Кухаренко В.А. Практикум з стилістики англійської мови: Підручник. –
Вінниця. «Нова книга», 2000 – 160 с.
CHAPTER I. PHONO-GRAPHICAL LEVEL. MORPHOLOGICAL
Sound Instrumenting. Craphon. Graphical Means……………………………………………………………6
Morphemic Repetition. Extension of Morphemic
CHAPTER II. LEXICAL
Word and its Semantic Structure…………………………………………………………………………….14
Connotational Meanings of a Word………………………………………………………………………….14
The Role of the Context in the Actualization of
Stylistic Differentiation of the Vocabulary…………………………………………………………………..16
Literary Stratum of Words. Colloquial Words…..…………………………………………………………..16
Lexical Stylistic Devices…………………………………………………………………………………….23
Metaphor. Metonymy. Synecdoche. Play on Words. Irony.
Hyperbole. Understatement. Oxymoron. ……………………………………………………………………23
CHAPTER III. SYNTACTICAL
Main Characteristics of the Sentence. Syntactical SDs. Sentence
One-Word Sentences. Sentence Structure. Punctuation. Arrangement of
Sentence Members. Rhetorical Question. Types of Repetition. Parallel
Constructions. Chiasmus. Inversion. Suspense, Detachment. Completeness
of Sentence Structure. Ellipsis. One-Member Sentences. Apokoinu
Types of Connection.
Polysyndeton. Asyndeton. Attachment
Lexico-Syntactical Stylistic Devices.
Antithesis. Climax. Anticlimax. Simile. Litotes. Periphrasis.
CHAPTER IV. TYPES OF NARRATION………………………………………………………………57
Author’s Narrative. Dialogue. Interior Speech.
Speech. Compositional Forms. ……………………………………………….……………………………57
CHAPTER V. FUNCTIONAL STYLES ………………………………………………………………..61
Colloquial vs. Literary Type of Communication. Oral
Written Form of Communication. …………………………………………….……………………………61
Samples of Stylistic Analysis.
Extracts for Comprehensive Stylistic Analysis
LIST OF AUTHORS WHOSE TEXTS
WERE USED IN EXERCISES
Seminars in Style is a book of practice which can be used alongside or
after the theoretical course of English Stylistics. Its aim is to help
students acquire and use the knowledge and techniques necessary for the
stylistic analysis of a text, i.e. find and interpret language phenomena
of different levels of the language structure, which carry some
additional information of the emotive, logical or evaluative types, all
serving to enrich, deepen and clarify the text.
The book is divided into five chapters, each one containing a brief
theoretical survey, questions checking the students’ comprehension, and
exercises. The latter are excerpts of varying length taken from the
prose of XIX-XX cc. written in English. The length and complexity of the
fragments for analysis grow by the end of each chapter. A sample of
analysis is offered at the end of the book.
There are also texts for comprehensive stylistic analysis presupposing
understanding of and free orientation in the material of the previous
The book ends with a list of the authors, whose works have been used for
Main Trends in Style Study. Functional Stylistics and Functional Styles.
Forms and Types of the Language. Stylistics of Artistic Speech.
Individual Style Study. Decoding Stylistics. Practical Stylistics.
Levels of Linguistic Analysis. Foregrounding. Aims of Stylistic
The term “stylistics” originated from the Greek “stylos”, which means,
“a pen”.-In the course of time it developed several meanings, each one
applied to a specific study of language elements and their use in
It is no news that any propositional content – any “idea” – can be
verbalized in several different ways. So, “May I offer you a chair?”,
“Take a seat, please”, “Sit down” – have the same proposition (subject
matter) but differ in the manner of expression, which, in its turn,
depends upon the situational conditions of the communication act.
70 per cent of our lifetime is spent in various forms of communication
activities – oral (speaking, listening) or written (reading, writing),
so it is self-evident how important it is for a philologist to know the
mechanics of relations between the non-verbal, extralinguistic,
cognitive essence of the communicative act and its verbal, linguistic
presentation. It is no surprise, then, that many linguists follow their
famous French colleague Charles Bally, claiming that Stylistics is
primarily the study of synonymic language resources.
Representatives of the not less well-known Prague school -V.Mathesius,
T.Vachek, J.Havranek and others focused their attention on the priority
of the situational appropriateness in the choice of language varieties
for their adequate functioning. Thus, functional stylistics, which
became and remains an international, very important trend in style
study, deals with sets, “paradigms” of language units of all levels of
language hierarchy serving to accommodate the needs of certain typified
communicative situations. These paradigms are known as functional styles
of the language. Proceeding from the famous definition of the style of a
language offered by V.V.Vinogradov more than half a century ago, we
shall follow the understanding of a functional style formulated by I. R.
Galperin as “a system of coordinated, interrelated and interconditioned
language means intended to fulfil a specific function of communication
and aiming at a definite effect.”
