Fwd: Re: [ADS-L] metonymy-TRY

Marc Sacks msacks at THEWORLD.COM
Sat May 26 14:54:47 UTC 2007

>> On May 23, 2007, at 12:45 PM, RonButters at aol.com wrote:
>>> But doesn't "personification" apply equally well--or even better--
>>> to the artistic contexts? Is "metonymy"--the substitution of a
>>> part for a whole--
>> "metonymy", as i use it (and i don't think this is an eccentric
>> use; in any case, i got it from jakobson), refers to all sorts of
>> figurative uses that turn on *association* or *contiguity* (while
>> "metaphor" covers all sorts that turn on similarity).  part for
>> whole is synecdoche, usually understood to be a specific type of
>> metonymy.  but there are many many types of metonymy that are not
>> synecdoches.
>> consider, for instance, the use of the name of the capital city of
>> some jurisdiction to refer to the administration/government of that
>> jurisdiction: Washington refuses to engage in talks with Tehran;
>> Albany balks on infrastructure funding; etc.  this isn't
>> synecdoche, or straightforward personification, for that matter.
How does this relate to an object's taking on an action that someone does
*to* the object, as in "This book reads very well"? That case has always
stumped me; there must be a name for it.

Marc Sacks
msacks at theworld.com

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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