A figure of speech is figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase.

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What is the term for repetition of an initial syllable in successive words?

In Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, one character comments on the name of another Carla Carlucci: alliteration. Or something more than alliteration, but I don’t know the term for it. ...
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Is this an example of correctio?

I thought this would be better as a separate question. Here's the quote: Ariel (The Tempest): ‘The powers, delaying, not forgetting’ Correctio is: 'The amending of a statement just made by ...
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What do you call the use of a negative in order to emphasize?

In particular, I was looking at this quote: Adam (Paradise Lost): ‘nothing lovelier can be found / In woman, than to study household good’ Here's 'nothing' emphasizes 'lovelier'. Is there a term ...
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1answer
60 views

Does litotes need to be negative?

For example, are the following examples of litotes: Ariel (The Tempest): ‘The powers, delaying, not forgetting’ (Stresses a past injustice being remembered) Adam (Paradise Lost): ‘nothing ...
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What do you call a word that's been used unusually (not according to definition)?

For example, when you say: They smelt music or He forged a meaning out of it According to dictionary definitions, the word choices in the above sentences might not fit. The usage is more ...
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What does “to reason about” mean? [duplicate]

Recently I saw the following sentence: "I recently began using it on a side project and it has quickly proven itself to be a great way to create fast, dynamic user interfaces with code that’s easy to ...
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A figure of speech to illustrate the irreversibility of an action

I'm looking for a good figure of speech to suggest that something is irreversible. It would be used in the following context: "I'm sorry, dear, but you said it loud and clear and there is nothing ...
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1answer
76 views

Figures of Speech: Inversion, doubt

This is a doubt from the poem Television by Roald Dahl and it is there in our 10 STD school textbook. I and my teacher had a bit of conflict with the figures of speech here: ...In almost every house ...
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1answer
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Figure of speech when referring to a person but meaning the object (being) used by the person

In the video for Adele's Hello, at the start, she says "I just got here and I think I'm losing signal already", she does not say her phone is losing signal. Is that a figure of speech and, if so, how ...
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What is the figurative meaning of “pivot towards”?

I read a sentence in Voice of America news: Clinton's dominating victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary allows her to pivot towards a general-election campaign message. What does pivot ...
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Past Perfect usage

I'm reading a book and found this odd usage of past perfect tense in a speech of a character: "He never feels as if he knows, neither does he feel as if nothing had happened". My English teacher (not ...
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1answer
48 views

Any particular meaning to the expression 'stuck still'?

Stuck still, I would like to know what the exact meaning of this expression is. I think it's something like 'frozen in place' by a certain shocking or surprising occurrence or situation.
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Is the phrase “my memories form into a mass of life” a metaphor?

The phrase "my memories form into a mass of life" belongs to a poem. Is it a metaphor or a personification? Could it be both?
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138 views

“A government of the people, by the people, for the people”

From a famous speech: A government of the people, by the people, for the people I believe the last part is clear (for the people). But what is the difference— in meaning— between of the people (...
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98 views

The Kids are All Right

As I was reading some of the responses on Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?, I agreed with many of the posters stating that using the wife as opposed to my wife was slightly less personal and ...
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The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
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1answer
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Analysis of following writing pattern

Is there a name for following writing/dialogue pattern? We ride into the future. A future where ... In the world you grew up. A new world with ... It's just a theory. A game theory.
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1answer
64 views

what figure of speech/ literary device is the following?

When something is implied but we still state it to reinforce the idea, I suspect it might be tautology but isn't tautology repetition of idea in different form ? implication is not required in ...
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1answer
101 views

Rhetoric word for answering a question with another answer implying the first

During a discussion on AI, it was asserted that AI is not yet handling very well cases where an indirect, but quite adequate (unless prevaricatory) answer is given. Examples: Person A: Are you ...
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Is there an expression for cutting ties or calling off something that is ultimately unfavorable to both parties?

In particular, ending something that one of the parties is still attached to. For instance, in a relationship, if one person doesn't want to go through the short term struggle of a breakup (and is ...
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When should I say or write the expression, “Good question”? [closed]

People are often heard saying "Good question". Some people suggest that, when you don't have the answer then this expression is used to acknowledge that. However, it feels more of an appreciation from ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Can “cinema” work as a collective noun?

The local cinema do not even consider screening this movie. In the above sentence, "cinema" is employed to denote one or more of the staff who determine the programme. My question is, does it work?...
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99% of people would do x

99% of people, 99% of things, events, dogs, whatever. 99% Recently I used what is to me as a Brit a pretty common figure of speech, saying "99% of people would x", meaning simply that the vast ...
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Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
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2answers
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What does “wound for sound” mean and where did it come from?

This is a figure of speech that's been in my lexicon virtually forever. I'm not sure where I learned this, but to me it means "keyed up and ready to go". A combination of high energy, tension, and ...
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An alternative to the phrase “God bless you” [closed]

In the context of wishing someone a Blessing,if I choose not to use the term God , what are the other words that can be used that still conveys the same meaning as the phrase "God bless you"?
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217 views

Is the expression “You the Man” gender neutral?

