13 May 2009

Not a lot of people know this (part 14)

Synecdoche. According to The Guardian:
But what does synecdoche mean? It's one of the great vexed issues of English grammar, up there with "what is a zeugma?", "are my litotes straight?" and "are semi-colons functionally worthless?". A synecdoche is a figure of speech in which part is responsible for the whole. Examples: in "20 head of cattle", the word for part of a cow (its head) has been substituted for the whole; "All hands on deck!" is not a call for mass mutilation. Instead, "hands" here stands for all the sailors on a ship.

Now, if I only knew how to pronounce it properly, I could drop it (casually like) into the conversation ...

2 comments:

Political Dissuasion said...

I ******* love this sort of stuff!

I am a geek and you've just made my geeky day. Will be dropping this into every conversation, whether relevant or not. Also, it doesn't matter how it's pronounced, because no one else will know...hazzah!

Synecdoche!

James said...

Posters for the current film which includes this word in its title include a pronunciation guide, which is something like: si-NECK-dockee

So much for my illiterate attempt, which was sin-neck-DOCHE.