Re: [ADS-L] metonymy- TRY

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Wed May 23 19:45:35 UTC 2007

Good point: the weather only tries, it doesn't hope or intend. A rather
limited sort of personification, then, but personification nonetheless.

But doesn't "personification" apply equally well--or even better--to the
artistic contexts? Is "metonymy"--the substitution of a part for a whole--really
appropriate for "the novel hopes ..." or "the painting intends"? As usually
defined, metonymy refers to a use in which the part (e.g., WHEELS) does not bear
an agentive or instrumental relationship to the thing it stands for (CAR) but
is an inalienable part of it or is at any rate physically associated with it

In the artistic contexts, the work of art is more of an instrumental noun,
and the weather is sort of an agent.

In a message dated 5/23/07 1:08:17 PM, zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU writes:

> On May 23, 2007, at 9:04 AM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> > The example that I notice most frequently is TRY in the context of
> > weather,
> > e.g., (made-up example), "The storm is trying to push on further
> > south, but we
> > can't say at this time whether it will be successful or not."
> i've always thought of this one as personification rather than metonymy.
> and though TRY is frequent, other verbs (HOPE, INTEND, AIM,
> PROPOSE,...) sound odd in this context, but are fine in the artistic-
> creation context.
> arnold
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