)
15. He reached out and grasped the phone. His hand went numb. He put it to his
ear. His ear went numb. “Oatley Tap,” he said into that deadly blackness, and
his mouth went numb. (S. King, The Talisman)
16. Lord Decimus, nevertheless, was glad to see the Member. He was also glad to
see Mr Merdle, glad to see Bishop, glad to see Bar, glad to see Physician, glad
to see Tite Barnacle, glad to see Chorus, glad to see Ferdinand his private
secretary. Lord Decimus, though one of the greatest of the earth, was not
remarkable for ingratiatory manners, and Ferdinand had coached him up to
the point of noticing all the fellows he might find there, and saying he was
glad to see them. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)

Exercise 4. In literary works, repetition is used effectively alongside with other


stylistic devices. Identify the type of repetition as well as other phonetic, lexical
and lexical-syntactical stylistic devices used in the excerpts below. Evaluate the
stylistic effect created by them:

1. But no. He was more than that. Some days he was more than that. Some days
he could encompass the world. Some days he could see for miles. Some days
he climbed over the foothills of indifference to see the landscape of his life
and future for what it was: mappable, traversable, achievable. (D. Eggers, A
Hologram for the King)
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2. KING RICHARD II: The love of wicked men converts to fear;
That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
To worthy danger and deserved death. (Richard II by William Shakespeare)
3. There is no beyond, there is only here, the infinitely small, infinitely great and
utterly demanding present. (I. Murdoch, The Philosopher’s Pupil)
4. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the
lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm
whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a drawer loves a
secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a
secret loves to make a person gasp... I will love you until all such
compartments are discovered and opened, and all the secrets have gone
gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been
broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. (L. Snicket,
The Beatrice Letters)
5. How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells,
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells! (E.A. Poe, The Bells)
6. It is late now, I am a bit tired; the sky is irritated by stars. And I love you, I
love you, I love you – and perhaps this is how the whole enormous world,
shining all over, can be created – out of five vowels and three consonants. (V.
Nabokov, Letters to Vera)
7. “Awfully close. I couldn’t sleep.” “Sleep – that reminds me”. He laughed
with friendly, expansive, well-kept teeth that made him look more youthful
than ever and more handsome. (H.E. Bates. Go, Lovely Rose)
8. His voice traveled like a drug dripped down the spiraling canals of their ears
until they had forgotten everything, until they had forgotten their own names,
until they turned and offered themselves up to him, their bodies sweet and soft
as marzipan. (A. Patchett, Bel Canto)
9. Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth,
truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music and music is the best.
(F. Zappa, Joe’s Garage)
10. Bravely bold Sir Robin rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die,
brave Sir Robin.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways,
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin!
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly, he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin. (The Pythons, Monty Python and the Holy
Grail)
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11. I think perhaps we want a more conscientious life. We’re tired of drudging
and sleeping and dying. We’re tired of always deferring hope to the next
generation. We’re tired of hearing the politicians and priests and cautious
reformers (and the husbands!) coax us, “Be calm! Be patient! Wait! We have
plans for a Utopia already made; just give us a bit more time and we’ll
produce it; trust us; we’re wiser than you.” For ten thousand years they’ve
said that. We want our Utopia now – and we’re going to try our hands at it.
All we want is – everything for all of us! For every housewife and every
longshoreman and every Hindu nationalist and every teacher. We want
everything. We shan’t get it. So we shan’t ever be content. (S. Lewis, Main
Street)
12. The Captain’s wife played the harp; she had very long arms, silver as eels on
those nights, and armpits as dark and mysterious as sea urchins; and the sound
of the harp was sweet and piercing, so sweet and piercing it was almost
unbearable, and we were forced to let out long cries, not so much to
accompany the music as to protect our hearing from it. (I. Calvino, The
Distance of the Moon)
13. No one had taken refuge here yet. No one human. The mouth of the alley was
concealed by an encroaching extension from the shop on the other side of it.
Unless you knew it was there, you wouldn’t see it. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of
London)
14. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (D. Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into
That Good Night)
15. After two hours of political platitudes, everyone grew bored. The delegates
were bored; the guests were bored; the speaker himself was bored. Even the
chairs were bored. (R.A. Harris, Psychology)
16. When I see her I shall know what to do. Then I shall know what this state of
mind is and what to do about it. I shall know then, when I see her. When I see
her. (I. Murdoch, The Sandcastle)
17. I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world
And older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers. (L. Hughes, The Negro Speaks of
Rivers)
18. A story was undoubtedly told that he had paid his duty call to Aunts Ann,
Juley, and Hester, in a soft grey hat – a soft grey hat, not even a new one – a
dusty thing with a shapeless crown. “So extraordinary, my dear – so odd!”
Aunt Hester, passing through the little, dark hall (she was rather short-
sighted), had tried to “shoo” it off a chair, taking it for a strange, disreputable
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cat – Tommy had such disgraceful friends! She was disturbed when it did not
move. (J. Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga)
19. I am twelve years old, standing beneath a starfruit tree, standing on an asphalt
path lined with banyan trees, their roots extending from ground to sky to
ground again and forming great pockets of wild, empty space in the center of
their root-branches. (K. Minor, You Shall Go out with Joy and Be Led Forth
with Peace)
20. Winslow stood with a big green box open on the counter before him when he
thought about it. His pale grey eyes grew a little rounder; his pale, straggling
moustache twitched. He had been drifting along, day after day […] His lank
forefinger, with the prominent joints, ran down the bright little calendar. “One
– two – three; three weeks an’a day!” said Winslow, staring. (H.G. Wells, A
Catastrophe)

PARALLELLISM

Exercise 5. Parallel thoughts or ideas being expressed in similar grammatical


constructions help to maintain sentence fluency and coherence as well as
emphasize the meaning and equal importance of ideas. In the sentences below,
identify the similar grammatical pattern as in the following examples:

Example 1. The bird flew out of the nest, across the yard, and into the bush.

out of the nest


The bird flew across the yard
into the bush

Example 2. Joe joined the team to become a better player, to get more exercise,
and to meet new people.
to become a better player
Joe joined the team to get more exercise
to meet new people
Example 3. Our business meeting included walking through the factory, visiting
with the production team, and eating a meal at a fine restaurant.
walking through the factory
Our business meeting included visiting with the production team
eating a meal at a fine restaurant

1. Easy come, easy go. (proverb)


2. No pain, no gain. (proverb)

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3. We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. (W.
Churchill)
4. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you
win. (M. Gandhi)
5. If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good
friend, you’re more than lucky. (S.E. Hinton)
6. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to
find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. (F. Bacon, Of Studies)
7. Those who write clearly have readers; those who write obscurely have
commentators. (A. Camus)
8. It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people; to focus your
energies on answers – not excuses. (W. Arthur)
9. When success happens to an English writer, he acquires a new typewriter.
When success happens to an American writer, he acquires a new life. (M.
Amis, The Moronic Inferno)
10. I will love you until every fire is extinguished and rebuilt from the
handsomest and most susceptible of woods. I will love you until the bird hates
a nest and the worm hates an apple. I will love you until your face is fogged
by distant memory. (L. Snicket, The Beatrice Letters)
11. Nobody knew that the Merdle of such high renown had ever done any good to
any one, for any creature, the feeblest farthing-candle ray of light on any path
of duty or diversion, pain or pleasure, toil or rest, fact or fancy, among the
multiplicity of paths in the labyrinth trodden by the sons of Adam. (Ch.
Dickens, Little Dorrit)
12. There were real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china cups to drink
tea out of, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast in. (fairy tale)
13. With these three magic balls, with this advice, with these helpers he had, he
could find a mysterious island. (fairy tale)
14. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe
to assure the survival and the success of liberty. (J.F. Kennedy)
15. When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his
limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds
him of the richness and diversity of his existence. (J.F. Kennedy)

Exercise 6. The following excerpts contain parallel constructions. Find them and
specify the stylistic effect they create:

1. And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,


And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot.
And thereby hangs a tale. (W. Shakespeare, As you Like It)
2. Our senses perceive no extremes. Too much sound deafens us; too much light
dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders our view. (B. Pascal,
Pensées)

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3. Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk
less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours. (Swedish
Proverb)
4. And if an old man, bent and grey, ate one of them, he became young and
active and strong again; and if an old woman, withered and wrinkled, ate one
of them, she became young and bright and fair. (E. Leamy, The Fairy Tree of
Dooros)
5. Love is more thicker than forget
More thinner than recall
More seldom than a wave is wet
More frequent than to fail.
It is most mad and moonly
And less it shall unbe
Than all the sea which only
Is deeper than the sea.
Love is less always than to win
Less never than alive
Less bigger than the least begin
Less little than forgive. (E.E. Cummings, Love is More Thicker than Forget)
6. Mr Merdle and his noble guest persisted in prowling about at opposite ends of
the perspective. It was in vain for the engaging Ferdinand to bring Lord
Decimus to look at the bronze horses near Mr Merdle. Then Mr Merdle
evaded, and wandered away. It was in vain for him to bring Mr Merdle to
Lord Decimus to tell him the history of the unique Dresden vases. Then Lord
Decimus evaded and wandered away, while he was getting his man up to the
mark. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
7. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what
happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
(N. Gaiman, American Gods)
8. Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend. (A. Camus, A Jewish Summer Camp
Song)
9. Everyone of course remembers the success that attended the publication of
The Achilles Statue. Month after month printers were kept busy printing,
binders were kept busy binding, edition after edition; and the publishers, both
in England and America, were hard put to it to fulfil the pressing orders of the
booksellers. (W.S. Maugham, The Creative Impulse)
10. Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
(W. Blake Eternity Is in Love with the Productions of Time)
11. Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart; do not let
compliments go to your head and criticisms to your heart; do not let success
go to your head and failure to your heart. (R. T. Bennett, The Light in the
Heart)

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12. So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art
book ever written... If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a
syllabus about your personal favorites…. And I’d ask you about war, you’d
probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear
friends.”…. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. (Good
Will Hunting, movie quote)
13. Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become
actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they
become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. (F. Outlaw,
Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores)
14. The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears. (P.B. Shelley, To the Men of England)
15. Cat continued down the landing to the archway to the spiral staircase. She
found her way by touch, by memory, and by the variations in the darkness of
shadows beyond the candlelight. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
16. Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave
to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself. (K. Gibran, The Prophet)
17. Dear Kit, the key thing is managed awareness of your role in the world and
history. Think too much and you know you are nothing. Think just enough
and you know you are small, but important to some. That’s the best you can
do. (D. Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
18. Of all men he is still the last who might be supposed to have an influence
upon my Lady. Of all women she is still the last who might be supposed to
have any dread of him. (Ch. Dickens, Bleak House)
19. Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief? (W. Blake, Songs of Innocence)
20. If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then
crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. (M.L. King,
quote)
21. There was but one other woman, who might have been a younger sister of my
hostess, for, though stout, she was not quite so stout, though tall, not quite so
tall, and though hearty, not quite so hearty. I did not catch her name, but she
answered to that of Boofuls. (W.S. Maugham, The Voice of the Turtle)
22. When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need
completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life. (G.
Anderson, quote)
23. It was her prose that gained her that body of devoted admirers […] She
admitted herself that it was her style, sonorous yet racy, polished yet eloquent,
that was her strong point; and it was only in her prose that she had occasion to
exhibit the delicious, but restrained, humour that her readers found so
irresistible. (W.S. Maugham, The Creative Impulse)
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24. I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow. (W. Blake, Infant Sorrow)
25. You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you,
you’ll win, no matter what the outcome. (Patch Adams, movie quote)

