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metaphor, metonym and synecdoche


'Mummy, what's the difference between a metaphor and a metonym ?'

'Well, Susie, a metaphor cannot be literally true . . .'

'Like, when you describe Daddy as a "tower of strength"?'

'Yes, indeed. Whereas a metonym takes an attribute or adjunct of the thing instead of the thing itself. So, one can say 'The Crown' when referring to the Queen, or 'The turf' when meaning horse-racing.'

'And,' interjected John, 'there is also synecdoche. That means naming the part for the whole, like just saying "keels" for "ships".'


copyright © Bob Trubshaw 2003


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