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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:21:49 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/350631https://yvision.kz/post/350631
English Stylistics Class 2013. Rhyme, Alliteration, Assonance, Onomatopoeia, HyphenationRhyme, Alliteration, Assonance, Onomatopoeia, Hyphenation

Rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations or words.
Rhyming words are generally placed at a regular distance from each other. In verse they are usually placed at the end of the corresponding lines. There are full-rhyme that supposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable: might, right, needless, heedless
According to the way of rhyme arranging we distinguish:
1. couplets- the last words of two successive lines are rhymed-aa
2. triple rhymes-aaa
3. cross rhymes-abab
4. framing or ring rhymes .

Internal rhyme – the rhyming words are placed not at the ends but within the line: “I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers”. (Sheeley) “Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary”. (Poe)



Alliteration is a stylistic device whereby a series of words begin with the same consonant sound, which can help your audience's listening.

The game of Tic Tac Toe is a perfect example of alliteration, where each word of the game's

name begins with the letter T.

Phrases like "busy as a bee," "drop dead gorgeous," "friends and family" are all examples of alliteration.

Alliteration adds a textural complexity to your speech that makes your words more engaging.

Famous Alliteration in Speech

“I see also the dull, drilled, docile, brutish masses of the Hun soldiery plodding on like a swarm of crawling locusts.” --Winston Churchill on the German invasion of Russia

"To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right." --John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

"Veni, vidi, vici." --Julius Caesar


Assonance is one such literary device, where the vowel sounds are repeated to create an internal rhyming within sentences or phrases. Assonance is known to be the building block of verse and is used to increase the stress on a subject or simply to add flare. Examples of assonance are generally hard to find, and hence they serve an ornamental purpose in literature. It is often referred to as medial rhyme or inexact rhyme.

When looking out for examples of assonance, you ought to keep your eye and ear open for the five vowel sounds included in the English language, that is A, E, I, O and U.

Examples of Assonance

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains. (a)

- Alan Jay Lerner, "The Rain in Spain"/ George Bernard Shaw, "My Fair Lady"

Harden not your hearts, but hear his word. (a)

- Hebrew:3:15

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. (e)

- Keats, "To Autumn"

That solitude which suits abstruser musings. (u)

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost At Midnight"

That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea." (o)

- W.B. Yeats, "Byzantium"

"The bows glided down, and the coast" (o)

- Dylan Thomas, "Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait"

"As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives..." (i)

- Nursery rhyme, "As I was going to St Ive"

"I feel the need, the need for speed." (e)

- Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards, "Top Gun"

"Every time I write a rhyme, these people think it's a crime" (i)

- Eminem, "Criminal"

"It beats . . . as it sweeps . . . as it cleans!" (e)

- "Hoover vacuum cleaners", 1950s advertisement

"If I bleat when I speak it's because I just got . . . fleeced." (e)

- Al Swearengen, "Deadwood"

Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground. (a)

- Pink Floyd, "Grantchester Meadows"

Extracts from Literature


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

...He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

...Now I will do nothing but listen,
To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it.
I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames,
Clack of sticks cooking my meals.
I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night...

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze...

Paradise Lost by Milton

...Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole
Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe...


Examples from Music

Busta Rhymes "Gimme Some More" 1998

"Flash with a rash gimme my cash flickin' my ash
Runnin with my money, son, go out with a blast."

Nickelback "If Everyone Cared"

"And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along"

Metallica "Fade to Black"

"Life it seems will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters, no one else"


Onomatopoeia (word imitating a sound ) is a combination of speech sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature, by things, by people and by animals. There are 2 varieties of onomatopoeia: direct and indirect.

Direct onomatopoeia is contained in words that imitate natural sounds, as ding-dong, cuckoo and the like.

Indirect onomatopoeia is a combination of sounds the aim of which is to make the sound of the utterance an echo of its sense. It is sometimes called ‘echo-writing’. Indirect onomatopoeia demands some mention of what makes the sound. It is sometimes very effectively used by repeating words which themselves are not onomatopoetic.

Onomatopoeia is used because it's often difficult to describe sounds. Furthermore, a story becomes more lively and interesting by the use of onomatopoeia.


  • The lion roared.
  • The steaks sizzled in the pan.
  • The bomb went off with a bang.