CHIASMUS

Exercise 7. Find chiasmus in the following excerpts; identify the function it


performs in each case:

1. My only love sprung from my only hate!


Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy. (W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
2. But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might
Of joy in minds that can no further go,
As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low;
To me that morning did it happen so;
And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
Dim sadness – and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor could name. (W.
Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence)
3. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute
draws on. Now the hot-blooded gods assist me!
Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy
horns. O powerful love! That in some respects, makes a
beast a man; in some other a man a beast. (W. Shakespeare, The Merry Wives
of Windsor)
4. Do I love you because you’re beautiful,
or are you beautiful because I love you?
Am I making believe I see in you
a girl too lovely to be really true?
Do I want you because you’re wonderful,
or are you wonderful because I want you?
Are you the sweet invention of a lover’s dream
or are you really as wonderful as you seem? (O. Hammerstein, Do I Love You
Because You’re Beautiful?)
5. What’s the difference between a photocopier and the flu? One makes
facsimiles; the other makes sick families.
6. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter don’t mind. (B.M. Baruch)
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7. The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are
good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be good. (B.
Russell)
8. In the Blue Grass region
A paradox was born
The corn was full of kernels
And the Colonels full of corn. (J. Marshall, Paradox)
9. As we’ve heard this morning, development, security, and human rights must
go hand in hand. There can be no security without development and no
development without security; and neither can be sustained in the longer term
without it being rooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights. (K.
Annan, Final Address to the United Nations General Assembly)
10. His face was blazing. He loved the world, and the world loved him. When he
thought back over his life, it appeared to him in a rich and wonderful light,
full of astonishing experiences and unusual friends. (J. Cheever, Christmas is
a Sad Season for the Poor)
11. Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for
medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake
medicine for magic. (T. Szaz)
12. I looked at the gun, and the gun looked at me. Not too steadily. The hand
behind it began to shake, but the eyes still blazed. (R. Chandler, Farewell, My
Lovely)
13. I, too, was born in the slum. But just because you’re born in the slum does not
mean the slum is born in you, and you can rise above it if your mind is made
up. (J. Jackson)
14. How lovely the nights, the river, the mornings in the old streets and by the
flower-stalls and the book-stalls, the afternoons up on Montmartre or in the
Tuileries, the evenings on the boulevards! They both painted, but not
desperately. Art had not taken them by the throat, and they did not take Art by
the throat. They painted: that’s all. They knew people – nice people, if
possible, though one had to take them mixed. And they were happy. (D.H.
Lawrence, Things)
15. So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of
weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out
of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what
problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. (J.F.
Kennedy, Inaugural Address)

Exercise 8. The sentences below are based on chiasmus. Try to guess their
ending and match the beginning of the sentences with the appropriate ending:

1. Her life was full of children, and a. we know our friends.


(J.C. Collins)
2. He who fails to prepare, b. knows what he says. (Yiddish
Proverb)
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3. People don’t care how much you c. know how much you care.
know until they
4. The instinct of a man is to pursue d. the small are great.
everything that flies from him, and
5. You can take the girl out of the e. take the country out of the girl.
country, but you can’t
6. She went to church, but f. winners never quit.
7. In prosperity our friends know us; g. the last shall be first. (The Bible)
in adversity
8. Success is getting what you want. h. her children full of life.
Happiness is
9. Often in life we forget the things i. teaches us the value of life.
we should remember and
10. Quitters never win and j. you may be the world.
11. Many who are first shall be last, k. prepares to fail.
and
12. A fool says what he knows, and a l. to fly from everything that pursue
wise man him. (Voltaire)
13. What’s the difference between a m. to fall out of love is simply awful.
schoolmaster and an engine- (B. Myerson)
driver? – One trains the mind,
14. To fall in love is awfully simple, n. the other minds the train.
but
15. Home is where the great are small, o. remember the things we should
and forget.
16. Life teaches us to make good use p. to the bar went he.
of time, while time
17. To the world you may be one q. wanting what you get.
person, but to one person (D. Carnegie)

INVERSION

Exercise 9. Identify whether the inversion is full or partial in the following


excerpts:

1. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. (J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit)
2. Not until the seventeenth century did the fork appear in England. (H. Petroski,
The Evolution of Useful Things)
3. There on the tiny stoop sat Pecola in a light red sweater and blue cotton dress.
(T. Morrison, The Bluest Eye)

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4. There in the dusty light from the one small window on shelves of rough
sawed pine stood a collection of fruit jars and bottles. (C. McCarthy, The
Crossing)
5. “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore (E.A. Poe, The
Raven)
6. I have married a wife in Salem town,
And tonight she a widow will be (Mermaid, Child Ballad)
7. I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks… (W. Shakespeare, Sonnet 130)
8. Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you (Yoda, Star Wars)
9. Particularly did she commend its descriptions of some of those Italian places.
(D. Parker, Little Curtis)
10. In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. (T. S. Eliot, The love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)
11. Bliss was it in that time to be alive (W. Wordsworth, The Prelude)
12. It only stands our lives upon, to use our strongest hands. (W. Shakespeare,
Antony and Cleopatra)
13. Not in the legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damned in ills to top
(W. Shakespeare, Macbeth)
14. “Good night, my love.” Passively she received his kiss. “I’ll come again
tomorrow.” (A.E. Coppard, The Watercress Girl)
15. Whose words these are I think I know (R. Frost, Stopping by Woods on A
Snowy Evening)

Exercise 10. Study the excerpts with partial inversion and identify how it was
achieved:

1. Into the street the piper stepped


Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled. (R. Browning, The Pied Piper of
Hamelin)
2. Off they went, spanking along lightly, under the green and gold shade of the
plane trees, through the small streets that smelled of lemons and fresh coffee,
past the fountain square where women, with water-pots lifted, stopped talking
to gaze after them. (K. Mansfield, Honeymoon)
3. Since my father was a printer by trade, the conspirators had asked him to print
a proclamation announcing the change of monarchy from the terrestrial to the
divine. Fool that he was, he had agreed. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
4. “This must seem like home to you,” said Dr. Macphile, with his thin, difficult
smile. “Ours are low islands, you know, not like these. Coral. These are

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volcanic. We’ve got another ten days’ journey to reach them.” (W.S.
Maugham, Rain)
5. It is impossible to tell how first the idea entered my brain; but once
conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there
was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given
me insult. For his gold I had no desire. (E. A. Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart)
6. Unblushingly Miss Jones considered that doubtless before the summer was
over she would be engaged to him. And quite likely she would follow up the
engagement with a wedding. It seemed time for her to be following up some
of her engagements. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
7. At dinner – “potato pie” – he looked up suddenly, and saw Minnie’s face
regarding him. Pale she looked, and a little red about the eyes. Something
caught him suddenly with a queer effect upon his throat. All his thoughts
seemed to wheel round into a quite a new direction. (H.G. Wells, A
Catastrophe)
8. Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door.
A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that
night had I felt the extent of my own powers – of my sagacity. I could
scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening
the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or
thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved
on the bed suddenly, as if startled. (E. A. Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart)
9. I sat up in bed and pulled back the curtain a little. The moon had been so
bright tonight, surely there would be light? There was light. Outside the
house, hand in hand, stood the still and silent figures of a mother and child. (J.
Winterson, Dark Christmas)
10. “A strange creature, Coirrea,” said the one called Pedro. “Feel the coarseness
of his hair. Like a llama’s hair.” “Rough he is as the rocks that begot him,”
said Coirrea, investigating Nunez’s unshaven chin with a soft and slightly
moist hand. Nunez struggled a little under their examination, but they gripped
him firm. (H.G. Wells, The Country of the Blind)
11. Promptly at quarter of ten p.m. Mrs. Brady descended the steps of the
Elevated. […] She walked two blocks north on Sixth Avenue, turned and
went west [... ] to the place where the gay green awning marked “Club
Francais” paints a stripe of shade across the glimmering sidewalk. Under this
awning Mrs. Brady halted briefly, to remark to the six-foot doorman that it
looked like rain and to await his performance of his professional duty. (K.
Brush, Night Club)
12. In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice. (A. Bradstreet, Upon the Burning of
Our House)
13. As to what it had all been about, Lieutenant Dubosc was still in the dark, but
to him had been delegated the duty of seeing off M. Poirot by the Taurus
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Express, and he was carrying it out with all the zeal and ardour befitting a
young officer with a promising career ahead of him. (A. Christie, Murder on
the Orient Express)
14. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our
ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we
like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! (S. Beckett,
Waiting for Godot)
15. Poirot passed along the corridor, a somewhat slow progress, since most of the
people travelling were standing outside their carriages. His polite “Pardons”
were uttered with the regularity of clockwork. At last he reached the
compartment indicated. Inside it, reaching up to a suitcase, was the tall young
American of the Tokatlian. He frowned as Poirot entered. (A. Christie,
Murder on the Orient Express)

Exercise 11. Identify the cases of inversion in the following excerpts and specify
the stylistic effect it creates:
1. Out of its vivid disorder comes order; from its rank smell rises the good
aroma of courage and daring; out of its preliminary shabbiness comes the
final splendor. And buried in the familiar boasts of its advance agents lies the
modesty of most of its people. (E. B. White, The Ring of Time)
2. A minute later, there presented himself before the Marshal a gaunt and wiry
man, with a great scar across his jaw, rather dark for a German, unless all his
colours had been changed by years of smoke and storm and bad weather. […]
and vast as was the abyss between the Imperial Marshal, with Generals under
him, and that one battered non-commissioned officer, it is true that of all the
men who have talked in this tale, these two men alone looked and understood
each other without words. (G.K. Chesterton, The Three Horsemen of
Apocalypse)
3. It seemed impossible that anyone should be unhappy on such a beautiful
morning. Nobody was, decided Edna, except herself. The windows were flung
wide in the houses. From within there came the sound of pianos. (K.
Mansfield, Taking the Veil)
4. And now must come swift action, for we have here some four thousand words
and not a tear shed and never a pistol, joke, safe, nor a bottle cracked (O.
Henry, A Night in New Arabia)
5. Some stray animal is out there in the garden, a kitten or a lamb. Up rises the
sleepless nun. All in white, shivering but fearless, she goes and brings it in.
(K. Mansfield, Taking the Veil)
6. In the middle of the room stood a long table of plain boards placed on trestles,
with benches down each side. At one end of it, where an arm-chair stood
pushed back, were spread the remains of the Badger's plain but ample supper
(K. Grahame, The Wind in the Willows)