All scholars agree that a well developed language, such as English, is
streamed into several functional styles. Their classifications, though,
coincide only partially: most style theoreticians do not argue about the
number of functional styles being five, but disagree about their
nomenclature. This manual offers one of the rather widely accepted
classifications which singles out the following functional styles:
1. official style, represented in all kinds of official documents and
2. scientific style, found in articles, brochures, monographs and other
scientific and academic publications;
3. publicist style, covering such genres as essay, feature article, most
writings of “new journalism”, public speeches, etc.;
4. newspaper style, observed in the majority of information materials
printed in newspapers;
5. belles-lettres style, embracing numerous and versatile genres of
It is only the first three that are invariably recognized in all
stylistic treatises. As to the newspaper style, it is often regarded as
part of the publicist domain and is not always treated individually. But
the biggest controversy is flaming around the belles-lettres style. The
unlimited possibilities of creative writing, which covers the whole of
the universe and makes use of all language resources, led some scholars
to the conviction that because of the liability of its contours, it can
be hardly qualified as a functional style. Still others claim that,
regardless of its versatility, the belles-lettres style, in each of its
concrete representations, fulfils the aesthetic function, which fact
singles this style out of others and gives grounds to recognize its
systematic uniqueness, i.e. charges it with the status if an autonomous
functional style. To compare different views on the number of functional
styles and their classification see corresponding chapters in stylistic
monographs, reference- and textbooks.
Each of the enumerated styles is exercized in two forms – written and
oral: an article and a lecture are examples of the two forms of the
scientific style; news broadcast on the radio and TV or newspaper
information materials – of the newspaper style; an essay and a public
speech – of the publicist style, etc.
The number of functional styles and the principles of their
differentiation change with time and reflect the state of the
functioning language at a given period. So, only recently, most style
classifications had also included the so-called poetic style which dealt
with verbal forms specific for poetry. But poetry, within the last
decades, lost its isolated linguistic position; it makes use of all the
vocabulary and grammar offered by the language at large and there is
hardly sense in singling out a special poetic style for the contemporary
linguistic situation, though its relevance for the language of the
seventeenth, eighteenth and even the biggest part of the nineteenth
centuries cannot be argued.
Something similar can be said about the oratoric style, which in ancient
Greece was instrumental in the creation of “Rhetoric”, where Aristotle,
its author, elaborated the basics of style study, still relevant today.
The oratoric skill, though, has lost its position in social and
political life. Nowadays speeches are mostly written first, and so
contain all the characteristic features of publicist writing, which made
it unnecessary to specify oratoric style within the contemporary
functional stratification of the language.
All the above-mentioned styles are singled out within the literary type
of the language. Their functioning is characterized by the intentional
approach of the speaker towards the choice of language means suitable
for a particular communicative situation and the official, formal,
preplanned nature of the latter.
The colloquial type of the language, on the contrary, is characterized
by the unofficiality, spontaneity, informality of the communicative
situation. Sometimes the colloquial type of speech is labelled “the
colloquial style” and entered into the classification of functional
styles of the language, regardless of the situational and linguistic
differences between the literary and colloquial communication, and
despite the fact that a style of speech manifests a conscious, mindful
effort in choosing and preferring certain means of expression for the
given communicative circumstances, while colloquial speech is shaped by
the immediacy, spontaneity, unpremeditativeness of the communicative
situation. Alongside this consideration there exists a strong tendency
to treat colloquial speech as an individual language system with its
independent set of language units and rules of their connection.
Functional stylistics, dealing in fact with all the subdivisions of the
language and all its possible usages, is the most all-embracing,
“global”, trend in style study, and such specified stylistics as the
scientific prose study, or newspaper style study, or the like, may be
considered elaborations of certain fields of functional stylistics.
A special place here is occupied by the study of creative writing -the
belles-lettres style, because in it, above all, we deal with stylistic
use of language resources, i.e. with such a handling of language
elements that enables them to carry not only the basic, logical, but
also additional information of various types. So the stylistics of
artistic speech, or belles-lettres style study, was shaped.
Functional stylistics at large and its specified directions proceed from
the situationally stipulated language “paradigms” and concentrate
primarily on the analysis of the latter. It is possible to say that the
attention of functional stylistics is focused on the message in its
correlation with the communicative situation.
The message is common ground for communicants in an act of
communication, an indispensable element in the exchange of information
between two participants of the communicative act – the addresser (the
supplier of information, the speaker, the writer) and the addressee (the
receiver of the information, the listener, the reader).
Problems, concerning the choice of the most appropriate language means
and their organization into a message, from the viewpoint of the
addresser, are the centre of attention of the individual style study,
which puts particular emphasis on the study of an individual author’s
style, looking for correlations between the creative concepts of the
author and the language of his works.
In terms of information theory the author’s stylistics may be named the
stylistics of the encoder: the language being viewed as the code to
shape the information into the message, and the supplier of the
information, respectively, as the encoder. The addressee in this case
plays the part of the decoder of the information contained in the
message; and the problems connected with adequate reception of the
message without any informational losses or deformations, i.e., with
adequate decoding, are the concern of decoding stylistics.
And, finally, the stylistics, proceeding from the norms of language
usage at a given period and teaching these norms to language speakers,
especially the ones, dealing with the language professionally (editors,
publishers, writers, journalists, teachers, etc.) is called practical
Thus, depending on the approach and the final aim there can be observed
several trends in style study. Common to all of them is the necessity to
learn what the language can offer to serve the innumerable communicative
tasks and purposes of language users; how various elements of the
language participate in storing and transferring information; which of
them carries which type of information, etc.
The best way to find answers to most of these and similar questions is
to investigate informational values and possibilities of language units,
following the structural hierarchy of language levels, suggested by a
well-known Belgian linguist E. Benvemste about four decades ago – at the
IX International Congress of Linguists in 1962, and accepted by most
scholars today if not in its entirety, then at least as the basis for
further elaboration and development.