Hyphenation – the reflection of rhymed or clipped manner in which a word is uttered.











Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:53:57 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/350624https://yvision.kz/post/350624
English Stylistics Class 2013. Syntactic SDs in the novel by O.Henry «The gift of the Magi»I don't know, if I had found all syntactic SDs.


One dollar and eighty-seven cents (framing repetition). That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents (framing repetition). And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles (repetition) predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray (ordinary repetition) backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 (repetition) to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and (polysyndeton) sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very (ordinary repetition) agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown (anaphora) hat. With a whirl of skirts and with (polysyndeton) the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do (ordinary repetition) with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow (detached construction), he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor (polysyndeton) any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then (anaphora), alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men (ordinary repetition)--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest (epiphora). They are the magi.

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:29:49 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/348700https://yvision.kz/post/348700
English Stylistics Class 2013. Litotes — Antithesis — Rhetorical question — Question – in- a – narrative — Break – in- the – Narrative — Polysyndeton — Asyndeton — ClimaxLitotes


Meiosis (Greek - "lessening") is a deliberate use of understatement, the aim of which is to lessen, weaken, reduce the real characteristics of the object so that to show its insignificance.

A specific form of meiosis is called litotes.

Litotes (Greek - "plainness, simplicity") is a form of understatement which uses the denied opposite of a word to weaken or soften a message. As a result, the positive feature is somehow diminished by the negation.

The structural pattern can be as follows:


"not" /"no"/

N. / Adi. / Adv. (the notional part should be

"never"/ etc.

~   negative either in form or in meaning)



-          That's not bad. (instead of: That's good/great.)

-          Boats aren't easy to find in the dark. (instead of: Boats are hard/difficult to find in the dark.)

-          It was not unnatural if Gilbert felt a certain embarrassment. (Waugh)

-          We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.



A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite. Adjective: litotic.

Also Known As: antenantiosis, moderatour


From the Greek, "plainness, simplicity".

Litotes describes the object to which it refers not directly, but through the negation of the opposite. . . .

For example:



Antithesis – (from Greek “contradiction”) two points of sharp contrast set one against the other, generally in parallel constructions: Antagonistic features are more easily perceived in similar structures.

For example:

They speak like saints and act like devils.

Rhetorical question

Rhetorical question (from Greek “an orator”) – a statement reshaped into a question, generally a complex one: Without a subordinate clause a rhetorical question would lose its specific quality and might be regarded as an ordinary question.

For example:

-          If practice makes perfect, and no one's perfect, then why practice?


Question – in- a – narrative

Changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a stylistic device. A question-in-a-narrative is asked and answered by one and the same person, usually the author.

E. g. For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush - for Greece a tear.

As is seen from these examples the questions asked, unlike rhetorical questions do not contain statements.
Question- in-a-narrative is very often used in oratory. This is explained by one of the leading features of oratorical style - to induce the desired reaction to the content of the speech.

Break – in- the – Narrative

Break – in- the – Narrative (aposiopesis) - sudden break in the narration has the function to reveal agitated state of the speaker.
E. g. On the hall table there were a couple of letters addressed to her. One was the bill. The other...

There are 3 ways of reproducing character's speech.
1) direct speech;
2) indirect speech (reported speech)
3) represented speech.


Polysyndeton ( from Greek  - “many together”) - is an identical repetition of conjunctions: used to emphasize simultaneousness of described actions, to disclose the authors subjective attitude towards the characters, to create the rhythmical effect.

E. g. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect.


Asyndeton ( from Greek – “without connection”) is a deliberate avoidance of conjunctions in constructions in which they would normally used.

E.g. He couldn't go abroad alone, the sea upset his liver, he hated hotels.


Climax (Gradation) – ( from Greek – “ladder”) is an arrangement of sentences  which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance:

-          ”Little by little, bit by but, and day by day, and year by year the baron got the worst of some disputed question” (Dickens).