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7. So I took my poor little capital that I had saved up through years of work and
grinding economy, and went with a sigh and bought a cornetcy in his
regiment, and away we went to the field. (M. Twain, Luck)
8. …the exact niceties being regulated at Timothy’s commodious, red-brick
residence in Bayswater, overlooking the Park, where dwelt Aunts Ann, Juley,
and Hester. (J. Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga)
9. Down the steep track into the village a car was coming. A car so fantastically
powerful, so superlatively beautiful that it had all the nature of an apparition.
At the wheel sat a young man, his hair blown back by the wind. In the blaze
of the evening light he looked, not a man, but a young God, a Hero God out of
some Northern Saga. (A. Christie, And Then There Were None)
10. Limping slightly and with his clothes over his arm, John Andros turned away.
The moonlight was still bright as he left the dark patch of trampled ground
and walked over the intervening lawn. Down at the station, half a mile away,
he could hear the rumble of the seven o’clock train. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The
Baby Party)
11. When they got home, the Rat made a bright fire in the parlour, and planted the
Mole in an arm-chair in front of it, having fetched down a dressing-gown and
slippers for him, and told him river stories till supper-time. Very thrilling
stories they were, too, to an earth-dwelling animal like Mole. (K. Grahame,
The Wind in the Willows)
12. From the river, London was a horrifying sight. Above the town hung a great
pall of smoke and ash. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
13. Then, he held me by the arms, in an upright position on the top of the stone,
and went on in these fearful terms: “You bring me, tomorrow morning early,
that file and them wittles.” (Ch. Dickens, Great Expectations)
14. In she plunged boldly
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran
Over the brink of it,
Picture it – think of it,
Dissolute Man! (T. Hood, The Bridge of Sighs)
15. Came frightful days of snow and rain. He did not know when he made camp,
when he broke camp. He travelled in the night as much as in the day. He
rested wherever he fell, crawled on whenever the dying life in him flickered
up and burned less dimly. (J. London, Klondike Tales)
16. It was five o’clock on a winter’s morning in Syria. Alongside the platform at
Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus
Express. It consisted of a kitchen and dining-car, a sleeping-car and two local
coaches. (A. Christie, Murder on the Orient Express)
17. Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they
went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure – a ghostly
couple. (V. Woolf, A Haunted House)
18. What surprised me was the nativity scene in the corner. Standing about two
feet tall, it was more like a doll's house than a Christmas decoration. Inside
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the open-fronted stable stood the animals, the shepherds, the crib, Joseph.
Above the roof, on a bit of wire, was a battered star. It was old, handmade in a
workmanlike but not craftsmanlike sort of way, the painted wood now rubbed
and faded like pigments of time. (J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)
19. Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,
’Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea! (S.T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
20. Mor was disturbed at hearing Nan mention Miss Carter’s name. he had by a
curious chance seen Miss Carter twice in the last three days, once in the
distance walking in the fields, and once passing through the housing estate in
the direction of the shopping center. On neither of these occasions had he
spoken with her, but each occasion had given him a strange and deep shock.
(I. Murdoch, The Sandcastle)
21. And now that they were face to face across a tea-table Miss Jones was
bunkered again. For never had she drunk tea under similar circumstances.
Life had brought her varied experiences, but sitting across the teacups from
one whom she had interrupted on the brink of suicide did not chance to be
among them. She was wholly without precedent, and it was trying for an army
girl to be stripped of precedent. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
22. Mary Debenham had had little sleep since she left Baghdad on the preceding
Thursday. Neither in the train to Kirkuk, nor in the Rest House at Mosul, nor
last night on the train had she slept properly. Now, weary of lying wakeful in
the hot stuffiness of her overheated compartment, she got up and peered out.
(A. Christie, Murder on the Orient Express)
23. We are what we love. We are the things, the people, the ideas we spend our
days with. They center us, they drive us, they define us to our very core.
Without them, we are empty. (D. Whitney, The Rivals)
24. Pale was it, at first, as the mist that hangs over the river-pale as the morning,
and silver as the wings of the dawn (O. Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other
Tales)
25. By the step leading up into the sleeping-car stood a young French lieutenant,
resplendent in uniform conversing, with a small man muffled up to the ears of
whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an
upward-curled moustache. (A. Christie, Murder on the Orient Express)

DETACHMENT

Exercise 12. Find detachment in the excerpts below and identify with which
purpose it is used in the narrative:

1. But at that moment the voice of the Wagon Lit conductor spoke from over
Poirot’s shoulder – an apologetic, rather breathless voice. (A. Christie,
Murder on the Orient Express)
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2. In a moment she knew what had startled them, for as they stood there,
chattering to one another, four peasants passed, quick and silent, bearing a
new coffin, unpainted, and its fresh wood gleamed white in the approaching
darkness. Kitty felt her heart beat in terror against her ribs. (W.S. Maugham,
The Painted Veil)
3. “This idea of a life with pretense – did you ever see any awareness of that in
your father?” “I suppose socially. Sometimes. All the dreadful bores he had to
put up with. The small-talk. But even that far less often than he seemed to be
enjoying it.” (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
4. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were
close fastened, through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see
the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. (E. A. Poe,
The Tell-Tale Heart)
5. “Why you know you’re tired! That’ what’s the matter with you, and you’re
just too tired to know what’s the matter.” The girl nodded, tears upon her
cheeks, looking like a child that has had a cruel time and needs to be
comforted. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
6. I had gone to bed and I was deep asleep when I heard it clearly. Above me.
Footsteps. Pacing. Down the room. Hesitate. Turn. Return. (J. Winterson,
Dark Christmas)
7. The doors swung back outwards and almost settled to a stop. Before they had
entirely stopped moving they opened again, violently, outwards. Something
sailed across the sidewalk and landed in the gutter between two parked cars.
(R. Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely)
8. Relief unspeakable, and yet – a daughter! It seemed to him unfair. To have
taken that risk – to have been through this agony – and what agony! – for a
daughter! (J. Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga)
9. Now the two girls were going between some rows of dwellings, of the poorer
sort. Women, their arms folded over their coarse aprons, standing gossiping at
the end of their block, stared after the Brangwen sisters with that long,
unwearying stare of aborigines; children called out names. (D. H. Lawrence,
Women in Love)
10. Wasn’t it luck? Fanny pressed her husband’s arm. These things seemed
always to be happening to them ever since they – came abroad. (K. Mansfield,
Honeymoon)
11. “Support Group Hazel not Monica,” I said when he got close enough, and he
smiled and said, “Hey, Hazel. How’s it going?” “I’m a lot better now,” I said.
“I’m going to Amsterdam tomorrow with Gus.” “I know. I’m pretty well up-
to-date on your life, because Gus never. Talks. About. Anything. Else.” (J.
Green, The Fault in Our Stars)
12. The idea of weaponizing such a delightfully deadly substance was hardly
original, of course. But no one had ever done so before – for a very simple
reason. Delivery was nearly impossible. (J. Deaver, The Skin Collector)
13. Gilbert had left her a moment before she leaped to the telephone to summon
me. When he entered the room, pale and distraught, she saw at once that
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something terrible had happened. She knew what he was going to say before
he said it. (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
14. Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s
evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like
(Write it!) like disaster. (E. Bishop, One Art)
15. They sat on the steps of a little building (four lacquered columns and a high,
tiled roof under which stood a great bronze bell) and watched the river flow
sluggish and with many a bend towards the stricken city. […] But the river,
though it flowed so slowly, had still a sense of movement and it gave one a
melancholy feeling of the transitoriness of things. It seemed to kitty that they
were all, the human race, like the drops of water in that river and they flowed
on, each so close to the other and yet so far apart, a nameless flood, to the sea.
(W.S. Maugham, The Painted Veil)

Exercise 13. Specify the stylistic effect created by detachment in the following
passages:

1. His memories of the Boston Society Contralto were nebulous and musical.
She was a lady who sang, sang, sang, in the music room of their house on
Washington Square – sometimes with guests scattered all about her, the men
with their arms folded, balanced breathlessly on the edges of sofas, the
women with their hands in their laps, occasionally making little whispers to
the men and always clapping very briskly and uttering cooing cries after each
song – and often she sang to Anthony alone, in Italian or French or in a
strange and terrible dialect which she imagined to be the speech of the
Southern negro. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned)
2. “He gave no indication of any bitterness, quarrel, that Thursday evening?”
“Not in the least. He said Peter looked well. What a charming girl his new
friend was.” She added, “I think he was a tiny bit disappointed they weren’t
going down to the Hall for the weekend. But he expected his children to lead
their own lives.” “So he wasn’t disappointed by the way Peter had turned
out.” “Good heavens no. He’s done quite brilliantly. Academically.” (J.
Fowles, The Enigma)
3. The girl stopped, turned, saw the rumpled, lifeless-looking heap of blue linen,
turned back toward the river, then once more to the motionless Miss Jones,
lying face downward in the sand. And then the girl who thought life not worth
living, delaying her own preference, with rather reluctant feet – feet clad in
pink satin slippers – turned back to the girl who wanted to live badly enough
to call for help. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
4. She had adored him at first sight. Now that she looked back she could see that
it had been at first sight. Adored him protectively, maternally – for he was
only twenty and very young, in spite of the wrinkle between his brows, and
the long words, and the undergraduate’s newly discovered knowledge; only
twenty, and she was nearly twenty-nine. And she had fallen in love with his
beauty, too. Ah, passionately. (A. Huxley, Hubert and Minnie)
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5. What makes a Thought so powerful is that it can be created by anybody. At
anytime. From anywhere. That’s why Thinking should be encouraged and
nurtured in all its forms. No matter how small. Or how impossibly grand.
Because wherever Thinking happens, Big Ideas follow. Minds become
enlightened. Knowledge grows. (Qatar Foundation, advertisement)
6. When John Marcus Fielding disappeared, he therefore contravened all social
and statistical probability. Fifty-seven years old, rich, happily married, with a
son and two daughters; on the board of several City companies (and very
much not merely to adorn the letterheadings); owner of one of the finest
Elizabethan manor houses in East Anglia, with an active interest in the
running of his eighteen-hundred-acre farm; a joint – if somewhat honorary –
master of foxhounds, a keen shot… he was a man who, if there were an arium
of living human stereotypes, would have done very well as a model of his
kind: the successful City man who is also a country landowner and (in all but
name) village squire. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
7. Her father, mute and yellowish, his black beard making him look more
careworn, mounted the steps stiffly, as if his spirit were absent; but the
laughing mist of the bride went along with him undiminished. (D. H.
Lawrence, Women in Love)
8. He became an exquisite dandy, amassed a rather pathetic collection of silk
pajamas, brocaded dressing-gowns, and neckties too flamboyant to wear; in
this secret finery he would parade before a mirror in his room or lie stretched
in satin along his window-seat looking down on the yard and realizing dimly
this clamor, breathless and immediate, in which it seemed he was never to
have a part. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned)
9. “What do I think of Rupert Birkin?” repeated Gudrun. “I think he's attractive
– decidedly attractive. What I can’t stand about him is his way with other
people – his way of treating any little fool as if she were his greatest
consideration. One feels so awfully sold, oneself.” ”Why does he do it?” said
Ursula. “Because he has no real critical faculty – of people, at all events,” said
Gudrun. “I tell you, he treats any little fool as he treats me or you – and it's
such an insult.” (D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love)
10. He could pass very well as rich, trendy young man about town; and if this
ability could cause envy inside the force, it could also confound many stock
notions of professional deformation outside it. His impeccable family
background (with his father still a respected country head of police) also
helped greatly; in a way he was a good advertisement for the career –
undoubtedly a main reason he was picked for an assignment that must bring
him into contact with various kinds of influential people. His name was
Michael Jennings. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
11. An awful thing had happened. Quite suddenly, at the theatre last night, when
she and Jimmy were seated side by side in the dress-circle, without a
moment’s warning – in fact, she had just finished a chocolate almond and
passed the box to him again – she had fallen in love with an actor. But – fallen
– in – love … (K. Mansfield, Taking the Veil)
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12. Iwelei was on the edge of the city. You went down side streets by the harbour,
in the darkness, across a rickety bridge, till you came to a deserted road, all
ruts and holes, and then suddenly you came out into the light. There was
parking room for motors on each side of the road, and there were saloons,
tawdry and bright, each one noisy with its mechanical piano, and there were
barbers’ shops and tobacconists. (W.S. Maugham, Rain)
13. “Are you saying he might have killed himself?” Evidently she was, though
she shook her head. “I don’t know, I simply don’t know. I feel so certain it
was something done without warning. Preparation. Mr. Fielding was a great
believer in order. In proper channels. It was so very uncharacteristic of him.
The method, I mean the way he did it. If he did do it.” (J. Fowles, The
Enigma)
14. There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would
live for herself. And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not.
What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face
of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the
strongest impulse of her being! “Free! Body and soul free!” she kept
whispering. (K. Chopin, The Story of an Hour)
15. The city would react quickly, of course, with the Health Department and
Homeland Security racing to find the source of the illness. There’d be some
delay as officials thought chemical nerve agents – the symptoms are similar –
and with some luck medical workers would start injecting atropine and
pralidoxime, which actually increase botulism’s lethal strength. Some would
diagnose myasthenia gravis. But then would come the serum and stool tests
and finally mass spectrometry would confirm what the disease truly was. The
only thing the authorities could do – the utterly incompetent city, state and
federal governments – was shut down the entire water system. (J. Deaver The
Skin Collector)
16. A little gravel alley, too small to be marked with a street sign but known in
the neighborhood as Shilling Alley, wound hazardously around our property
and on down, past an untidy sequence of back buildings (chicken houses,
barns out of plumb, a gun shop, a small lumber mill, a shack where a blind
man lived, and the enchanted grotto of a garage whose cement floors had been
waxed to the luster of ebony by oil drippings … silver water so cold it made
your front teeth throb) on down to Lancaster Avenue, the main street, where
the trolley cars ran. (J. Updike, The Dogwood Tree: A Boyhood)
17. Indeed he felt near the end of his tether over the whole bloody case. There
were still people he had down to see, but he hardly expected them to add
anything to the general – and generally blank – picture. (J. Fowles, The
Enigma)
18. Ursula, her heart strained with anxiety, was watching the hill beyond; the
white, descending road, that should give sight of him. There was a carriage. It
was running. It had just come into sight. Yes, it was he. (D. H. Lawrence,
Women in Love)

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19. But this time there was no place she would rather be than just where she
found herself. For she was a little tired, after a long round of visits at gay
places, and this quiet, beautiful island out in the Mississippi – large, apart,
serene – seemed a great lap into which to sink. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
20. He did see the two daughters briefly. They presented the same united front.
The younger of the two, Caroline, who had been sailing in Greece when the
event took place, added one tiny new – and conflicting – angle. She felt that
people, “not even Mummy,” realized how much the country side of his life
meant to him – the farm, it drove Tony (the farm manager) mad the way
Daddy was always poking around. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)

ELLIPSIS

Exercise 14. Study the following excerpts and determine the function of ellipsis:

1. I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,


My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,
My figured goblets for a dish of wood . . . . (W. Shakespeare, Richard II)
2. The music stopped as suddenly as it had begun. It was then she noticed a tall
old man with white hair standing beside the musicians. Strange she hadn’t
noticed him before. (K. Mansfield, Honeymoon)
3. That even our loves should with our fortunes
change; For ’tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. (W. Shakespeare, Hamlet)
4. Beyond the garage were some decorative trees trimmed as carefully as poodle
dogs. Beyond them a large green house with a domed roof. Then more trees
and beyond everything the solid, uneven, comfortable line of the foothills. (R.
Chandler, The Big Sleep)
5. “Oh, you can’'t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re
mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat,
’or you wouldn’t have come here.” (L. Carrol, Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland)
6. Now he is here,” I exclaimed. “For Heaven’s sake, hurry down! Do be quick;
and stay among the trees till he is fairly in.” “I must go, Cathy,” said
Heathcliff, seeking to extricate himself from his companion’s arms. “I won’t
stray five yards from your window…” “For one hour,” he pleaded earnestly.
“Not for one minute,” she replied. “I must – Linton will be up immediately,”
persisted the intruder. (E. Bronte, Wuthering Heights)
7. Still emotional, and a little out of breath, she sat silent; not so the young man.
She had never heard any one say so much in so short a time. He told her his
age, twenty-four, his weight, ten stone eleven; his place of residence, not far
away; described his sensations under fire, and what it felt like to be gassed. (J.
Galsworthy, To Let)
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8. They had marched more than thirty kilometers since dawn, along the white,
hot road where occasional thickets of trees threw a moment of shade, then out
into the glare again. On either hand, the valley, wide and shallow, glittered
with heat. (D. H. Lawrence, The Prussian Officer)
9. “Didn’t she remember – what was it? – Kennicott sitting beside her at Fort
Snelling, urging, “See how scared that baby is. Needs some woman like you.”
Magic had fluttered about her then – magic of sunset and cool air and the
curiosity of lovers. She held out her hands as much to that sanctity as to the
boy. He edged into the room, doubtfully sucking his thumb. “Hello,” she said.
“What’s your name?” “Hee, hee, hee!” “You’re quite right. I agree with you.
Silly people like me always ask children their names.” “Hee, hee, hee!”
“Come here and I’ll tell you a story of – well, I don’t know what it will be
about, but it will have a slim heroine and a Prince Charming.” (S. Lewis, Main
Street)
10. The other girl swung her head around. She was taller, had black eyes, the hard
startle of a hawk. Her hair in a thick braid over her shoulder. (A. Coplin, The
Orchardist)
11. The people she served were mostly women whose dress, manners, and
position in the social world were quoted as criterions. From them Nancy
began to take toll – the best from each according to her view. From one she
would copy and practice a gesture, from another an eloquent lifting of an
eyebrow, from others, a manner of walking, of carrying a purse, of smiling, of
greeting a friend, of addressing “inferiors in station.” (O. Henry, The Trimmed
Lamp)
12. “Something funny ’bout that gal,” Paul D said, mostly to himself. “Funny
how?” “Acts sick, sounds sick, but she don’t look sick. Good skin, bright eyes
and strong as a bull. “She’s not strong. She can hardly walk without holding
on to something.” “That’s what I mean. Can’t walk, but I seen her pick up the
rocker with one hand. “You didn’t. “Don’t tell me. Ask Denver. She was right
there with her.” (T. Morrison, Beloved)
13. The Captain had reddish-brown, stiff hair, that he wore short upon his skull.
His face was rather rugged, the cheeks thin. Perhaps the man was the more
handsome for the deep lines in his face, the irritable tension of his brow,
which gave him the look of a man who fights with life. (D. H. Lawrence, The
Prussian Officer)
14. Can barely write this. Thrown up twice now. It is three in the morning. Feel
like a fugitive – which I suppose is what we are. Weighing everything up over
and over. Trying to find that point where medical ethics, the acceptable
boundaries of science, individual responsibility and plain common sense all
meet. It is very elusive. (P. James, Perfect People)
15. He also asked to be cremated, and for his ashes to be scattered, since the swift
destruction of the body was also a philosopher’s active choice, and preferable
to the supine waiting for natural decomposition in the ground. “Did you go?
To the funeral?” “Not invited. Nor was Colin. Family only, and all that.”

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“What do we think?” “Well, it’s family’s right, I suppose”. (J. Barnes, The
Sense of an Ending)
16. Of course, pounding irritably with her club, the only reason for not marrying
him was that there were too many reasons for doing so. She could not think of
a single person who would furnish the stimulus of an objection. Stupid to
have every one so pleased! But there must always be something wrong, so let
that be appeased in having everything just right. And then there was Cuba for
one’s adventurous sense. (S. Glaspell, The Visioning)
17. “People talk of natural sympathies; I have heard of good genii: there are
grains of truth in the wildest fable. My cherished preserver, goodnight!”
Strange energy was in his voice, strange fire in his look. (Ch. Bronte, Jane
Eyre)
18. “So he was going down to Chislehurst. How did he seem?” “Cheerful. Happy.
Like himself, only more so. As we said goodbye, he told me he was in love”.
(J. Barnes, The Sense of an Ending)
19. “O.K. – O.K. I’ll tell ya again. I ain’t got nothing to do. Might jus’ as well
spen’ all my time tell’n you things and then you forget ‘em, and I tell you
again.” “Tried and tried,” said Lennie, “but it didn’t do no good. I remember
about the rabbits, George.” Lennies’s face broke into a delighted smile. (J.
Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men)
20. Night is a time of rigor, but also of mercy. There are truths which one can see
only when it’s dark” (I. B. Singer, Teibele And Her Demon)

NOMINAL SENTENCES

Exercise 15. Analyze the following passages and define the stylistic effects
nominal sentences create:

