Tag Archives: Quintilian

Catachresis

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.

You need to hammer that water! Swim! Swim!

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

 

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).

Can I trust you? Is a mountain a mudflat?

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

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).

Birds do not bark. Dogs do not tweet. Cows do not croak. Frogs do not moo. Stop trying to prove yourself by doing what you can’t do.

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

Acervatio

Acervatio (ak-er-va’-ti-o): Latin term Quintilian employs for both asyndeton (acervatio dissoluta: a loose heap) and polysyndeton (acervatio iuncta: a conjoined heap).

Asyndeton: the omission of conjunctions between clauses, often resulting in a hurried rhythm or vehement effect.

We practice, we play, we win, we lose, we love it! That’s it. That’s our game plan. Let’s go!

Polysydeton: employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm.

You told me you were my friend, and you let me believe you were going to help me, and you kept me thinking everything was going to be all right, and then you walked out the door, and you didn’t leave a trace, and all my dreams were shattered; and now you’re asking me to forgive you and welcome you back like nothing happened at all? Get out!

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