Sun, 31 Mar 2013 14:44:16 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/344791https://yvision.kz/post/344791
English Stylistics Class 2013. Epithet – Oxymoron, Hyperbole – Understatement, Periphrasis – EuphemismEpithet

Epithet (Greek – “addition”) is a stylistic device emphasizing some quality of a person, thing, idea or phenomenon. Like metaphor, metonymy and simile epithets are also based on similarity between two objects, on nearness of the qualified objects and on their comparison. Epithets should not be confused with logical attributes, the latter having no expres­sive force but indicating those qualities of the objects that may be regarded as gener­ally recognized (for instance, round table, green meadows, lofty mountains and the like).

From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into:
1) simple (adjectives, nouns, participles): e.g. He looked at them in animal panic.
2) compound: e.g. apple - faced man;
3) sentence and phrase epithets: e.g. It is his do - it - yourself attitude.
4) reversed epithets - composed of 2 nouns linked by an of phrase: e.g. “a shadow of a smile”;

5) transferred (figurative) – describing inanimate objects like living beings: e.g. “the smiling sun”;

6) Two-step epithets are so called because the process of qualifying passes two stages: the qualification of the object and the qualification of the qualification itself, as in “an unnaturally mild day”. Two-step epithets have a fixed structure of Adv+Adj model
Semantically according to I. Galperin.
1) associated with the noun following it, pointing to a feature which is essential to the objects they describe: dark forest; careful attention.
2) unassociated with the noun, epithets that add a feature which is unexpected and which strikes the reader: smiling sun, voiceless sounds.


Oxymoron (from the Greek word meaning “pointedly foolish”) is lexical stylistic device the syntactic and semantic structures of which come to clashes (e.g. “cold fire”, “brawling love”).

Structurally oxymoron can be:

-          Attributive, (adj + noun)

-          Verbal, (verb + adverb) e.g. “to shout mutely” or “to cry silently”.

Originality and specificity of oxymoron becomes especially evident in non-attributive structures which also (not infrequently) are used to express semantic contradiction as in “the street was damaged by improvements”, “silence was louder than thunder”.

Oxymorons rarely become trite, for their components, linked forcibly, repulse each other and oppose repeated use. There are few colloquial oxymorons, all of them show a high degree of the speaker’s emotional involvement in the situation, as in “awfully pretty”.



Hyperbole (Greek- "excess, exaggeration") is a lexical stylistic device in which emphasis is achieved through deliberate exaggeration. Hyperbole is aimed at exaggerating quantity or quality. For example:

A thousand pardons;

Scared to death;

Give the world to see him;

The man-mountain.


Understatement – the exaggeration of smallness. When the hyperbole is directed the opposite way, when the size, shape, dimensions, characteristic features of the object are not overrated, but intentionally underrated, we deal with understatement. English is well known for its preference for understatement in everyday speech. “I am rather annoyed” instead of “I’m infuriated’, “The wind is rather strong” instead of “There’s a gale blowing outside” are typical of British polite speech, but are less characteristic of American English.


Periphrasis (Greek – “speaking around”) - a device by which a longer phrase is used instead of a shorter and plainer one, it is used in literary descriptions for greater expressiveness: The little boy has been deprived of what can never be replaced (Dickens) (= deprived of his mother); An addition to the little party now made its appearance (= another person came in). The notion of king may be poetically represented as the protector of earls; the victor lord; the giver of lands; a battle may be called a play of swords; a saddle = a battle-seat; a soldier = a shield-bearer, God = Our Lord, Almighty, Goodness.

Periphrases are classified into:

-          Logical, i.e. synonymous phrases.

-          Figurative, in fact phrase-metonymies and phrase-metaphors; e.g. The punctual servant of all work (i.e. the sun)


Euphemism (Greek – “speaking well”) means substitution of words with mild connotation for rough, unpleasant, or otherwise unmentionable words. Euphemism is due to social, religious and cultural factors. Taboo is one of these factors. The word lavatory has produced many euphemisms – loo, powder room, washroom, re­stroom, retiring room, public station, comfort station, ladies', gentlemen's, water-closet (WC), public convenience. Pass away is a euphemism for die, agent for spy, dentures for false teeth.

Sun, 17 Mar 2013 20:00:02 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/342693https://yvision.kz/post/342693
English Stylistics Class 2013. Irony. Pun. Zeugma. MalapropismI had a very big problems with browsing pictures. Only two pictures had browsed. Exuse for it, I had different examples on pictures.


