Litotes is a specific variant of meiosis.

Assigned features. Litotes has a peculiar syntactic structure. It is a

:ombination of the negative particle "not" and a word with negative meaning

)r a negative prefix. Such a combination makes positive sense: "not bad"

neans "good", "not unkind" means "kind", etc. Litotes is used in all functional styles of English.

Communicative functions. Litotes extenuats positive qualities of objects or phenomena. It makes statements and judgments sound delicate and diplomatic. It also expresses irony.


After the brawl Julia was not dissatisfied with herself

Martin is not without sense of humour.

The decision was not unreasonable.

The venture was not impossible.

John's behaviour was not disrespectful.



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Metonymy is transference of a name of one object to another object. Metonymic transference of names is based upon the principle of contiguity of the two objects.

Assigned features. As a rule, metonymy is expressed by nouns, less frequently - by substantivized numerals. That is why the syntactic functions and positions of metonymic words are those of the subject, object and predicative.

Classification. Metonymy may be lexical and contextual (genuine). Lexical metonymyis a source of creating new words or new meanings: table's leg, teapots nose, a hand (instead of a worker), the press (instead of people writing for newspapers), grave (instead of death), the cradle (instead of infancy), etc. Such metonymic meanings are registered in dictio-

naries. It is obvious that lexical metonymy is devoid of stylistic information. Contextual metonymyis the result of unexpected substitution of one word for another in speech. It is fresh and expressive:

This pair of whiskers is a convinced scoundrel. Communicative functions. Stylistic metonymy builds up imagery, points out

this or another feature of the object described, and makes speech economical. More examples:

The sword is the worst argument in a situation like that.

The other voice shook his head and went away.

The messenger was followed by a pair of heavy boots.

The fish swallowed her death and the float went down.

I wish you had Gary's ears and Jack's eves.

Linda gave her heart to the grocer's young man.


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> metonymy

Metonymy can be seen as a specific kind of symbolism by which the most essential component of the subject is abstracted to represent it. This component acts as a single symbol for something larger and usually more complex.

For instance, a crown is the most essential material component of the trappings of royalty, and so it serves well in representing the whole system of monarchy.

Similarly, the stage is a material component of acting as a profession. This too serves to represent symbolically something abstract and dynamic.

The 'cloth' symbolises the religious profession, and the 'bar' represents the legal profession. Both these items are essential material objects and are used to refer to the abstract concept of a profession.

In a statement such as 'Shakespeare depicts monarchs as human' the name is actually symbolising the total collection of his works. This form of metonymy is useful as a very graphic kind of shorthand.

This pragmatic explanation could also apply to the example of 'Whitehall announced today ...', although we could ascribe more political and even ulterior functions to this usage. [Remember, 'Whitehall' represent the civil service in the UK.]

To refer to Whitehall as having issued a statement is to generalise the source of the communication. This may be in the political interest of the Establishment. It is a form of social control to promote an image of a corporate mass of civil servants, rather than suggesting that one person or even a small hierarchical group makes significant and powerful


Whitehall as a material location stands for something abstract, in this
case an institution. This symbolic use depersonalises the source of the
statement, perhaps thereby giving it more authority.

This political interpretation is merely speculation, but the mechanical analysis of metonymy as a symbolic device stands on firmer ground.

[Pedants who collect terms enjoy distinguishing metonymy from synech-doche, which is its figurative bedfellow.]


This variety of metonymy is realized in two variants. The first variant is naming the whole object by mentioning part of it:

Caroline lives with Jack under the same roof (under the same roof -

in the same house).

The second variant of synecdoche is using the name of the whole object to denote a constituent part of this object:

The hall applauded (the hall = the people inside). More examples:

The school went to the zoo.

Here comes another beard.

The blue suit bowed and left the room.

Tfie museum spoke of the past.

It's October now. Rummer's rose no more.

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> synecdoche

In the expression 'All hands on deck!', the term 'hands' stands for 'mariners'.