E. Benveniste’s scheme of analysis proceeds from the level of the
phoneme – through the levels of the morpheme and the word to that of the
This book of practice is structured accordingly. The resources of each
language level become evident in action, i.e. in speech, so the
attention of the learners is drawn to the behaviour of each language
element in functioning, to its aptitude to convey various kinds of
The ability of a verbal element to obtain extra significance, to say
more in a definite context was called by Prague linguists foregrounding:
indeed, when a word (affix, sentence), automatized by the long use in
speech, through context developments, obtains some new, additional
features, the act resembles a background phenomenon moving into the
front line – foregrounding.
A contextually foregrounded element carries more information than when
taken in isolation, so it is possible to say that in context it is
loaded with basic information inherently belonging to it, plus the
acquired, adherent, additional information. It is this latter that is
mainly responsible for the well-known fact that a sentence always means
more than the sum total of the meanings of its component-words, or a
text means more than the sum of its sentences. So, stylistic analysis
involves rather subtle procedures of finding the foregrounded element
and indicating the chemistry of its contextual changes, brought about by
the intentional, planned operations of the addresser, i.e. effected by
the conscious stylistic use of the language.
For foreign language students stylistic analysis holds particular
difficulties: linguistic intuition of a native speaker, which is very
helpful in all philological activities, does not work in the case of
foreign learners. Besides, difficulties may arise because of the
inadequate language command and the ensuing gaps in grasping the basic,
denotational information. Starting stylistic analysis, thus, one should
bear in mind that the understanding of each separate component of the
message is an indispensable condition of satisfactory work with the
message as a whole, of getting down to the core and essence of its
Stylistic analysis not only broadens the theoretical horizons of a
language learner but it also teaches the latter the skill of competent
reading, on one hand, and proprieties of situational language usage, on
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What are the main trends in style study?
2. What forms and types of speech do you know?
3. What is a functional style and what functional styles do you know?
4. What do you know of the studies in the domain of the style of
5. What do you know about individual style study? What authors most
often attract the attention of style
6. What is foregrounding and how does it operate in the text?
7. What levels of linguistic analysis do you know and which of them are
relevant for stylistic analysis?
8. What is decoding stylistics?
9. What is the main concern of practical stylistics?
10. What is the ultimate goal of stylistic analysis of a speech product?
CHAPTER I. PHONO-GRAPHICAL LEVEL. MORPHOLOGICAL LEVEL
Sound Instrumenting, Graphon. Graphical Means
As it is clear from the title of the chapter, the stylistic use of
phonemes and their graphical representation will be viewed here. Dealing
with various cases of phonemic and graphemic foregrounding we should not
forget the unilateral nature of a phoneme: this language unit helps to
differentiate meaningful lexemes but has no meaning of its own. Cf.:
while unable to speak about the semantics of [ou], [ju:], we acknowledge
their sense-differentiating significance in “sew” [sou] шить and “sew”
[sju:] спускать воду; or [au], [ou] in “bow” бант, поклон etc.
Still, devoid of denotational or connotational meaning, a phoneme,
according to recent studies, has a strong associative and
sound-instrumenting power. Well-known are numerous cases of onomatopoeia
– the use of words whose sounds imitate those of the signified object or
action, such as “hiss”, “bowwow”, “murmur”, “bump”, “grumble”, “sizzle”
and many more.
Imitating the sounds of nature, man, inanimate objects, the acoustic
form of the word foregrounds the latter, inevitably emphasizing its
meaning too. Thus the phonemic structure of the word proves to be
important for the creation of expressive and emotive connotations. A
message, containing an onomatopoeic word is not limited to transmitting
the logical information only, but also supplies the vivid portrayal of
the situation described.
Poetry abounds in some specific types of sound-instrumenting, the
leading role belonging to alliteration – the repetition of consonants,
usually-in the beginning of words, and assonance – the repetition of
similar vowels, usually in stressed syllables. They both may produce the
effect of euphony (a sense of ease and comfort in pronouncing or
hearing) or cacophony (a sense of strain and discomfort in pronouncing
or hearing). As an example of the first may serve the famous lines of
…silken sad uncertain
rustling of each purple curtain…
An example of the second is provided by the unspeakable combination of
sounds found in R. Browning: Nor soul helps flesh now more than flesh
To create additional information in a prose discourse
sound-instrumenting is seldom used. In contemporary advertising, mass
media and, above all, imaginative prose sound is foregrounded mainly
through the change of its accepted graphical representation. This
intentional violation of the graphical shape of a word (or word
combination) used to reflect its authentic pronunciation is called
Craphons, indicating irregularities or carelessness of pronunciation
were occasionally introduced into English novels and journalism as early
as the beginning of the eighteenth century and since then have acquired
an ever growing frequency of usage, popularity among writers,
journalists, advertizers, and a continuously widening scope of
Graphon proved to be an extremely concise but effective means of
supplying information about the speaker’s origin, social and educational
background, physical or emotional condition, etc. So, when the famous
Thackeray’s character – butler Yellowplush – impresses his listeners
with the learned words pronouncing them as “sellybrated” (celebrated),
“bennyviolent” (benevolent), “illygitmit” (illegitimate), “jewinile”
(juvenile), or when the no less famous Mr. Babbitt uses “peerading”
(parading), “Eytalians” (Italians), “peepul” (people) – the reader
obtains not only the vivid image and the social, cultural, educational
characteristics of the personages, but also both Thackeray’s and S.
