Word of the Day - Black Cat Photography
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October 21, 2008 (Day 269)

Synecdoche: figure of speech


I've mentioned my penchant for purposefully taking things literally because I find it humorous, yes? My sense of humor is skewed, I know.

This was adapted from a photo of my little model figure. The text is a favorite of mine from Boccaccio's Decameron.

I wasn't actually satisfied with this truncated definition ("figure of speech" is so broad, after all), so I clicked through to Dictionary.com to see the full one: "a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole or whole for a part or general for the special or vice versa." Clear and simple, right? o_O Thankfully, the first example was something we could all relate to:

"Photographers had to resort to visual synecdoche, hoping that a small part of the scene—a wailing child, an emaciated mother, a pile of corpses in a freshly dug trench—would suggest the horrors of the whole."
– Paul Gray, Looking at Cataclysms, Time, August 1, 1994

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