Learning figures of speech sometimes can be confusing, and I am trying to figure out the difference between metonymy and synecdoche.

Given the following sentence

①Grey hairs should be respected (metonymy )

②More hands are needed in the work(synecdoche )

In Sentence 1, gray hairs is part of human body, so it should be included in synecdoche. So I cannot ensure that I'm right or my book represents a incorrect example.

  • Really? Then where is your research, please? Where can we see what you thin of each example you're posted and what your own conclusion was? – Robbie Goodwin Dec 29 '17 at 1:55

Though I would never use the first example, which could be considered offensive, both of your examples are synecdoche. An example of metonymy would be: "Babyboomers should be respected."

  • 2
    Why would your example be metonymy? Surely 'babyboomers' is an informal name applied to a distinct demographic group, not an attribute of members of that group used to refer to them all. I think that a better example would be "The White House (or the Crown) should be respected". In the British context if you said "the Bus Passes should be respected" that would be metonymy since all older people in the UK are entitled to concessionary travel but the Bus Passes are possessions, not an inherent characteristics even though they can stand for the whole demographic group. – BoldBen Dec 27 '17 at 5:12

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