Wednesday, February 09, 2011

of psis, define sylle and reference elli

Another use of ellipsis, the omission of unnecessary repeated information, is in zeugma. Zeugma, from the Greek word for "yoke", is stringing several sentences which share a common binding word together as one. For example:

  • "Mr. Jones took his coat and his leave."
  • "Friends, Romans, Countryman, lend me your ears!"

A much more interesting subset of zeugma is called a syllepsis, in which sentences are still joined by a common word, but a different meaning of the word is used each time. Some examples:

  • "You held your breath, and the door for me" -Alanis Morrisette
  • "Are you getting fit or having one?" -Hawkeye in M*A*S*H

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