This well-known term going back to the Greek word “eironeia” (mockery concealed) denotes a trope based on direct opposition of the meaning to the sense. Irony is a transfer, a renaming based upon the direct contrast of two notions: the notion named and the notion meant.

Irony is a stylistic device also based on the simultaneous realization of two logical meanings – dictionary and contextual, but the two meanings stand in opposition to each other. Irony is generally used to convey a negative meaning. For example:

You are so diminutive that you did better than giraffe. ( It means you're too tall).


On the whole, irony is used with the aim of critical evaluation of the thing spoken about. Sometimes irony is NOT POINTED OUT at all: its presence in the text is deducted only by reasoning.


A pun is a clever and amusing use of a word or phrase with two meanings, or of words with the same sound but different meanings. For example, if someone says “The peasants are revolting”, this is a pun, because it can be interpreted as meaning either that the peasants are fighting against authority, or that they are disgusting.

This term is synonymous with the current expression “play upon words”.  Alongside the Enlish term “pun”, the international term calambur is current. Like any other stylistic device , it must depend on a context.

The semantic essence of the device is based on polysemy or homonymy. The general formula for the pun is as follows “A equals B and C”, which is the result of fallacious transformation (shortening) of the two statements “A equals B” and “A equals C” (three terms in all). For example:

“Have you been seeing spirits?” – “Or taking any?”

The first "spirits" refers to supernatural forces, the second one -to strong drinks.

In fact, the humorous effect is caused by the interplay not of two meanings of one word, but of two words. Puns are often used in riddles and jokes.


Zeugma – is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context semantic being on the one hand, literal, and on the other, transferred.




direct                        indirect

As a general rule, zeugma with its tendency towards the absurd, or at least to illogically, is employed in humorous texts. Zeugma is a kind of economy of syntactical units: one unit (word, phrase) make a combination with two or several others without being repeated itself: “She was married to Mr. Johnson, her twin sister, to Mr. Ward; their half-sister, to Mr. Trench”. Another example: John and his driving licence expired last week.



Malapropism – (from Latin “mal” – “bad, ill” and “proper” – “individual”) – a grotesque misuse of words, a substitution of one word for another based on a blunder. Malapropism creates a funny change of meaning. It can be possible to give another definition: the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect (e.g. “dance a flamingo” instead of flamenco). The unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one of similar sound, especially when creating a ridiculous effect, as in “I am not under the affluence of alcohol”.

Modern malapropisms in english are:

*flaunt and flounce

(to display possessions, oneself. etc) ostentatiously; show off - go or move in an exaggeratedly impatient or angry manner)

*cortege and corsage

(a formal procession, esp. funeral procession - a spray of flowers worn pinned to a woman's clothes)

*aperient and aperitif

(chiefly of a drug) used to relieve constipation - an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimutate the appetite)

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 20:55:11 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/328308https://yvision.kz/post/328308
English Stylistics Class 2013. Metaphor, simile, personification, metonymyI want to show what I've learned about metaphor, simile, personification and metonomy. I hope you will enjoy it.


The term "metaphor" as the etymology of the word reveals, means transference of some quality from one object to another. The idea that metaphor is based on similarity or affirnity of two corresponding objects or notions. A metaphor states that A is B

Metaphors can be classified according to their degree of unexpectedness. Thus metaphors which are absolutely unexpected, i.e. are quite unpredictable, are called genuine metaphors. Those which are commonly used in speech and therefore are sometimes even fixed in dictionaries as expressive means of language are trite metaphors, or dead metaphors.

Structurally can be:




Metaphors are used to help us understand the unknown, because we use what we know in comparison with something we don't know to get a better understanding of the unknown. It makes speech, phrases more vivid.


Simile - the imaginative comparison of two unlike objects belonging to different classes. A simile states that A is like/as B.

Simile man shows us what we use in simile))

Sematically similies can be as a metaphor:

- genuine, based on some fresh analogy between two things.

- trite, the original figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse ( blind as a bat, as sick as a dog)

Structurally similes can be:

- ordinary

-disgiused ( to resemble, to seem, to look like, to appear)

- prolonged ( A - B, B, B )


Observations on the Differences Between Similes and Metaphors

  • "Writers sometimes use similes and metaphors to help create a vivid image in the reader's mind. A simile compares two things using the word like or as.

