Monday, 24 November 2014

lit crit or synecdotes and dozy doats

The writing staff at the wonderfully studious Mental Floss must recall the salad days of the Academic Decathlon going by one of their latest lists of rhetorical devices.

One can really fill one’s oratorical quiver with these terms, illustrated by modern, accessible examples. A couple of my favourites that I don’t recall encountering before—at least not presented in a penetrable way, are antimeria, a figure of speech describing a change in a word’s usage, most commonly turning a noun into a verb (Shakespeare’s line from King Lear—“The thunder would not peace at my bidding”) as into to message someone or to gift something—fortuneately, one can yet befriend another—but also in the growing trend of using a slash (/ a virgule) as a grammatical conjunction rather than just a juxtaposition between two related things and the construction called an anacoluthon for something that is non sequitir and disjointed or galloping forward, often what rambles on after the em-dash.