Daily Archives: May 27, 2021


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}].

He caught the high fly ball and a glimpse of his emerging prowess as a ball player. He heard the umpire yell “ouuut” with his stretched out voice. He knew then that this was his home—his life, his fate. Baseball. He carried high hopes and the equipment bag back to the locker room. Could he do it? Could he make it as a baseball player? He would try.

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

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