Lewis’ sarcastic attitude to them.
On the other hand, “The b-b-b-b-bas-tud – he seen me c–c-c-c-coming” in
R. P. Warren’s Sugar Boy’s speech or “You don’t mean to thay that thith
ith your firth time” (B.C.) show the physical defects of the speakers –
the stuttering of one and the lisping of the other.
Graphon, thus individualizing the character’s speech, adds to his
plausibility, vividness, memorability. At the same time, graphon is very
good at conveying the atmosphere of authentic live communication, of the
informality of the speech act. Some amalgamated forms, which are the
result of strong assimilation, became cliches in contemporary prose
dialogue: “gimme” (give me), “lemme” (let me), “gonna” (going to),
“gotta” (got to), “coupla” (couple of), “mighta” (might have), “willya”
(will you), etc.
This flavour of informality and authenticity brought graphon popularity
with advertizers. Big and small eating places invite customers to attend
their “Pik-kwik store”, or “The Donut (doughnut) Place”, or the “Rite
Bread Shop”, or the “Wok-in Fast Food Restaurant”, etc. The same is true
about newspaper, poster and TV advertizing: “Sooper Class Model” cars,
“Knee-hi” socks, “Rite Aid” medicines. A recently published book on
Cockney was entitled by the authors “The Muwer Tongue”; on the back
flaps of big freight-cars one can read “Folio me”, etc. Graphical
changes may reflect not only the peculiarities of, pronunciation, but
are also used to convey the intensity of the stress, emphasizing and
thus foregrounding the stressed words. To such purely graphical means,
not involving the violations, we should refer all changes of the type
(italics, capitalization), spacing of graphemes (hyphenation,
multiplication) and of lines. The latter was widely exercised in Russian
poetry by V. Mayakovsky, famous for his “steps” in verse lines, or A.
Voznesensky. In English the most often referred to “graphical imagist”
v/as E. E. Cummings.
According to the frequency of usage, variability of functions, the first
place among graphical means of foregrounding is occupied by italics.
Besides italicizing words, to add to their logical or emotive
significance, separate syllables and morphemes may also be emphasized by
italics (which is highly characteristic of D. Salinger or T. Capote).
Intensity of speech (often in commands) is transmitted through the
multiplication of a grapheme or capitalization of the word, as in
Babbitt’s shriek “Alllll aboarrrrrd”, or in the desperate appeal in A.
Huxley’s Brave New World – “Help. Help. HELP.” Hyphenation of a wofa
suggests the rhymed or clipped manner in which it is uttered as in the
humiliating comment from Fl. O’Connor’s story – “grinning like a
Summing up the informational options of the graphical arrangement of a
word (a line, a discourse), one sees their varied application for
recreating the individual and social peculiarities of the speaker, the
atmosphere of the communication act – all aimed at revealing and
emphasizing the author’s viewpoint
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is sound-instrumenting?
2. What cases of sound-instrumenting do you know?
3. What is graphon?
4. What types and functions of graphon do you know?
5. What is achieved by the graphical changes of writing – its type, the
spacing of graphemes and lines?
6. Which phono-graphical means are predominantly used in prose and which
ones in poetry?
I. Indicate the causes and effects of the following cases of
alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia:
1. Streaked by a quarter moon, the Mediterranean shushed gently into the
2. He swallowed the hint with a gulp and a gasp and a grin. (R. K.)
3. His wife was shrill, languid, handsome and horrible. (Sc.F.)
4. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, the furrow followed free.
5. The Italian trio tut-tutted their tongues at me. (T.C.)
6. “You, lean, long, lanky lath of a lousy bastard!” (O’C.)
7. To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock, In a pestilential
prison, with a life-long lock, Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp
shock From a cheap and chippy chopper On a big black block. (W.C.)
8. They all lounged, and loitered, and slunk about, with as little
spirit or purpose as the beasts in a menagerie. (D.)
9. “Luscious, languid and lustful, isn’t she?” “Those are not the
correct epithets. She is – or rather was – surly, lustrous and
10. Then, with an enormous, shattering rumble, sludge-puff, sludge-puff,
the train came into the station. (A.S.)
“But I am whispering.” This continual shushing annoyed him. (A.H.)
12. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are. Up above
the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky. (Ch. R.)
13. Dreadful young creatures – squealing and squawking. (C.)
14. The quick crackling of dry wood aflame cut through the night.
15. Here the rain did not fall. It was stopped high above by that roof
of green shingles. From there it dripped down slowly, leaf to leaf, or
ran down the stems and branches. Despite the heaviness of the downpour
which now purred loudly in their ears from just outside, here there was
only a low rustle of slow occasional dripping. (J.)
II. Indicate the kind of additional information about the speaker
supplied by graphon:
1. “Hey,” he said, entering the library. “Where’s the heart section?”
He had the thickest sort of southern Negro dialect and the only word
that came clear to me was the one that sounded like heart. “How do you
spell it,” I said.
“Heart, Man, pictures. Drawing books. Where you got them?” “You mean art
books? Reproductions?” He took my polysyllabic word for it. “Yea, they’s
them.” (Ph. R.)
2. “It don’t take no nerve to do somepin when there ain’t nothing else
you can do. We ain’t gonna die out. People is goin’ on – changin’ a
little may be – but goin’ right on.” (J. St.)
3. “And remember, Mon-sewer O’Hayer says you got to straighten up this
mess sometime today.” (J.)