The expression "You The Man" is generally used to compliment a male. Can this expression be used to compliment a female? If not, what is a suitable alternative?
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Figure of speech: Repeated synonyms

I am looking for the name of the figure of speech, where two words with similar meaning are used together to convey an idea more emphatically. For example: 'Cease and Desist', 'Null and void', etc. ...
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2answers
216 views

Aphorisms that use two words in reverse order [duplicate]

I've found aphorisms often that play on the meaning of two words and their interaction and was wondering what one might call them. An example is the PJ Harvey song name: The whore hustles and ...
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4answers
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“I'm happy to see that you are sober as a judge” Is this a rhetorical device?

Context: A few decades ago, during the electoral campaign for governor, there was a televised debate between the three major parties candidates. Candidate A, the favorite according to the polls, was ...
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List of new idioms from our era? [closed]

A recent question was about the new idiom in English "it goes to eleven". (It dates from 1984.) I was wondering, Taking "recent" or "in our generation" as since the 1980s... a) What's the single ...
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1answer
83 views

discerning between “metaphor” and“ symbol”

I am wondering if symbol and metaphor could be considered interchangeable-- And, when they cannot. Or, would you please show me an authoratative source? Any comment or feed back would greatly be ...
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Richard Feynman is certainly not mischievous!

In the introduction of Richard Feynmans book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, a colleague describes Feynman's character. The description makes sense to me - except for one word. The word ...
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What figure of speech takes the form “[concrete noun] of [abstract noun]” (non-anthropomorphic)

What is the precise technical figure of speech for a phrase that pairs a concrete noun (non-anthropomorphic*) to an abstract noun in the form of "[concrete] of [abstract]"? The particular example I ...
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2answers
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From Avocadoes to Asparagus, from kangaroos to koalas

What is the name of this literary saying? People use this figure of speech in order to express a wide coverage or variety of a certain class, such as vegetable species available in a market for ...
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1answer
153 views

What does “wear shoes” mean in this idiom?

I was reading an article today that used "wear shoes" metaphorically and I have no idea what they're trying to say. The context is an Indian outsourcing company diversifying by using its existing ...
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1answer
110 views

Asking about figures of speech [closed]

Is steady my knees an image and why ?and also chewing on his pipe?and shuffling of their feet? the treble of them are extracts from a prose text called "she walked alone" thank you..
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Waterproof shod?

In Norwegian we have a saying, vanntette skodd, that directly translated to English would be waterproof shod. It means that there is a segregation between two subjects such that not even water passes ...
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247 views

What figure of speech is this, “assaulted by a haircut”?

"That guy is assaulting us with that haircut". There's some hyperbole in there, but its definitely a substitution of some sort.
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'A word in your shell-like' drops the noun from the original noun phrase. Are there any similar constructs?

I first encountered this from the mouth of 'Rumpole of the Bailey', and I've since seen it in lots of places. But I can't dredge up any similar constructions, where the original adjective remains ...
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What do these two figures of speech mean? Embrace the grind and lower your shoulder

I came across these two figures of speech:(a) Embrace the grind and (b) Lower your shoulder in one of the Instagram posts of Dwayne Johnson(The Rock) Since I am not a native English speaker I just ...
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What is “as smart as paint”

R.L.Stevenson, Treasure Island: chapter VIII. "At the sign of the Spy-Glass" John Silver says that Jim Hawkins is "as smart as paint". What does he mean?
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1answer
290 views

How to find out an Irony in a sentence [duplicate]

How can I find out what Irony has been used in a sentence?
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1answer
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The Yellow Wallpaper - What does *Smooch* mean?

I was reading a brilliant piece of Feminist Literature : The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman which uses the word smooch three times, all in reference to the yellow wallpaper: Then ...
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What's the name of this figure of speech playing with the use-mention distinction?

The following is a figure of speech I've seen a couple of times in my native language of German. Though I have no reason to doubt it exists, I don't remember ever seeing it used in English, so I've ...
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Which figure of speech is this?

Suppose I've written a story that is set in ancient times. And I refer to something quite modern in it. Like I'm writing about the roman empire suppose, and I write 'He looked at the time in his watch....
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Other words for or similar to synecdoche

What size shirt are you wearing? I'm wearing a large. In this instance, large is a noun used in place of the understood [large] shirt. I'm trying to figure out if there is a word for "a ...
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What figure(s) of speech or expression are in play here?

I recently heard a somewhat poetic song lyric that I couldn't pin down. The writer says of a failed relationship: We broke a diamond with our bitter words. I get diamond as a metonym for ...
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“Childlessness is hereditary in our family” What do you call a statement containing a contradiction such as the example?

This kind of sentence is usually absurd and may or may not be recognized as such by the person who utters it. She will regret it till the day she dies, if she lives that long! "Aren't you going to ...