Hypallage


Hypallage (hy-pal’-la-ge): Shifting the application of words. Mixing the order of which words should correspond with which others. Also, sometimes, a synonym for metonymy (see Quintilian).

I was eating a piece of wistful chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream on top of it. I had worked for the Crown of Creation Casket Company for 45 years.

I am retiring, and this is my party.

My retirement gift is a beautiful burgundy smoking jacket made from the finest velvet the company uses to line it’s “Regal Cruise” selection of caskets.

I tried the jacket on in the men’s room and couldn’t help feeling like I was important–like I was going to a better place–not the better place where our clients go–just a better place, like the mall, or a state park, or the movies.

I nearly laughed out loud as I grabbed another piece of cake and scooped a giant plop of vanilla ice cream on top of it. There’s a problem: I don’t even smoke!

Hmmm.

But, I do drink 4 glasses of wine every night.

Hmmm.

You can sit in a big comfy chair and drink and smoke. Consequently, drinking won’t put undue strain, or wear, on the jacket! That is, like smoking, drinking is a sedentary activity. It may involve a bit more exercise, like getting up and pouring another drink, but by and large one sits and drinks just like one sits and smokes.

Problem solved: I will make my smoking jacket into a drinking jacket. Instead of keeping a lighter in its pocket, I’ll carry a corkscrew.

  • Post your own hypallage on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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