1. Down here in the cellar, with the stench from the cesspit oozing through the
wall, it was very quiet. You could hear and see nothing of what might be
going on in the rest of the house. The screams. The flames. (A. Taylor, The
Ashes of London)
2. The fanlight shattered and fell round my shoulders in shards of sharp rain.
Flicker. Buzz. Darkness. The house lights were out. No wind now. No cries.
Silence again. (J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)
3. A white hat. A white embroidered parasol. Black shoes with buckles
glistening like the dust in the blacksmith's shop. A silver mesh bag. A silver
calling-card case on a little chain. Another bag of silver mesh, gathered to a
tight, round neck of strips of silver that will open out, like the hatrack in the
front hall. A silver-framed photograph, quickly turned over. Handkerchiefs
with narrow black hems – ‘morning handkerchiefs’. In bright sunlight, over
breakfast tables, they flutter. (E. Bishop, In the Village)
4. Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the
cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned
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up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the
evening papers. (E. Hemingway, The Toronto Star)
5. A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the
words CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING
CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY,
IDENTITY, STABILITY. (A. Huxley, Brave New World)
6. What’s the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet South-wind, that means no rain;
Truth, not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over-plain;
Love, when, so, you’re loved again.
What’s the best thing in the world?
Something out of it, I think. (E.B. Browning, The Best Thing in the World)
7. The hawk sailing by at 200 feet, a squirming snake in its talons. Salt in the
drinking water. Salt, selenium, arsenic, radon and radium in the water in the
gravel in your bones. Water so hard it bends light, drills holes in rock and
chokes up your radiator. (E. Abbey, Journey Home)
8. New Year’s Eve on Broadway. 1931. The poet’s dream. The bootlegger’s
heaven. The hat check girl’s julep of joy. Lights. Love. Laughter. Tickets.
Taxis. Tears. Bad booze putting hics into hicks and bills into tills. Sadness.
Gladness. Madness. New Year’s Eve on Broadway. (M. Hellinger, New
Year’s Eve on Broadway)
9. “Ah! fine place,” said the stranger, “glorious pile – frowning walls – tottering
arches – dark nooks – crumbling staircases – Old cathedral too – earthy smell
– pilgrims’ feet worn away the old steps – little Saxon doors – confessionals
like money-takers’ boxes at theatres – queer customers those monks – Popes,
and Lord Treasurers, and all sorts of old fellows, with great red faces, and
broken noses, turning up every day – buff jerkins too – matchlocks –
Sarcophagus – fine place – old legends too – strange stories: capital and the
stranger continued to soliloquize until they reached the Bull Inn, in the High
Street, where the coach stopped.” (Ch. Dickens, The Pickwick Papers)
10. The vacuum sucked the alien through the porthole. Tentacles first, egg sac
last. Into the grip of space. Black. Airless. Lethal. (A. Plotnik, Spunk & Bite)
11. Prayer the church’s banquet, angel’s age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth
Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tow’r,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
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Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood. (G. Herbert, Prayer)
12. “Ah! I see – in at the palace door one day, out at the window the next.
Philosopher, Sir?’ “An observer of human nature, Sir,” said Mr. Pickwick.
“Ah, so am I. Most people are when they’ve little to do and less to get. Poet,
Sir?” “My friend Mr. Snodgrass has a strong poetic turn,” said Mr. Pickwick.
“So have I,” said the stranger. “Epic poem – ten thousand lines – revolution of
July – composed it on the spot – Mars by day, Apollo by night – bang the
field – piece, twang the lyre.” (Ch. Dickens, The Pickwick Papers)
13. Pale druggists in remote towns of the Epworth League and flannel nightgown
belts, endlessly wrapping up bottles of Peruna. Women hidden away in the
damp kitchens of unpainted houses along the railroad tracks, frying tough
beefsteaks. Lime and cement dealers being initiated into the Knights of
Pythias, the Red Men or the Woodmen of the World. Watchmen at lonely
railroad crossings in Iowa, hoping that they'll be able to get off to hear the
United Brethren evangelist preach. Ticket-sellers in the subway, breathing
sweat in its gaseous form. Farmers plowing sterile fields behind sad
meditative horses, both suffering from the bites of insects. Grocery-clerks
trying to make assignations with soapy servant girls. Women confined for the
ninth or tenth time, wondering helplessly what it is all about. Methodist
preachers retired after forty years of service in the trenches of God, upon
pensions of $600 a year. (H.L. Mencken, Diligence)
14. I stood still for a minute, steadying my nerve. Then I shuffled forward
towards the edge of light coming up from downstairs. At the doorway I heard
a step behind me, lost my balance and put out a hand to steady myself. My
hand gripped something wet. The clothes rail. It must be the dress. My heart
was over-beating. Don’t panic. Bakelite. Bad wiring. Strange house.
Darkness. Aloneness. (J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)
15. What absorbs them is power and the stupor of power. Eating and talking,
munching lives, belching. Slow, heavy-bellied talk. Sitting in a circle,
debating ponderously, issuing degrees like hammer blows: death, death,
death. Untroubled by the stench. Heavy eyelids, piggish eyes, shrewd with the
shrewdness of generations of peasants. Plotting against each other too: slow
peasant plots that take decades to mature. The new Africans, pot-bellied,
heavy-jowled men on their stools of office: Cetshwayo, Dingane in white
skins. Pressing downward: their power in their weight. (J.M. Coetzee, The
Age of Iron)
16. Laura looked at the bottled fruits, the sliced pears in syrup, the glistening red
plums, the greengages. She thought of the woman who had filled those jars
and fastened on the bladders. Perhaps the greengrocer’s mother lived in the
country. A solitary old woman picking fruit in a darkening orchard, rubbing
her rough fingertips over the smooth-skinned plums, a lean wiry old woman,
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standing with upstretched arms among her fruit trees as though she were a
tree herself, growing out of the long grass, with arms stretched up like
branches. (S.T. Warner, Lolly Willowes)
17. Anyway – why go into the desert? Really, why do it? That sun, roaring at you
all day long. The fetid, tepid, vapid little water holes slowly evaporating
under a scum of grease, full of cannibal beetles, spotted toads, horsehair
worms, liver flukes, and down at the bottom, inevitably, the pale cadaver of a
ten-inch centipede. Those pink rattlesnakes down in The Canyon, those
diamondback monsters thick as a truck driver's wrist that lurk in shady places
along the trail, those unpleasant solpugids and unnecessary Jerusalem crickets
that scurry on dirty claws across your face at night. Why? (E. Abbey, Journey
Home)
18. Late afternoon. The sky hunkers down, presses, like a lover, against the land.
Small sounds. A far sheep, faint barking. Time to drive on, toward
Strathpeffer, friends, a phone call from my father. (J. Kitchen, Only the
Dance)
19. Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define
us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness. (R.J. Palacio,
Wonder)
20. In the cold, deserted sitting room, I began to discover the past. Highfallen
House 1910. The women in long skirts with miraculous waists. The men in
shooting tweeds. The stable boys in waistcoats, the gardening boys wearing
flat caps. The maids in starched aprons. And here they are again in their
Sunday best: a wedding photograph. Joseph and Mary Lock. 1912. He was a
gardener. She was a maid. In the back of the album, loose and unsorted, were
further photographs and newspaper cuttings. 1914. The men in uniform.
There was Joseph. (J. Winterson, Dark Christmas)
21. London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in
Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the
streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth. Smoke
lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of
soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes – gone into mourning, one might
imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses,
scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one
another’s umbrellas in a general infection of ill temper, and losing their foot-
hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have
been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if this day ever broke), adding
new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points
tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest. (Ch.
Dickens, Bleak House)
22. And Clare, always Clare. Clare in the morning, sleepy and crumple-faced.
Clare with her arms plunging into the papermaking vat, pulling up the mold
and shaking it so, and so, to meld the fibres. Clare reading, with her hair
hanging over the back of the chair, massaging balm into her cracked red

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hands before bed. Clare’s low voice is in my ear often. (A. Niffenegger, The
Time Traveler’s Wife)
23. The city shattered. Everything was in pieces. She knew it straight away,
glimpsed it from the painful-white insides of the ambulance. Frantic neon
signs. Headlights chasing the dark. An office block, cracked with light. These
shards of the broken city. (M. Ali, Brick Lane)
24. IT was a brain. A disembodied brain. An oversized brain, just enough larger
than normal to be completely revolting and terrifying. A living brain. A brain
that pulsed and quivered, that seized and commanded. No wonder the brain
was called IT. (M. L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time)
25. Savory...that’s a swell word. And Basil and Betel. Capsicum. Curry. All great.
But Relish, now, Relish with a capital R. No argument, that’s the best. (R.
Bradbury, Dandelion Wine)

BREAK, APOSIOPESIS

Exercise 16. Specify the stylistic effect created by break, or aposiopesis in the
following passages:

1. “It was – simply amazing,” she repeated abstractedly. “But I swore I wouldn't
tell it and here I am tantalizing you.” She yawned gracefully in my face.
“Please come and see me . . . Phone book . . . Under the name of Mrs.
Sigourney Howard . . . My aunt . . .” She was hurrying off as she talked-her
brown hand waved a jaunty salute as she melted into her party at the door.
(F.S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
2. Simultaneously, Margery said, “Let’s have some oysters first. It’s only a step
to Fleet Bridge.” “We’ve not got long,” John said. “Jane, what do you –”
“Come, you will not deny us this? We deserve a treat. And I know a short
cut.” Margery snatched the lantern from him. “Follow me. I’ll show you.”
“There’s no time,” he said. “And Mistress Noxon –” “There’s always time for
oysters.” Margery marched into the lane running parallel to Fleet Street,
taking the light with her. She called back over her shoulder. “Or what do you
say to gingerbread?” (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
3. Come, Gertrude, we’ll call up our wisest friends;
And let them know, both what we mean to do,
And what’s untimely done . . .
Whose whisper o’er the world’s diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Transports his poison’d shot, may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air. (W. Shakespeare, King Claudius)
4. “Please go home!” she broke out suddenly. “The child’s badly hurt, and if you
haven’t the decency to be quiet, you’d better go home.” “Very well,” said
Edith, her own temper rising. “I’ve never seen anyone make such a mountain
out of — ” (F.S. Fitzgerald, The Baby Party)
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5. “I have an aptitude. A desire.” “An aptitude?” Mistress Noxon snorted. “More
like a moonshine fancy. I never heard of such a thing. As for the rest –”
“Yesterday, I did some copying for Master Hakesby and –” “I know you did,
and took yourself away from your work. Your proper work.” (A. Taylor, The
Ashes of London)
6. Again that pause. “Dangerous isn’t the world – but someone … very self-
controlled. A tiny bit obsessional? I mean someone who wouldn’t be easily
stopped if he’d argued himself into something.” She hit her head gently in
self-remonstrance. “I’m not putting this very well. I’m just surprised that
Peter – ” (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
7. Mistress Noxon let her in, once she was sure of Cat’s identity. In the hall,
only one candle was burning. The housekeeper barred, bolted and locked the
door. When she turned, one look at her face was enough to tell Cat that she
knew what had happened. “Are – are they back, mistress? Margery and
John?” Mistress Noxon nodded. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
8. To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me. (L. Hughes, Dream Variations)
9. “He ran away. I’m sure he’d have realized what he had done in a very few
days. But then, he did set himself such very high standards, perhaps he would
have read all the newspaper reports. I think …” “Yes?” “I’m only guessing,
but I suppose he might have been … deeply shocked at his own behavior.
And I’m not quite sure what …” (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
10. His lips had found her face. His mouth was open and moist. One of his teeth
jarred her chin. He found her lips. The light returned. “Hey – you!” Margery
said. “What are you –” She broke-off in mid-sentence. Cat pulled out the
knife and stabbed John’s thigh. (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
11. “There are the beautiful things, the beautiful little things – the flowers, the
lichens among the rocks, the lightness and softness on a piece of fur, the far
sky with its drifting down of clouds, the sunsets and the stars. And there is
you. For you alone it is good to have sight, to see your sweet, serene face,
your kindly lips, your dear, beautiful hands folded together … It is these eyes
of mine you won, these eyes that hold me to you, that these idiots seek.
Instead, I must touch you, hear you, and never see you again. I must come
under that roof of rock and stone and darkness, that horrible roof under which
your imagination stoops… No, you would not have me do that?” A
disagreeable doubt has arisen in him. He stopped, and left the thing a
question. “I wish,” she said, “sometimes –.” She paused. “Yes?” said he, a
little apprehensively. “I wish sometimes – you would not talk like that.” “Like