The term 'hand' has been chosen to represent the whole expression 'able-bodied seaman' [or in PC (politically correct) terms 'sea-person'] because that is the most important feature required for work on deck.

In the expression 'United won the match', the term 'United' (in the case of Manchester United Football Club) might not appear to be the most important or essential item to represent the whole.

However, Manchester has two football teams the other being Manchester City Football Club. A supporter of MUFC would therefore be selecting the one important linguistic feature which distinguished his team from the other football club.

The parts of the name 'Manchester' and 'Football Club' would be implied by the speaker, and understood by the listener.


This variety of metonymy is the replacement of a direct name of a thing or phenomenon by the description of some quality of this thing or phenomenon.

Assigned features. Periphrasis intensifies a certain feature of the object described. It stands close to metonymy because it is one more way to rename objects.

Classification. There are such types of periphrasis as logical and figurative. Logical periphrasisis based upon one of the inherent properties of the object:

weapons = instruments of destruction;

love = the most pardonable of human weaknesses;

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figurative periphrasisis based upon metaphor or metonymy:

to marry = to tie the knot (metaphor); enthusiast = young blood (metonymy); money = mot of evil (metaphor).

Communicative functions. Besides rendering stylistic information, periphrasis performs a cognitive function: it deepens our knowledge of the objective world.

Wore examples:

cotton = white gold = ;

furs = soft gold = m ' ;

lawyer = a gentleman of the long robe = ;

women = the better (fair) sex = () ;

medical men = people in white gowns = ;

ordinary person = a man in the street = ;

wife = my better half = ;

policeman = guardian of public order = .

oil = black gold = ;

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It is a word or word-combination which is used to replace an unpleasantly sounding word or word-combination.

Assigned features.Euphemism might be viewed as periphrasis: they have the same mechanism of formation. Strictly speaking, euphemisms are not stylistic devices but expressive means of language: most of them are registered in dictionaries.

Classification. Euphemisms may be classified according to the spheres of their application and grouped the following way:

1. Religious euphemisms: devil = the dickens, the deuce, old Nick; God = Lord, Almighty, Heaven, goodness. = , , , , , , (), , , , , ; , ; = , , .

2. Moral euphemisms: to die = to be gone, to expire, to be no .more,
to depart, to decease, to gowest, to join the majority, to pass aw
dead= d, departed, late; a whore= a woman of a certain type;

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vledical euphemisms: lunatic asylum = mental hospital, mad
house: idiots= mentally abnormal, low, medium and high-grade mental
cripple= invalid; insane = person of unsoundmind.
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4. Political euphemisms: starvation - undernourishment; revolt,
- ;, poor people
= less fortunate elements; absence of

wages and salaries = delay in payment; profit= savings. = ; =; =

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Communicative function. Euphemisms make speech more polite, cultured, delicate, acceptable in a certain situation.

Note.Euphemisms have their antipodes which might be called disphemisms.

Disphemisms are conspicuously rough, rude and impolite words and
word-combinations. The speaker disphemisms to express his n.

alive emotions, such as irritation, spue hate, scorn, mockery, animosity. Here are some of them:

to die= to kick the buckt

to urinate= to pi

a German soldier (W. W. II)= krauthead; egro= kinky-hc

to treat someone badly,unj. ;\>e someone die finger;

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Metaphor is the second figure of quality. Metaphor, like metonymy, is also the result of transference of the name of one object to another object. However, metaphoric transference is of different nature: it is based upon similarity of the objects (not contiguity).

Classification. The nature of metaphor is versatile, and metaphors may be classified according to a number of principles.

1. According to the pragmatic effect produced upon the addressee met
aphors are subdivided into trite (or dead) and genuine (or original). Dead
are fixed in dictionaries. They often sound banal and hackneyed,
like cliches:

to prick up one's ears; the apple of one's eye; to burn with desire;

seeds of evil; a flight of imagination; floods of tears; ;

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; ; . Original metaphorsare not registered in dictionaries. They are created in speech by speakers' imagination. They sound fresh and expressive, unexpected and unpredictable:

Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be

chewed and digested.