4. “I even heard they demanded sexual liberty. Yes, sir, Sex-You-All
liberty.” (J. K.)
5. “Ye’ve a duty to the public don’tcher know that, a duty to the great
English public?” said George reproachfully. “Here, lemme handle this,
kiddar,” said Tiger. “Gorra maintain strength, you,” said George. “Ah’m
fightin’ fit,” said Tiger. (S. Ch.)
6. “Oh, that’s it, is it?” said Sam. “I was afeerd, from his manner,
that he might ha’ forgotten to take pepper with that ‘ere last
cowcumber, he et. Set down, sir, ve make no extra charge for the settin’
down, as the king remarked when he blowed up his ministers.” (D.)
7. “Well, I dunno. I’ll show you summat.” (St.B.)
8. “De old Foolosopher, like Hickey calls yuh, ain’t yuh?” (O’N.)
9. “I had a coach with a little seat in fwont with an iwon wail for the
10. “The Count,” explained the German officer, “expegs you, chentlemen,
at eight-dirty.” (С. Н.)
11. Said Kipps one day, “As’e – I should say, ah, has’e… Ye know, I
got a lot of difficulty with them two words, which is which.” “Well,
“as” is a conjunction, and “has” is a verb.” “I know,” said Kipps, “but
when is “has” a conjunction, and when is “as” a verb?” (H. W.)
12. Wilson was a little hurt. “Listen, boy,” he told him. “Ah may not be
able to read eve’thin’ so good, but they ain’t a thing Ah can’t do if Ah
set mah mind to it.” (N.M.)
III. Think of the causes originating graphon (young age, a physical
defect of speech, lack of education, the influence of dialectal norms,
affectation, intoxication, carelessness in speech, etc.):
1. He began to render the famous tune “1 lost my heart in an English
garden, Just where the roses of Kngland grow” with much feeling:
“Ah-ee last mah-ee hawrt een ahn Angleesh gawrden, Jost whahr thah
rawzaz ahv Angland graw.” (H.C.)
2. The stuttering film producer S.S. Sisodia was known as ‘Whiwhisky
because I’m papa partial to a titi tipple; mamadam, my caca card.’
3. She mimicked a lisp: “I don’t weally know wevver I’m a good girl. The
last thing he’ll do would be to be mixed with a hovvid woman.” (J.Br.)
4. “All the village dogs are no-‘count mongrels, Papa says. Fish-gut
eaters and no class a-tall; this here dog, he got insteek.” (K.K.)
5. “My daddy’s coming tomorrow on a nairplane.” (S.)
6. After a hum a beautiful Negress sings “Without a song, the dahaywould
nehever end.” (U.)
7. “Oh, well, then, you just trot over to the table and make your little
mommy a gweat big dwink.” (E.A.)
8. “I allus remember me man sayin’ to me when I passed me scholarship –
“You break one o’my winders an’ I’ll skin ye alive.” (St.B.)
9. He spoke with the flat ugly “a” and withered “r” of Boston Irish, and
Levi looked up at him and mimicked “All right, I’ll give the caaads a
break and staaat playing.” (N.M.)
10. “Whereja get all these pictures?” he said. “Meetcha at the corner.
Wuddaya think she’s doing out there?” (S.)
11. “Look at him go. D’javer see him walk home from school? You’re
French Canadian, aintcha?” (J.K.)
12. Usually she was implacable in defence of her beloved fragment of the
coast and if the summer weekenders grew brazen, -getoutofitsillyoldmoo,
itsthesoddingbeach, – she would turn the garden hose remorselessly upon
13. The demons of jealousy were sitting on his shoulders and he was
screaming out the same old song, wheethehell whothe don’t think you
canpull the wool how dare you bitch bitch bitch. (S.R.)
IV. State the function of graphon in captions, posters, advertisements,
etc. repeatedly used in American press, TV, roadside advertising:
1. Weather forecast for today: Hi 59, Lo 32, Wind lite.
2. We recommend a Sixty seconds meal: Steak-Umm.
3. Choose the plane with “Finah Than Dinah” on its side.
4. Best jeans for this Jeaneration.
5. Follow our advice: Drinka Pinta Milka Day.
6. Terry’s Floor Fashions: We make ’em – you walk on ’em
7. Our offer is $ 15.00 per WK.
8. Thanx for the purchase.
9. Everybody uses our wunnerful Rackfeed Drills.
V. Analyse the following extract from Artemus Ward:
“Sit down, my fren,” sed the man in black close; “yu miskomprehend me. I
meen that the perlitercal ellermunts are orecast with black klouds, 4
boden a friteful storm.”
“Wall,” replide I, “in regard to perlittercal ellerfunts і don’t know as
how but what they is as good as enny other kind of ellerfunts. But і
maik bold to say thay is all a ornery set and unpleasant to hav round.
They air powerful hevy eaters and take up a right smart chans of room.”
The man in black close rusht up to me and sed, “How dair yu insult my
neece, yu horey heded vagabone? Yu base exhibbiter of low wax figgers –
you woolf in sheep’s close,” and sow 4th.
VI. State the functions and the type of the following graphical
1. Piglet, sitting in the running Kanga’s pocket, substituting the
kidnapped Roo, thinks:
this shall take
“If is I never to
flying really it.” (M.)
2. Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo We haven’t enough to do-oo-oo. (R.