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what?” “I know it’s pretty – it’s your imagination. I love it, but now – –”
(H.G. Wells, The Country of the Blind)
12. “Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking
in the morning – ” “Silver between the trees –” “Upstairs –” “In the garden –”
“When summer came –” “In winter snowtime –” The doors go shutting far in
the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart. (V. Woolf, A Haunted
House)
13. Mistress Sneyd shook her head, the hat swaying from side to side. “Or had
your husband?” There was no reply. “Mistress? Did you hear me?” “Go
away,” Mistress Sneyd said softly. “Just go.” “Please,” Cat said. “Listen. If he
–” Mistress Sneyd looked up at her. Her face was suffused with blood. She
opened her mouth, threw back her head and howled like a dog. (A. Taylor,
The Ashes of London)
14. “You must come over and have dinner with us one evening – ” “Love to.
Thank you so much, sir. Good night.” (H.E. Bates. Go, Lovely Rose)
15. “Is she happy?” “They’re both happy.” “I suppose you don’t see very much of
them.” “At first I saw quite a lot of them. But now …” Mrs. Tower pursed her
lips a little. “Jane is becoming very grand.” (W.S. Maugham, Jane)
16. But Oliver Cromwell had had a different idea of God and other plans for
England. He had swiftly destroyed their hopes and consolidated his own
power. “This man, this comrade,” I said. “Do you –” “Master Coldridge?” she
interrupted. “What? I thought you didn’t know his name.” (A. Taylor, The
Ashes of London)
17. “Then why bother?” asked Tock, whose alarm suddenly began to ring.
“Because, my young friends,” he muttered sourly, “what could be more
important than doing unimportant things? If you stop to do enough of them,
you'll never get to where you're going.” He punctuated his last remark with a
villainous laugh. “Then you must – ” gasped Milo. “Quite correct!” he
shrieked triumphantly. (N. Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth)
18. And you wait for the wind to work you slowly free from your hold upon the
sky, and drop you down and down. Long before you hit the grass you will
have forgotten there ever was a tree, or other apples, or a summer, or green
grass below, You will fall in darkness... (R. Bradbury, Dandelion Wine)
19. “But, however you look at it, you’ve brought trouble into this house. And I
haven’t even mentioned poor Master Hakesby. That’s another thing.” “What
about him?” Cat said, suddenly alarmed. “There’s no quarrel there, mistress,
or –” “Be quiet,” Mistress Noxon said. “He’s a strange man, and God knows
what’s wrong with him. But he’s taken a fancy to you. And it won’t do: a dog
can’t have two masters, and no more can a servant.” (A. Taylor, The Ashes of
London)
20. “I’m a little drunk” “Me too. That's okay.” “Just....I missed you, you know.”
“I missed you too.” “But so, so much, Dexter. There were so many things I
wanted to talk to you about, and you weren't there –” “same here.” “I tell you
what it is. It’s.....When I didn’t see you, I thought about you every day, I
mean EVERY DAY in some way or another –” “same here.” “Even if it was
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just “I wish Dexter could see this” or “Where’s Dexter now?” or “Christ that
Dexter, what an idiot”, you know what I mean, and seeing you today, well, I
thought I’d got you back – my BEST friend. And now all this, the wedding,
the baby – I’m so happy for you, Dex, but it feels like I’ve lost you again.”
(D. Nicholls, One Day)
21. “What does that mean?” he demanded. She smiled sadly. “You’ll figure it out.
And when you do...” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but
doing it anyway. “When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t
have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it
came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.” (S.J. Maas, Crown of
Midnight)
22. “Yes?” I said, more gently than I’d intended. “Excuse me. I’m finding this all
a bit … impossible to process. I’m beginning to believe that this is the most
profoundly unpleasant dream I’ve ever been caught in.” (S. Abe, The Sweetest
Dark)
23. I felt a hand on my arm. I spun round, my back to the wall, my free hand
diving for my dagger. “Master –” I let my hand fall to my side. “Margaret –
what the devil are you doing here?” Her face was red, bathed with sweat.
“Thank God you’re come, sir.” “What is it?” I snapped. “Your father.” Her
hand tightened on my arm. “He’s here.” (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
24. “One hardly seemed to have talked of anything else, but …” she made an
elegant and seemingly well-practiced gesture of hopelessness. “At least you
feel he is still alive?” He added quickly, “As you should, of course.”
“sergeant, I’m in a vacuum. One hour I expect to see him walk through that
door, the next …” again she gestured. (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
25. A long time back, she thought, I dreamed a dream, and was enjoying it so
much when someone wakened me, and that day I was born. And now? Now,
let me see... She cast her mind back. Where was I? She thought. Ninety
years... how to take up the thread and the pattern of that lost dream again? She
put out a small hand. There... yes, that was it. She smiled. Deeper in the warm
snow hill she turned her head upon her pillow. That was better. Now, yes,
now she saw it shaping in her mind quietly, and with a serenity like a sea
moving along an endless and self-refreshing shore. Now she let the old dream
touch and lift her from the snow and drift her above the scarce-remembered
bed. (R. Bradbury, Dandelion Wine)

Exercise 17. Identify which stylistic device, break or ellipsis, is used in the
following excerpts and specify the stylistic effect the device creates:

1. “They’re all out. They’ve all gone to the Robinsons’ for tea. It’s Katie’s
birthdays.” “Oh! I see,” I said. “Well, I’ll come again tomorrow – ” (H.E.
Bates. Go, Lovely Rose)
2. “Do you ever think if people heard our conversations they’d lock us up?" All
the time.” (W. Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)

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3. “Go away,” Mistress Sneyd said softly. “Go while you can and never come
back. You keep on with your questions, like that young man the other day, but
you do nothing. You and your kind have taken everything from me.” “But all
I want –” “Go.” (A. Taylor, The Ashes of London)
4. “Want to play baseball?” she asked. Shane’s eyes opened, and he stopped
stroking her hair. “What?” “First base,” she said. “You’re already there.” “I’m
not running the bases.” “Well, you could at least steal second.” “Jeez, Claire. I
used to distract myself with sports stats at times like these, but now you’ve
gone and ruined it.”(R. Caine, The Dead Girls’ Dance)
5. Gimmics have long been a Japanese thing. While every other car maker in the
world was offering four wheels and a seat, they came along with four wheels,
a seat ... and a radio. (J. Clarkson, Clarkson on Cars)
6. I do not understand why my poll tax bill in Fulham should be nearly £500 a
year when I just know that a huge chunk of that will be spent on weirdos. The
council should let us decide whether we want to spend our money on gay
Eastern Mediterranean types or not. Me, I prefer beer. (J. Clarkson, Clarkson
on Cars)
7. “It’s no good asking me about my father. You could tell me anything about
him and I couldn’t say categorically, that’s not true. I think he was everything
he outwardly pretended to be. But because of what he is and … I just do not
know.” (J. Fowles, The Enigma)
8. Armand practically rolled his eyes. “If you two are quite done, might we talk
some sense tonight? It’s late, I’m tired, and your ruddy chair, Holms, is about
as comfortable as sitting on a tack. I want to…” (S. Abe, The Sweetest Dark)
9. Adrian, I’m on a date. Why are you here? On my car?” (R. Mead, The Golden
Lily)
10. “Let’s drink beer.” “Dos cervezs,” the man said into the curtain. “Big ones?” a
woman asked from the doorway. “Yes. Two big ones.” (E. Hemingway, Hills
Like White Elephants)
11. “What are you going to do?” asked Macphail. “What do you expect me to do?
I’m going to stop it. I’m not going to have this house turned into – into . . .”
He sought for a word that should not offend the ladies’ ears. His eyes were
flashing and his pale face was paler still in his emotion. (W.S. Maugham,
Rain)
12. He stared at me in wonder. “I told you I loved you, right?” “Yes,” I assured
him. “Many times.”(R. Mead, The Indigo Spell)
13. Pride oppresseth humility; hatred love; cruelty compassion. (H. Peacham, The
Compleat Gentleman)
14. Cat pushed the paper aside, trying to conceal it with a fold of the blanket.
“Mistress, forgive me –” “I thought you’d fallen asleep and left your candle
burning. For all I know, you’d burn the whole house about our ears.” (A.
Taylor, The Ashes of London)
15. “Let’s go and play in the loft now.” “What with?” “I don’t know,” I said.
“Let’s have a change. We’ve been married an awful lot of times – ” (H.E.
Bates. Go, Lovely Rose)
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16. “Stairs,” Valkyrie said, disappointed. “Not just ordinary stairs,” Skulduggery
told her as he led the way down. “Magic stairs.” “Really?” (D. Landy, Mortal
Coil)
17. “So he was going down to Chislehurst. How did he seem?” “Cheerful. Happy.
Like himself, only more so. As we said goodbye, he told me he was in love”.
(J. Barnes, The Sense of an Ending)
18. So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to
work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of
you, forever, everyday. You and me ... everyday.” (N. Sparks, The Notebook)
19. “But there was some disappointment?” “My husband was naturally a little
upset at the beginning. We both were. But … one had agreed to disagree?
And he knows perfectly well we’re very proud of him in every other way.”(J.
Fowles, The Enigma)
20. I went to Oxford as one goes into exile; she to London. (H. G. Wells,
Intentions and the Lady Mary Christian)

POLYSYNDETON

Exercise 18. Identify polysyndeton in the following excerpts and define the
stylistic effects it creates:

