Catachresis (kat-a-kree’-sis): The use of a word in a context that differs from its proper application. This figure is generally considered a vice; however, Quintilian defends its use as a way by which one adapts existing terms to applications where a proper term does not exist.
My heart went beep before it took a leap. I wanted to wrench it around so it could see what I was doing to me. Unable to do that, I opted for an empty can of garbanzos with both ends cut out. I put the can on my chest. I bent my head down and listened. I heard a faint squeaking sound that troubled my thinking.
If these heart episodes persist, I will stop reading mystery novels and start reading high school biology textbooks with pictures of whales and reproductive systems with schismatic diagrams of their complexity. This will impact my life, and I’m not at all reticent to try it. First, I must have a convocation with my doctor. She’s really smart and will know what to perform.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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