Questions tagged [zeugma]

A literary device whereby a single word is used in multiple senses in a sentence.

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26 votes
9 answers
19k views

Of the difference between zeugma and syllepsis

I am confused about what is the relative meaning of zeugma compared to syllepsis, both in its current meaning and possibly in former understandings of these words. The New Oxford American Dictionary ...
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Dependence in word with two interrogatives acting upon the same subject

The sentence in question: How or what can a leader do to enhance the team's cohesion? "How" and "what" are both interrogatives operating on "can". "What can a ...
-3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Is the "English" in the name of this site an adjective of noun? [duplicate]

Sorry, I cannot parse "English language and usage", at least, a similar phrase in Russian would be ungrammatical.
15 votes
6 answers
4k views

Does this sentence of Melville lack a verb?

I cannot make much sense of of the following passage from Moby-Dick: It is not the least among the strange things bred by the intense artificialness of sea-usages, that while in the open air of the ...
3 votes
1 answer
205 views

Can a conjunction be used to combine multiple meanings?

Years ago, while taking a college linguistics class, I posed this sentence to my professor: I pushed the chair with my mother and a broom. Granted, this sentence is ambiguous, and I won’t delve ...
6 votes
6 answers
6k views

Dropping the subject from sentences

Consider this example: He got into the car. Started the engine, checked the mirrors. Stepped on the gas and headed down Main Street. Omitting the subject from a sentence isn't proper construction, ...