1. Mrs. Hurst and her sister allowed it to be so – but still they admired her and
liked her, and pronounced her to be a sweet girl, and one whom they would
not object to know more of. (J. Austen, Pride and Prejudice)
2. Still, a couple of New England idealists cannot live merely on the bygone
glory of their furniture. At least, one couple could not. They got used to the
marvellous Bologna cupboard, they got used to the wonderful Venetian
bookcase, and the books, and the Siena curtains and bronzes, and the lovely
sofas and side-tables and chairs they had “picked up” in Paris. (D.H.
Lawrence, Things)
3. And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles, and I want
my own tea, and I want it to be strong and I want to brush my hair out in front
a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes. (Ch. Dickens, Little
Dorrit)
4. He pulled the blue plastic tarp off of him and folded it and carried it out to the
grocery cart and packed it and came back with their plates and some cornmeal
cakes in a plastic bag and a plastic bottle of syrup. (C. McCarthy, The Road)
5. Mrs. Wynn was slight and neat and young and modern and dark and pink-
cheeked and still pretty, and had a pair of the most intelligent bright brown
eyes Robert had ever seen. (J. Tey, The Franchise Affair)
6. I’m going to lead my people up to the radio tower and I’m going to make a
call, and I’m going to get them all rescued, every one of them. And then I’m
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going to come find you, and I’m going to kill you. (J. Shephard, in Through
the Looking Glass)
7. He was a partner in a house in some large way – spirits, or buttons, or wine,
or blacking, or oatmeal, or woollen, or pork, or hooks and eyes, or iron, or
treacle, or shoes, or something or other that was wanted for troops, or seamen,
or somebody – and the house burst, and we being among the creditors,
detainees were lodged on the part of the Crown in a scientific manner, and all
the rest of it. (Ch. Dickens, Little Dorrit)
8. It was the United States of America in the cold late spring of 1967, and the
market was steady and the G.N.P. high and a great many articulate people
seemed to have a sense of high social purpose and it might have been a spring
of brave hopes and national promise, but it was not, and more and more
people had the uneasy apprehension that it was not. (J. Didion, Slouching
Towards Bethlehem)
9. Standing still, I can hear my footsteps
Come up behind me and go on
Ahead of me and come up behind me and
With different keys clinking in the pockets,
And still I do not move. (W.S. Merwin, Sire)
10. There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow powdered in
the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and
heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind turned their
feathers. It was a cold fall and the wind came down from the mountains.(E.
Hemingway, In Another Country)
11. But Fryeburg is where some of my wife’s ancestors lived, and is in the valley
of the Saco, looking west to the mountains, and the weather promised to be
perfect, and the premium list of the agricultural society said, ‘Should Any
Day Be Stormy, the Exercises for That Day Will Be Postponed to the First
Fair Day’, and I would rather have a ringside seat at a cattle sale than a box at
the opera, so we picked up and left town, deliberately overshooting Fryeburg
by 175 miles in order to sleep one night at home. (E.B. White, Goodbye to
Forty-Eighth Street)
12. By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a
whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets
and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from
the beach now and are dressing upstairs; the cars from New York are parked
five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy
with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond
the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of
cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and
laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and
enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.
(F. S. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
13. There were frowzy fields, and cow-houses, and dunghills, and dustheaps, and
ditches, and gardens, and summer-houses, and carpet-beating grounds, at the
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very door of the Railway. Little tumuli of oyster shells in the oyster season,
and of lobster shells in the lobster season, and of broken crockery and faded
cabbage leaves in all seasons, encroached upon its high places.(Ch. Dickens,
Dombey and Son)
14. He moved very fast and pain flared in my arm as the pressure came on – he
was going to break it and I curved a thumb-shot for the eye and missed and
struck again and missed and went on striking until his head rolled back and I
felt the softness of the eye and struck and dragged my arm free and went for
the throat. (A. Hall, The Sinkiang Executive)
15. And when you fail, and are defeated, and in pain, and in the dark, then I hope
you will remember that darkness is your country, where you live, where no
wars are fought and no wars are won, but where the future is. (U. K. Le Guin,
A Left-Handed Commencement Address, Mills College)
16. Well, sometimes I go out by myself
And I look across the water
And I think of all the things
What you’re doing
And in my head I paint a picture. (A. Winehouse, Valerie)
17. It was four o’clock in the afternoon and the kitchen was square and gray and
quiet. Frankie sat at the table with her eyes half closed, and she thought about
a wedding. (C. McCullers, The Member of the Wedding)
18. He pursues his way,
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. (J. Milton, Paradise Lost)
19. There was a low rumbling of heavy sea boots among the benches, and a still
slighter shuffling of women’s shoes, and all was quiet again, and every eye on
the preacher. (H. Melville, Moby Dick)
20. Jerry stood: aiming at the prisoner the beery breath of a whet he had taken as
he came along, and discharging it to mingle with the waves of other beer, and
gin, and tea, and coffee, and what not, that flowed at him, and already broke
upon the great windows behind him in an impure mist and rain. (Ch. Dickens,
A Tale of Two Cities)
21. It’s got awesome security. And the right apps. It’s got everything from Cocoa
and the graphics and it’s got core animation built in and it’s got the audio and
video that OSX is famous for. It’s got all the stuff we want. (S. Jobs,
Macworld 2007 Keynote Address)
22. Can’t you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a
crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to
teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to
read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you
may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try
to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can
do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs
feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating
we’ll be marching backward – BACKWARD! – through the glorious ages of
that sixteenth century when bigots burned the man who dared bring
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enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind. (S. Tracy,in Inherit the
Wind)
23. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and
satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a
band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be
respectable. So I went back. (M. Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
24. When the cock covered the third time the fiddles stopped, and a delicious
supper was served by boys, consisting of sugared orange flowers, and
crystallized rose leaves, and powered violets, and cracknels, and wafers, and
other dishes, which are, as everyone knows, the favourite food for princesses.
(Irish Fairytale)
25. We were all at the hospital every afternoon, and there were different ways of
walking across the town through the dusk to the hospital. Two of the ways
were alongside canals, but they were long. Always, though, you crossed a
bridge across a canal to enter the hospital. There was a choice of three
bridges. On one of them a woman sold roasted chestnuts. It was warm,
standing in front of her charcoal fire, and the chestnuts were warm afterward
in your pocket. The hospital was very old and very beautiful, and you entered
through a gate and walked across a courtyard and out a gate on the other side.
(E. Hemingway, Another Country)

ASYNDETON

Exercise 19. Identify asyndeton in the following excerpts from literary works,
speeches and pop culture and define the stylistic effects it creates:
1. I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings,
shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods. (A. Sexton, Her Kind)
2. ...that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support
any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. (
J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address)
3. All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into
the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the
Western democracies and with the League of Nations, of which she has
always been an obedient servant. She has suffered in particular from her
association with France, under whose guidance and policy she has been
actuated for so long. (W. Churchill , On Appeasement)
4. Why, they’ve got 10 volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by
occupation, by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how
committed: by poisons, by firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by
poison, subdivided by types of poison, such as corrosive, irritant, systemic,
gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth. Suicide by leaps, subdivided
by leaps from high places, under the wheels of trains, under the wheels of
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trucks, under the feet of horses, from steamboats. But Mr. Norton, of all the
cases on record, there’s not one single case of suicide by leap from the rear
end of a moving train. (B. Keyes in Double Indemnity)
5. Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here,
There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh?
Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! (R. Bradbury, Fahrenheit
451)
6. When I told him I was starving to death as we rolled east he said, “Fine, fine,
there’s nothing better for you. I myself haven’t eaten for three days. I’m going
to live to be a hundred and fifty years old”. He was a bag of bones, a floppy
doll, a broken stick, a maniac. I might have gotten a ride with an affluent fat
man who’d say, “Let’s stop at this restaurant and have some pork chops and
beans”. (J. Kerouac, On the Road)
7. Now as an engineer, a planner, a businessman, I see clearly the value to our
nation of a strong system of free enterprise based on increased productivity
and adequate wages. (J. Carter)
8. Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what
you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying
points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when
there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes
forlorn.(General D. MacArthur)
9. Cold; tempest; wild beasts in the forest. It is a hard life. Their houses are built
of logs, dark and smoky within. There will be a crude icon of the virgin
behind a guttering candle, the leg of a pig hung up to cure, a string of drying
mushrooms. A bed, a stool, a table. Harsh, brief, poor lives. (A. Carter, The
Werewolf)
10. The union’s survival, its very existence, sent out a signal to all Hispanics that
we were fighting for our dignity, that we were challenging and overcoming
injustice, that we were empowering the least educated among us, the poorest
among us. (C. Chavez)
11. It flickered once and went out, forgotten, lost. The end: black cold void waste.
Consciousness of place came ebbing back to him slowly over a vast tract of
time unlit, unfelt, unlived. The squalid scene composed itself around him; the
common accents, the burning gas jets in the shops, odours of fish and spirits
and wet sawdust, moving men and women. (J. Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man)
12. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us –
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for
which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under
God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from
the earth. ( A. Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address)

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13. When at Nightmare Abbey, he would condole with Mr. Glowry, drink
Madeira with Scythrop, crack jokes with Mr. Hilary, hand Mrs. Hilary to the
piano, take charge of her fan and gloves, and turn over her music with
surprising dexterity, quote Revelations with Mr. Toobad, and lament the good
old times of feudal darkness with the Transcendental Mr. Flosky. (T. Love,
Peacock)
14. It wasn't a big cliff. It was only about four feet high. But it was enough to
blow out the front tire, knock off the back bumper, break Dad’s glasses, make
Aunt Edythe spit out her false teeth, spill a jug of Kool-Aid, bump Missy’s
head, spread the Auto Bingo pieces all over, and make Mark do number two.
(J. Hughes, Vacation ’58)
15. There is and will be rousing language to keep citizens armed and arming;
slaughtered and slaughtering in the malls, courthouses, post offices,
playgrounds, bedrooms and boulevards; stirring, memorializing language to
mask the pity and waste of needless death. (T. Morrison)
16. Still emotional, and a little out of breath, she sat silent; not so the young man.
She had never heard any one say so much in so short a time. He told her his
age, his place of residence, not far away; described his sensations under fire,
and what it felt like to be gassed; criticised the Juno, mentioned his own
conception of that goddess; commented on the Goya copy, said Fleur was not
too awfully like it; sketched in rapidly the condition of England; spoke of
Monsieur Profond – or whatever his name was – as “an awful sport”; thought
her father had some ripping pictures and some rather “dug-up”; hoped he
might row down again and take her on the river because he was quite
trustworthy; inquired her opinion of Tchekov, gave her his own; wished they
could go to the Russian ballet together some time – considered the name Fleur
Forsyte simply topping; cursed his people for giving him the name of Michael
on the top of Mont; outlined his father, and said that if she wanted a good
book she should read “Job”; his father was rather like Job while Job still had
land. (J. Galsworthy, To Let)
17. No faith, no honesty in men. All perjured, All forsworn, all naught, all
dissemblers. Ah, where’s my man? Give me some aqua vitae. These griefs,
these woes, these sorrows make me old. Shame come to Romeo! (W.
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
18. I speak here as a politician and also as a Catholic – a layperson baptized and
raised in the pre-Vatican II Church, educated in Catholic schools, attached to
the Church first by birth, then by choice, now by love. (M. Cuomo)
19. The breath coming out the nostrils was so faint it stirred only the farthest
fringes of life, a small leaf, a black feather, a single fiber of hair. (R.
Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
20. O waste of lost, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this weary,
unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten
language, the lost land – end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door.
Where? When? (T. Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel)