3. “Hey,” he said “is it a goddamn cardroom? or a latrine? Attensh —
HUT! Da-ress right! DHRESS! (J.)
4. “When Will’s ma was down here keeping house for him – she used to run
in to see me, real often.” (S.L.)
5. He missed our father very much. He was s-l-a-i-n in North Africa.
6. “We’ll teach the children to look at things. Don’t let the world pass
you by, I shall tell them. For the sun, I shall say, open your eyes for
that laaaarge sun…..” (A. W.)
7. “Now listen, Ed, stop that, now. I’m desperate. I am desperate, Ed,
do you hear?” (Dr.)
8. “Adieu you, old man, grey. I pity you, and I de-spise you.” (D.)
9. “ALL our troubles are over, old girl,” he said fondly. “We can put a
bit by now for a rainy day.” (S.M.)
10. His voice began on a medium key, and climbed steadily up till it
reached a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the
topmost word, and then plunged down as if from a spring board:
Morphemic Repetition. Extension of Morphemic Valency
The basic unit of this level being a morpheme we shall concentrate on
examining the ways of foregrounding a morpheme so that the latter, apart
from its internet meaning, becomes vehicle of additional information –
logical, emotive, expressive.
One important way of promoting a morpheme is its repetition. Both root
and affixational morphemes can be emphasized through repetition.
Especially vividly it is observed in the repetition of affixational
morphemes which normally carry the main weight of the structural and not
of the denotational significance. When repeated, they come into the
focus of attention and stress either their logical meaning (e.g. that of
contrast, negation, absence of quality as in prefixes a-, anti-, mis-;
or of smallness as in suffixes -ling and -ette); their emotive and
evaluative meaning, as in suffixes forming degrees of comparison; or
else they add to the rhythmical effect and text unity.
The second, even more effective way of using a morpheme for the creation
of additional information is extension of its normative valency which
results in the formation of new words. They are not neologisms in the
true sense for they are created for special communicative situations
only, and are not used beyond these occasions. This is why they are
called occasional words and are characterized by freshness, originality,
lucidity of their inner form and morphemic structure.
Very often occasional words are the result of morphemic repetition. Cf.:
“I am an undersecretary in an underbureau.” The stress on the
insignificance of the occupation of I. Shaw’s heroine brings forth
both-the repetition of the prefix under- and the appearance, due to it,
of the occasional word “underbureau”.
In case of repetition a morpheme gains much independence and bears major
responsibility for the creation of additional information and stylistic
effect. In case of occasional coinages an individual morpheme is only
instrumental in bringing forth the impact of their combination, i.e. of
new individual lexical unit.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What are the main cases of morphemic foregrounding?
2. What are the functions of morphemic repetition?
3. How are morphemes foregrounded in occasional words?
4. What is the difference between occasional words and neologisms?
I. State the function of the following cases of morphemic repetition:
1. She unchained, unbolted and unlocked the door. (A.B.)
2. It was there again, more clearly than before: the terrible expression
of pain in her eyes; unblinking, unaccepting, unbelieving pain. (D.U.)
3. We were sitting in the cheapest of all the cheap restaurants that
cheapen that very cheap and noisy street, the Rue des Petites Champs in
4. Young Blight made a great show of fetching from his desk a long thin
manuscript volume with a brown paper cover, and running his finger down
the day’s appointments, murmuring: “Mr. Aggs, Mr. Baggs, Mr. Caggs, Mr.
Daggs, Mr. Faggs, Mr. Gaggs, Mr. Boffin. Yes, sir, quite right. You are
a little before your time, sir.” (D.)
5. Young Blight made another great show of changing the volume, taking
up a pen, sucking it, dipping it, and running over previous entries
before he wrote. As, “Mr. Alley, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Galley, Mr. Dalley, Mr.
Falley, Mr. Galley, Mr. Halley, Mr. Lalley, ‘Mr. Malley. And Mr.
6. New scum, of course, has risen to take the place of the old, but the
oldest scum, the thickest scum, and the scummiest scum has come from
across the ocean. (H.)
7. At the time light rain or storm darked the fortress I watched the
coming of dark from the high tower. The fortress with its rocky view
showed its temporary darkling life of lanterns. (Jn. H.)
8. Laughing, crying, cheering, chaffing, singing, David Rossi’s people
brought him home in triumph. (H.C.)
9. In a sudden burst of slipping, climbing, jingling, clinking and
talking, they arrived at the convent door. (D.)
10. The procession then re-formed; the chairmen resumed their stations,
and the march was re-commenced. (D.)
11. The precious twins – untried, unnoticed, undirected – and I say it
quiet with my hands down – undiscovered. (S.)
12. We are overbrave and overfearful, overfriendly and at the same time
frightened of strangers, we’re oversentimental and realistic. (P.St.)
13. There was then a calling over of names, and great work of singeing,
sealing, stamping, inking, and sanding, with exceedingly blurred, gritty
and undecipherable results. (D.)
14. The Major and the two Sportsmen form a silent group as Henderson, on
the floor, goes through a protracted death agony, moaning and gasping,
shrieking, muttering, shivering, babbling, reaching upward toward
nothing once or twice for help, turning, writhing, struggling, giving up
at last, sinking flat, and finally, after a waning gasp lying absolutely
15. She was a lone spectator, but never a lonely one, because the warmth
of company was unnecessary to her. (P. Ch.)
16. “Gentlemen, I put it to you”that this band is a swindle. This band
is an abandoned band. It cannot play a good godly tune, gentlemen.”