Simile: My father grumbles like a bear in the mornings.

A metaphor also compares two things, but it does not use the word like or as.

Metaphor: My father is a bear in the mornings.

(English Language Arts Skills & Strategies: Level 8, Saddleback, 2005)

  • "The simile sets two ideas side by side; in the metaphor they become superimposed. It would seem natural to think that simile, being simpler, is older."
    (F.L. Lucas, Style. Macmillan, 1955)
  • "A simile is also a metaphor; for there is little difference: when the poet says, 'He rushed as a lion,' it is a simile, but 'The lion rushed' [with lion referring to a man] would be a metaphor; since both are brave, he used a metaphor [i.e., a simile] and spoke of Achilles as a lion. The simile is useful also in speech, but only occasionally, for it is poetic. [Similes] should be brought in like metaphors; for they are metaphors, differing in the form of expression."
    (Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book Three, Chapter 4. Translated by George A. Kennedy, Aristotle, On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • "Simile and Metaphor differ only in degree of stylistic refinement. The Simile, in which a comparison is made directly between two objects, belongs to an earlier stage of literary expression: it is the deliberate elaboration of a correspondence, often pursued for its own sake. But a Metaphor is the swift illumination of an equivalence. Two images, or an idea and an image, stand equal and opposite; clash together and respond significantly, surprising the reader with a sudden light."
    (Herbert Read, English Prose Style. Beacon, 1955)
  • "The relationship between simile and metaphor is close, metaphor often being defined as a condensed simile, that is, someone who runs like lightning can be called a lightning runner. Sometimes, simile and metaphor blend so well that the join is hard to find . . .."
    (Tom McArthur, The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford Univ. Press, 1992)
  • "Metaphor conveys a relationship between two things by using a word or words figuratively, not literally; that is, in a special sense which is different from the sense it has in the contexts noted by the dictionary.  

    "By contrast, in simile, words are used literally, or 'normally.' This thing A is said to be 'like' that thing, B. The description given to A and to B is as accurate as literal words can make it, and the reader is confronted by a kind of fait accompli, where sense-impressions are often the final test of success. Thus 'my car is like a beetle' uses the words 'car' and 'beetle' literally, and the simile depends for its success on the literal--even visual--accuracy of the comparison."
    (Terence Hawkes, Metaphor. Methuen, 1972)


Personification is another variety of metaphor. According to Skrebnev personification is attributing human properties to lifeless object - mostly to abstract notions, such as thoughts, actions, intensions, emotions, seasons of the year.


I want to offer you personification from songs ( excuse me, but I can't paste the video, I can only give the reference(((



Metonymies are frequently used in literature and in everyday speech. Metonymy - the substitution of one object by another on the basis of their common existence in reality.


I am fond of Dickens. I collect old China.



This trope is of the same nature as metonymy. Antonomasia - a proper name used for a common one or vice versa.


Calling a lover Casanova, an office worker Dilbert, Elvis Presley the King, Bill Clinton the Comeback Kid, or Horace Rumpole's wife She Who Must Be Obeyed.

"I'm a myth. I'm Beowulf. I'm Grendel."

Semantically antonomasia can be genuine and trite.


Synecdoche is often treated as a type of metonymy. Synecdoche - the use of a part to denote the whole of vice versa.

Semantically can be genuine and trite.


All hands on deck.

white-collar criminals

The Difference Between Metonymy and Synecdoche

Metonymy resembles and is sometimes confused with the trope of synecdoche. While likewise based on a principle of contiguity, synecdoche occurs when a part is used to represent a whole or a whole to represent a part, as when workers are referred to as 'hands' or when a national football team is signified by reference to the nation to which it belongs: 'England beat Sweden.' As way of example, the saying that 'The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' illustrates the difference between metonymy and synecdoche. Here, 'the hand' is a synecdochic representation of the mother of whom it is a part, while 'the cradle' represents a child by close association.

All these stylistic devices are the good way to express your emotins and fantasy.

We can see this vivid example in all literary works.

That is all, I hope everything is clear, and if anybody didn't know it, they would remember)

Sat, 16 Feb 2013 20:57:34 +0600MarinaKaunova@yvision.kz (MarinaKaunova)https://yvision.kz/post/328251https://yvision.kz/post/328251