We all want a little patching and repairing from time to time.

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.

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2. According to the degree of their stylistic potential metaphors are clas
sified into nominational. cognitiveand imaginative(or figurative). Nom-

jnationaLmetaphorsdo not render any stylistic information. They are intended to name new objects or phenomena of the objective world. A nomina-metaphor is a purely technical device of nomination, when a new notion imed by means of the old vocabulary:

the arm of the chain the foot of the hill, , . , , , , , . Nominational metaphor is a source of lexical homonymy. When an object obtains a quality which is typical of another object, cognitive metaphoris formed: One more day has died.

rtty idea has come to me. The road lead Jack there. The sight took John's attention. The shore was drowning in the fog.

. , . , . , snoev . Being a source of lexical polysemy, cognitive metaphors do not possess great stylistic value.

The most expressive kind of metaphor is imaginative metaphor.Imaginative metaphors are occasional and individual. They are bright, image-bearing, picturesque and poetic:

Patricia's eyes were pools of still water.

Time was bleeding away.

If there is enough rain, the land will shout with grass.


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س. . 3. Metaphors may be also classified according to their structure (or according to complexity of image created). There are such metaphors as simple(or elementary) and prolonged(or sustained). A simple metaphorconsists of a single word or word-combination expressing indiscrete notion:

The leaves were falling sorrowfully.


A good book is the best of friends. The wind was a torrent of darkness. .

. . A sustained metaphorappears in cases when a word which has been

lsed metaphorically makes other words of the sentence or paragraph also

ealize their metaphoric meanings:

The average New Yorker is caught in a Machine. He whirls along, he is dizzy, he is helpless. If he resists, the Machine will mangle him. If he does not resist, it will daze him first with its glittering reiterations^ so that when the mangling comes he is past knowing. , , , , , . , , : , , - , . , ; , , . , . . In fact, a sustained metaphor is a sequence of simple metaphors, most of

vhich are cognitive. This chain of simple metaphors unfolds the meaning of

he first, initial metaphor.

Communicative functions. Metaphor is one of the most powerful means

}f creating images. Its main function is aesthetic. Its natural sphere of usage

s poetry and elevated prose.

Additional features. Canonized metaphors tend to become symbols. A

symbol is an object which stands for something else. It is a reference in

ipeech or in writing which is made to stand for ideas, feehngs, events, or

xmditions. A symbol is usually something tangible or concrete which evokes

>omething abstract. The following are standard symbols in the context of

English and Ukrainian cultures:

the rose often stands for love, the dove stands for peace, the crosi stands for Christianity, the red colour stands for passion, the at spades stands for death.

> metaphors

It's useful to see the concept of metaphor as part of a scale which runs from the literal to the non-literal use of language.

A literal statement is one which refers to the actual material world in
plain terms. For instance 'This table is made of wood'.

At the other extreme, and in the words of a popular song, we fmd the

'The sun is a big yellow duster, polishing the blue, blue sky'

This makes a much bigger demand on our imagination and on our willingness to step outside the rational, literal world.

This metaphor can be analysed as follows. The sun is being compared to a duster. This idea is interesting because dusters are often yellow like the sun. Further, just as the sun appears to move in the sky, removing grey clouds, a duster moves to polish a surface and clear it of dust. In the context of a pop song, the idea is witty and entertaining in a lighthearted way.

Contrast this more serious metaphor:

Now does he feel

His filthy murders sticking on his hands

This is from Macbeth. The image is extremely vivid as the murderer's sense of guilt is conveyed to the audience by combining the abstract guilt and the material sticky blood.

Metaphor is extremely economic communication. Several layers of meaning can be conveyed at the same time.

Advertisers make effective use of metaphor and other images because they have a restricted amount of space, and this space is very costly. A phrase such as 'the sunshine breakfast' is more effective than a statement which might read: 'Have our cereal for your breakfast and you'll enjoy it. It will give you energy and nutrition because the corn's been grown in a sunny climate.'


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