17. He wished she would not look at him in this new way. For things were
changing, something was changing now, this minute, just when he thought
they would never change again, just when he found a way to live in that
18. Three million years ago something had passed this way, had left this
unknown and perhaps unknowable symbol of its purpose, and had returned
to the planets – or to the stars. (A. C.)
19. “Sit down, you dancing, prancing, shambling, scrambling fool parrot!
Sit down!” (D.)
II. Analyze the morphemic structure and the purpose of creating the
occasional words in the following examples:
1. The girls could not take off their panama hats because this was not
far from the school gates and hatlessness was an offence. (M. Sp.)
2. David, in his new grown-upness, had already a sort of
3. That fact had all the unbelievableness of the sudden wound. (R.W.)
4. Suddenly he felt a horror of her otherness. (J.B.)
5. Lucy wasn’t Willie’s luck. Or his unluck either. (R.W.)
6. She was waiting for something to happen or for everything to
un-happen. (Т. Н.)
7. He didn’t seem to think that that was very funny. But he didn’t seem
to think it was especially unfunny. (R.W.)
8. “You asked him.”
“I’m un-asking him,” the Boss replied. (R.W.)
9. He looked pretty good for a fifty-four-year-old former college
athlete who for years had overindulged and underexercized. (D.U.)
10. She was a young and unbeautiful woman. (I.Sh.)
11. The descriptions were of two unextraordinary boys: three and a half
and six years old. (D.U.)
12. The girl began to intuit what was required of her. (Jn. H.)
13. “Mr. Hamilton, you haven’t any children, have you?”
“Well, no. And I’m sorry about that, I guess. I am sorriest about that.”
14. “To think that I should have lived to be good-morninged by
Belladonna look’s son!”(A.T.)
15. There were ladies too, en cheveux, in caps and bonnets, some of whom
knew Trilby, and thee’d and thou’d with familiar and friendly affection,
while others mademoiselle’d her with distant politeness and were
mademoiselle’s and madame’d back again. (D. du M.)
16. Parritt turns startledly. (O’N.)
17. The chairs are very close together – so close that the advisee
almost touches knees with the adviser. (Jn.B.)
III. Discuss the following cases of morphemic foregrounding:
1. The District Attorney’s office was not only panelled, draped and
carpeted, it was also chandeliered with a huge brass affair hanging from
the center of the ceiling. (D.U.)
2. He’s no public offender, bless you, now! He’s medalled and ribboned,
and starred, and crossed, and I don’t know what all’d, like a born
3. I gave myself the once-over in the bathroom mirror: freshly shaved,
clean-shirted, dark-suited and neck-tied. (D.U.)
4. Well, a kept woman is somebody who is perfumed, and clothed, and
wined, and dined, and sometimes romanced heavily. (Jn. C.)
5. It’s the knowledge of the unendingness and of the repetitious
uselessness that makes Fatigue fatigue. (J.)
6. The loneliness would suddenly overcome you like lostness and
too-lateness, and a grief you had no name for. (R.W.)
7. I came here determined not to be angry, or weepy, or preachy. (U.)
8. Militant feminists grumble that history is exactly what it says
-His-story – and not Her story at all. (D.B.)
9. This dree to-ing and fro-ing persisted throughout the night and the
next day. (D. B.)
10. “I love you mucher.”
“Plently mucher? Me tooer.” (J.Br.)
11. “I’m going to build me the God-damnedest, biggest,
chromium-platedest, formaldehyde-stinkingest free hospital and health
12. So: I’m not just talented. I’m geniused. (Sh. D.)
13. Chickens – the tiny balls of fluff passed on into semi-naked
pullethood and from that into dead henhood. (Sh. A.)
14. I’ll disown you, I’ll disinherit you, I’ll unget you. (R. Sh.)
15. “Ready?” said the old gentleman, inquiringly, when his guests had
been washed, mended, brushed, and brandied. (D.)
16. But it is impossible that I should give myself. My being, my
me-ness, is unique and indivisible. (An.C.)
CHAPTER II. LEXICAL LEVEL
Word and its Semantic Structure.
Connotational Meanings of a Word.
The Role of the Context in the Actualization of Meaning.
The idea of previous chapters was to illustrate potential possibilities
of linguistic units more primitive than the word, found at lower levels
of language structure and yet capable of conveying additional
information when foregrounded in a specially organized context.
The forthcoming chapter is going to be one of the longest and most
important in this book, for it is devoted to a linguistic unit of major
significance – the word, which’names, qualifies and evaluates the
micro-and marcrocosm of the surrounding world. The most essential
feature of a word is that it expresses the concept of a thing, process,
phenomenon, naming (denoting) them. Concept is a logical category, its
linguistic counterpart is meaning. Meaning, as the outstanding scholar
L. Vygotsky put it, is the unity of generalization, communication and
thinking. An entity of extreme complexity, the meaning of a word is
liable to historical changes, of which you know from the course of
lexicology and which are responsible for the formation of an expanded
semantic structure of a word. This structure is constituted of various
types of lexical meanings, the major one being denotational, which
informs of the subject of communication; and also including
connotational, which informs about the participants and conditions of
The list and specifications of connotational meanings vary with
different linguistic schools and individual scholars and include such
entries as pragmatic (directed at the perlocutionary effect of
utterance), associative (connected, through individual psychological or
linguistic associations, with related and nonrelated notions),
ideological, or conceptual (revealing political, social, ideological
preferences of the user), evaluative (stating the value of the indicated
notion), emotive (revealing the emotional layer of cognition and
perception), expressive (aiming at creating the image of the object in
question), stylistic (indicating “the register”, or the situation of the
The above-mentioned meanings are classified as connotational not only
because they supply additional (and not the logical/denotational)
information, but also because, for the most part, they are observed not
all at once and not in all words either. Some of them are more important
for the act of communication than the others. Very often they qverlap.
