English Grammar

All about Oxymoron

It’s a device which consists in joining together words of contradictory meaning. In a laconic way oxymoron shows the existing discrepancy (противоречие) of the object. We distinguish the following types:

Adjective + noun: sweet pain

Adjective + adjective: the biggest little town;

Verb + preposition + noun: to ruin by civilization;

Verb + adverb: to cry silently;

Noun + preposition + noun: victory in defeat;

Extended word-combination: The silence-was louder than thunder; you are right in the wrong way.

Oxymoron isn’t usually reproduced in speech.

D. The fourth group is based on the interaction of logical and nominal meanings and includes:

1. Antonomasia

The interplay between logical and nominal meanings of the word is called Antonomasia. Both the meanings should be materialized simultaneously in the word. If only one meaning is materialized in the context there is no stylistic device.

Antonomasia is the use of a proper name for a common one and vice versa. There are several types of antonomasia:

1) The name of a famous personality may stand for a characteristic feature: Romeo (for a person in love); the Napoleon of crime (genius);

2) the name of the place for the event that took place there: Waterloo – defeat;

3) the name of some establishment (or the policy): The White House – American policy; Fleet street – English mass media; Old Bailey – the Court system;

4) geographical names for the things that came into being there: China – china; Champaign – champaign;

5) names of things after the names of their inventors: Sandwich, Machintosh.

Antonomasia may be l)metaphoric and 2)metonymic

1) metaphoric antonomasia is based upon a similarity between two things:

– a proper noun is used to reveal the most striking feature in the character (Othello – for a jealous person; Don Juan – for an amorous person);

– a common noun is used as a proper name, the so-called ‘speaking names’ : Example Bekky Sharp; Mrs Snakes; Sir Pattern; Mr Murdstone (murder+stone);

2) metonymic antonomasia consists in picking out one particular aspect of a complex thing or idea to make the thing itself easier to comprehend, e.g.:

He has married money.

II. The principle for distinguishing the second big subdivision ac­cording to Galperin is entirely different from the first one and is based on the interaction between two lexical meanings simultaneous­ly materialized in the context. This kind of interaction helps to call special attention to a certain feature of the object described.

1. A simile is based on the analogy between two things which are discovered to have some common feature, though they are entirely unlike each other. Two objects which are compared, the formal connective may be expressed by conjunctions (as if, as though, such as), adverbs (like, unlike), verbs (resemble, seem, suggest, remind), suffixes (like) etc. e. g., She seemed nothing more than a doll.

A simile should not be mixed up with ordinary comparison. A simile is based on the comparison of things belonging to entirely different classes; a comparison deals with two objects of the same class. E.g. She is as clever as her mother.

There are two kinds of simile: 1) genuine or 2) trite \ lexical. Genuine similes are fresh ones which discover unexpected and striking similarities between two objects compared.

A simile which is often repeated becomes trite. It seizes to have stylistic colour and loses its expressiveness and because of ling use become a cliché. Example 30: As strong as horse, to drink as a fish, as ugly as a sin, as white as a sheet, as pretty as a picture, as cool as cucumber.

Some of them are based on rhyme. Example 31: As snug as a bug in a rug

Syntactically simile may take the following forms:

1) through a subordinate close of comparison. Example 32: He avoided her as if she were an infections disease.

2) negation. Example 33: Her eyes were no warmer that the iceberg.

3) attribute in a comparative degree. Example 34: He was redder than a red ruby.

4) adverbial modifier of manner with a prepositional object. Example 35: She climbed the tree with a quickness of a long cut.

5) an object. Example 36: He had a strange resemblance to the mirror which reflects everything but resembles nothing.

6) a simple sentence. Example 37: She was like tigress ready to jump.

7) a simple compound word. Example 38 Doglike, angry-looking

8) of-phrase. Example 39: He had a memory of an elephant.

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