Daily Archives: November 2, 2019

Syllepsis

Syllepsis (sil-lep’-sis): When a single word that governs or modifies two or more others must be understood differently with respect to each of those words. A combination of grammatical parallelism and semantic incongruity, often with a witty or comical effect. Not to be confused with zeugma: [a general term describing when one part of speech {most often the main verb, but sometimes a noun} governs two or more other parts of a sentence {often in a series}].

You have terminated your National Security Advisor, White House Chief of Staff, White House Communications Director, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and soon, countless people who can’t afford health insurance because of you and your sadistic colleagues in the US Senate.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Buy The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99 in paperback and $5.99 in Kindle format.