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21. In my view, Australians should not worry because other people want to come
to our country. The day to worry is when immigrants are no longer attracted
to our shores. We should be a beacon to all. To our region in particular, we
should be a living, happy, civil, contesting democracy that is a model for the
emerging democracies around us. (R. Murdoch, Bring Back the Pioneer)
22. A violent cross wind from either Coast
Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry
Into the devious Air; then might ye see.
Cowles, Hoods and Habits with the wearers tost
And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads,
Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls,
The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft… (J. Milton, Paradise Lost)
23. You’ve heard of those one-hit artists. They’ll have the hottest song in the
summer, but then you never hear from then again. It happens in every
profession. The best example, really, is romance, and one that we can all
relate to. Check this out. So you meet this person. Boy, are they fine, kind,
sensitive, loving, witty, charming, intelligent. But then the next time you meet
them, it’s just not the same. They did not take it to a better place. (S. Wonder,
Harvard Law School Forum Address)
24. The intellect of Roger Chillingworth had now a sufficiently plain path before
it. It was not, indeed, precisely that which he had laid out himself to tread.
Calm, gentle, passionless, as he appeared, there was yet, we fear, a quiet
depth of malice, hitherto latent. (N. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter)
25. I checked off again in detail, his large head, his dark complexion, his deep set
eyes, his bushy black eyebrows, his large watch chain, his strong black dots of
beard and whisker, and even the smell of scented soap on his great hand.(Ch.
Dickens, Great Expectations)

ATTACHMENT

Exercise 20. Exercise Specify the stylistic effect created by attachment in the
following excerpts:

1. The trouble with being a daydreamer who doesn’t say much is that the
teachers at school, especially those who don’t know you very well, are likely
to think you’re rather stupid. Or, if not stupid, then dull. No one can see the
amazing things that are going on in your head. (I. McEwan, The Daydreamer)
2. I was welcome briefly. I compare it to being a bum on Thanksgiving Day.
Do-gooders invite you to the shelter and give you a beautiful turkey dinner.
But it’s a Thursday-only deal. Don’t come back on Friday. (S. Bellow, More
Die of Heartbreak)

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3. All right... I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best
thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. (F.S. Fitzgerald, The
Great Gatsby)
4. Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon, and the orchards
will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And
they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields and eating the first of
the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries? (S.
Astin as Sam, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
5. I could be my own brother and deceive myself as he deceived his. When I’m
born and allowed at last to be alone, there’s a quarter I’ll want to take a
kitchen knife to. But the one who holds the knife will also be my uncle,
quartering in my genome. Then we’ll see how the knife won’t move. And this
perception too is somewhat his. And this. (I. McEwan, Nutshell)
6. We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to
put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all. (K. Ishiguro, Never
Let Me go)
7. Because there would be lonely days. And bad days. And days when I
wondered what the hell I had just agreed to be part of. Because that was all
part of the adventure too. (J. Moyes, After You)
8. To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast of the city, and it is a
good highway and new. Or was new, that day we went up it. You look up the
highway and it is straight for miles, coming at you, with the black line down
the center coming at and at you, black and slick and tarry-shining against the
white of the slab. (R.P. Warren, All the King’s Men)
9. The pond lay to the south of the house. To get there you went out the back
entrance, and down the narrow twisting path, pushing past the overgrown
bracken that, in the early autumn, would still be blocking your way. Or if
there were no guardians around, you could take a short cut through the
rhubarb patch. Anyway, once you came out to the pond, you’d find a tranquil
atmosphere waiting, with ducks and bulrushes and pond-weed. (K. Ishiguro,
Never Let Me Go)
10. I always knew she was a hop-hop-head with no more morals than a hound-
bitch in heat. Prison is where she belongs. And my husband agrees one
thousand per cent We will positively sue anyone who – Hanging up, I
remembered old Doc down in Tulip, Texas; but no, Holly wouldn’t like it if I
called him, she’d kill me. (T. Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
11. The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life – or at least, shoved up
so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face
pressed against their window – is that it forces you to rethink your idea of
who you are. Or how you might seem to other people. (J. Moyes, Me before
You)
12. Alone, Elaine checks the ticket sales and is quietly pleased with visitor levels,
locks up the shop, goes into the silent house. Only then does that other aspect
of the afternoon come bustling in. Cousin Linda hangs around all evening,
saying that again. And again. (P. Lively, The Photograph)
227
13. Once Peter had brought her suitcase on board the train he seemed eager to get
himself out of the way. But not to leave. (A. Munro, Dear Life)
14. Rob was a powerful man. He was eminently capable, organized, and widely
experienced. He functioned superbly at high altitude. If anyone belonged on
this mountain, it was Rob, always in command of himself. And yet he’d lost
control. (D. Breashears, High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest
and Unforgiving Places)
15. A little sound beside her made her turn her eyes; her father was again tearing
the paper in his hands. Fleur saw it was a cheque. “I shan’t sell him my
Gauguin,” he said. “I don’t know what your aunt and Imogen see in him.” “Or
Mother.” (J. Galsworthy, To Let)
16. New York City, not a drop to drink, not a drop to carry away sewage. Or
clean. Or generate electricity (most of the city’s power came from electric
generator plants whose turbines used steam). The East River and the Hudson
would become a Ganges, a source of bathing, waste and drinking water…and
disease. (J. Deaver The Skin Collector)
17. Planned to the finest detail by people of vision, The Scheme was watertight,
and could not possibly go wrong. Except in this country. In this country we
managed to destroy it. We destroyed the last thing that could save us from
obscurity and ruin. And we did it with our own hands too, not at the behest of
some errant leader whom we could obey and then blame later. (M. Mills, The
Scheme for Full Employment)
18. Otherwise, who knows what might happen? This civilisation of ours, perhaps
it’ll just collapse. And everything scatter, as you put it. (K. Ishiguro, When We
Were Orphans)
19. It’s the fact that when you spend all day in proximity to someone, there is no
escape from their moods. Or your own. (J. Moyes, Me before You)
20. And that’s how John’s feeling right now; like he’s been tipped out of a sack.
Head bowed against the din and the maelstrom, he puts out an arm, steadies
his wife, grips her slender frame beneath the softness of her camel coat,
feeling close to her, desperately close and protective. And responsible. (P.
James, Perfect People)
21. They sat in silence. A gust of wind rippled the wall of the tent, and all four of
them watched, as if hoping the wind would grow and knock it all down. Then
they could do something. Or go home. (D. Eggers, A Hologram for the King)
22. I want to be near the ocean, Lincoln, the ocean! I want to feel the tides. And I
want mountains, too, at least one mountain. Is that too much to ask? And
trees. Not a whole forest, necessarily. I’d settle for a thicket. Scenery. I want
scenery! (R. Rowell, Attachments)
23. Then he was easing her through the door into Wonderland, on the other side.
Like that movie. Or cartoon. Or whatever. Chloe believed she was falling,
over and over, and a moment later she was on the floor, the ground, the dirt,
trying to breathe, the air kicked out of her lungs from the impact. But no pain,
no pain at all. The sound of dripping water was more pronounced and she saw

228
a trickle down the far wall, made of old stone and laced with pipes and wires,
rusty and frayed and rotting. (J. Deaver, The Skin Collector)
24. A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead
resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. Sometimes a fear of
loneliness and nothing more. (K. Ishiguro, The Buried Giant)
25. At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if
only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined
heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be. (E. Gilbert, Big Magic: Living
Beyond Fear)

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PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

TERM PRONUNCIATION TRANSLATION


alliteration [əˌlɪtə'reɪʃ(ə)n] аллитерация
anadiplosis [ˌænədɪp 'lousɪs] анадиплозис, подхват
anaphora [ə 'nᴂfərə] анафора
anti-climax ['ᴂnti 'klaiməks] спад, обратная градация
antithesis [an'tɪθəsɪs] антитеза
antonomasia [ˌantənə 'meɪzɪə] антономазия
aposiopesis [ˌapə ˌsʌɪə 'piːsɪs] разрыв высказывания,
умолчание, недосказ
assonance ['as(ə)nəns] ассонанс
asyndeton [ə 'sindətən] асиндетон
attachment [ə 'tᴂtʃmənt] присоединение
break ['breik] разрыв высказывания,
умолчание, недосказ
cacophony [kæ'kɔfənɪ] какофония
capitalization [ˌkæpɪt(ə)laɪ'zeɪʃ(ə)n] употребление прописных
(заглавных) букв
chain repetition ['tʃein 'repə 'tiʃən] повтор-цепочка
chiasmus [kaɪ'æzməs] хиазм
climax ['klaiməks] нарастание, градация
detachment [ˌdi 'tᴂtʃmənt] обособление
ellipsis [i'lipsis] эллипсис
epiphora [ə 'pifərə] эпифора
epithet ['epiθət] эпитет
euphony ['juːf(ə)nɪ] благозвучие
framing ['freimiƞ] кольцевой повтор, рамка
graphon [grə'fon] графон
hyperbole [hai 'pə:bəli] гипербола
hyphenation [ˌhaɪf(ə)'neɪʃ(ə)n] разбивка слов по слогам
inversion [in 'və:ʃən] инверсия
irony [' airəni] ирония
italics [ɪ'tælɪk(s)] курсив
litotes [lai 'touti:z] литота
metaphor [' metəfə] метафора
meiosis [mai 'ousis] преуменьшение
metonymy [mə 'tonimi] метонимия
multiplication [ˌmʌltɪplɪ'keɪʃ(ə)n] увеличение числа графем
nominal sentence ['nominəl 'sentəns] номинативное предложение
onomatopoeia [ˌɔnəˌmætə'piːə] ономатопея,
звукоподражание
ordinary repetition ['o:dinəri 'repə 'tiʃən] лексический повтор
230
oxymoron [əksi 'mo:rən] оксюморон
parallelism ['pᴂrələlizm] параллелизм
personification [, pə:sənifi 'keiʃən] олицетворение
periphrasis [pə 'rifrəsis] перифраз
polysyndeton [ˌpoli 'sindətən] полисиндетон, многосоюзие
pun [pʌn] каламбур, игра слов
repetition [rɛpə'tɪʃən] повтор
simile ['si:milə] образное сравнение
successive repetition [ˌsʌk 'sesiv 'repə 'tiʃən] последовательный повтор
synecdoche [si 'nekdəki] синекдоха
zeugma [zjuːɡmə], [zuːɡmə] зевгма

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DICTIONARIES:

1. Cambridge Idioms Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,


2006. 505 p.
2. Collins English Dictionary https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary
3. Crystal D. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. John Wiley & Sons,
USA, 2011. 560 p.
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Books, 2006. 464 p.
7. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/

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ONLINE RESOURCES:

1. https://figurativelanguage4th.weebly.com
2. https://literarydevices.net
3. https://literaryterms.net
4. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org
5. http://pediaa.com/difference-between-simile-and-metaphor/
6. http://rhetoric.byu.edu/Figures
7. http://tomstafford.staff.shef.ac.uk/docs/temp/emmott06.pdf
8. http://www.differencebetween.net/language
9. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/stylistics/introduction/history.htm
10. https://www.litcharts.com/literary-devices-and-terms
11. http://www.literarydevices.com
12. http://www.oxymoronlist.com/
13. http://www.really-learn-english.com/hyperbole.html
14. https://www.thoughtco.com/simile-figure-of-speech
15. https://www.uhv.edu/student-success-center/resources
16. https://www.ultius.com/glossary/literature/rhetorical-devices
17. https://www.uni-giessen.de/faculties/ /publications/stylistics.pdf
18. https://www.vernaculardiscourse.com/asyndeton--polysyndeton.html
19. https://vjwilliamson.wordpress.com
20. http://yourdictionary.com

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