Figures of Quality
Figures of replacement: classification . Divided into two classes: figures of quantity and figures of
Metonymy. This is applying the name of an object to another object
that is in some way connected with the first.
The kettle is boiling or The gallery
applauded, Metonymy is widely used as an expressive device visualizing the
Synecdoche. The term denotes the simplest kind of metonymy: using
the name of a part to denote the whole or vice versa. A typical example of
traditional (stereotyped) synecdoche is the word hands used instead of
the word worker(s) (Hands wanted) or sailors (All hands on deck!). See
also expressions like a hundred head of cattle.
Periphrasis. This does not belong with the tropes, for it is not a transfer
(renaming), yet this way of identifying the object of speech is related to
metonymy. Periphrasis is a description of what could be named directly;
it is naming the characteristic features of the object instead of naming
the object itself. What helps to differentiate periphrasis from metonymy
is that the former cannot be expressed by one linguistic unit (one word):
This device always demonstrates redundancy of lingual elements. Its
stylistic effect varies from elevation to humour.
Metaphor. This term (originally applied indiscriminately to any kind
of transfer) denotes expressive renaming on the basis of similarity of two
objects: the real object of speech and the one whose name is actually used.
But there is only affinity, no real connection between the two.
As they are disconnected, to find features in common, the speaker must
search for associations in his own mind, that is not as is the case with
metonymy, where both objects lie before our eyes.
Head of Government (metaphor), film-star.
Allusion. The term allusion denotes a special variety of metaphor.
As the very meaning of the word shows, allusion is a brief reference to
some literary or historical event commonly known.
Personification is another variety of metaphor. Personification is at-
tributing human properties to lifeless objects — mostly to abstract
notions, such as thoughts, actions, intentions, emotions, seasons of the
Antonomasia. Metaphorical antonomasia is, in a way, a variety of
allusion. It is the use of the name of a historical, literary,
mythological, or biblical personage applied to a person whose
characteristic features resemble those of the well-known original.
Thus, a traitor may be referred to as Brutus, a ladies' man deserves
the name of Don Juan.
There are at least two kinds of irony. The first represents utterances
the ironical sense of which is evident to any native speaker — utterances
that can have only an ironical message; A few examples: That's a pretty kettle of fishl (cf.: Хорошенькое дель-це Веселенькая история]). A fine friend you arel (cf.: Хорош друг, нече-
го сказать!; Ничего себе, удружил!).
To the second variety we can refer the overwhelming majority of
utterances which can be understood either literally, or ironically, espe-
cially when we deal with written texts. Thus we cannot say if the speaker
Is serious or ironical when he says: But of course we know, he's a rich
man, a millionaire.
As shown above, we distinguish between three types of transfer of names:
a) transfer by contiguity;
b) transfer by similarity;
c) transfer by contrast.
a) Transfer by contiguity is based upon a real connection between the
two objects: that which is named and that the name of which is taken.
Saying, for instance, J was followed by a pair of heavy boots, we do not
mean animate boots following the speaker, but something qualitatively
different, though connected with the boots — a man wearing those boots.
b) Transfer by similarity is based on likeness (common features) of the
two, there being no actual connection between them. In the sentence The
reception was cold we resort to this type of transfer. There is no connection
between people's attitude and temperature, there is only resemblance here:
a cold reception affects our mood in much the same way as cold weather
affects our bodies.
c) Transfer by contrast is the use of words, phrases, sentences and
complete texts with implied meanings that are directly opposite to those
which are primary, traditional, collectively accepted. This trope is not
infrequently used when we pretend to praise somebody or something
instead of directly expressing the opposite opinion: A fine friend you are!;
That's a pretty kettle of fish!