So, all words possessing an emotive meaning are also evaluative (e.g.
“rascal”, “ducky”), though this rule is not reversed, as we can find
non-emotive, intellectual evaiuation (e.g. “good”, “bad”). Again, all
emotive words (or practically all, for that matter) are also expressive,
while there are hundreds of expressive words which cannot be treated as
emotive (take, for example the so-called expressive verbs, which not
only denote some action or process but also create their image, as in
“to gulp” = to swallow in big lumps, in a hurry; or “to sprint” = to run
The number, importance and the overlapping character of connotational
meanings incorporated into the semantic structure of a word, are brought
forth by the context, i.e. a concrete speech act that identifies and
actualizes each one. More than that: each context does not only specify
the existing semantic (both denotational and connotational)
possibilities of a word, but also is capable of adding new ones, or
deviating rather considerably from what is registered in the dictionary.
Because of that all contextual meanings of a word can never be exhausted
or comprehensively enumerated. Compare the following cases of contextual
use of the verb “to pop” in Stan Barstow’s novel “Ask Me Tomorrow”:
1. His face is red at first and then it goes white and his eyes stare as
if they’ll pop out of his head.
2. “Just pop into the scullery and get me something to stand this on.”
3. “There is a fish and chip shop up on the main road. I thought you
might show your gratitude by popping up for some.”
4. “I’ve no need to change or anything then.” “No, just pop your coat on
and you’re fine.”
5. “Actually Mrs. Swallow is out. But she won’t be long. She’s popped up
the road to the shops.”
6. “Would you like me to pop downstairs and make you a cup of cocoa?”
In the semantic actualization of a word the context plays a dual role:
on one hand, it cuts off all meanings irrelevant for the given
communicative situation. On the other, it foregrounds one of the
meaningful options of a word, focusing the communicators’ attention on
one of the denotational or connonational components of its semantic
The significance of the context is comparatively small in the field of
stylistic connotations, because the word is labelled stylistically
before it enters some context, i.e. in the dictionary: recollect the
well-known contractions -vulg., arch., si., etc., which make an
indispensable part of a dictionary entry. So there is sense to start the
survey of connotational meanings with the stylistic differentiation of
Stylistic Differentiation of the Vocabulary:
Literary Stratum of Words. Colloquial Words
The word-stock of any given language can be roughly divided into three
uneven groups, differing from each other by the sphere of its possible
use. The biggest division is made up of neutral words, possessing no
stylistic connotation and suitable for any communicative situation; two
smaller ones are literary and colloquial strata respectively.
Literary words serve to satisfy communicative demands of official,
scientific, poetic messages, while the colloquial ones are employed in
non-official everyday communication. Though there is no immediate
correlation between the written and the oral forms of speech on one
hand, and the literary and colloquial words, on the other, yet, for the
most part, the first ones are mainly observed in the written form, as
most literary messages appear in writing. And vice versa: though there
are many examples of colloquialisms in writing (informal letters,
diaries, certain passages of memoirs, etc.), their usage is associated
with the oral form of communication.
Consequently, taking for analysis printed materials we shall find
literary words in authorial speech, descriptions, considerations, while
colloquialisms will be observed in the types of discourse, simulating
(copying) everyday oral communication – i.e., in the dialogue (or
interior monologue) pf a prose work.
When we classify some speech (text) fragment as literary or colloquial
it does not mean that all the words constituting it have a corresponding
stylistic meaning. More than that: words with a pronounced stylistic
connotation are few in any type of discourse, the overwhelming majority
of its lexis being neutral. As our famous philologist L.V. Shcherba once
said – a stylistically coloured word is like a, drop of paint added to a
glass of pure water and colouring the whole of it.
Neither of the two named groups of words, possessing a stylistic
meaning, is homogeneous as to the quality of the meaning, frequency of
use, sphere of application, or the number and character of potential
users. This is why each one is further divided into the general, i.e.
known to and used by most native speakers in generalized literary
(formal) or colloquial (informal) communication, and special bulks. The
latter ones, in their turn, are subdivided into subgroups, each one
serving a rather narrow; specified communicative purpose.
So, among special literary words, as a rale, at least two major
subgroups are mentioned. They are:
1. Terms, i.e. words denoting objects, processes, phenomena of science,
2. Archaisms, i.e. words, a) denoting historical phenomena which are no
more in use (such as “yeoman”, “vassal”, “falconet”). These are
b) used in poetry in the XVII-XIX cc. (such as “steed” for “horse”;
“quoth” for “said”; “woe” for “sorrow”). These are poetic words.
c) in the course of language history ousted by newer synonymic words
(such as “whereof = of which; “to deem” = to think; “repast” = meal;
“nay” = no) or forms (“maketh” = makes; “thou wilt” = you will;
“brethren” = brothers). These are called archaic words (archaic forms)
Literary words, both general (also called learned, bookish, high-flown)
and special, contribute to the message the tone of solemnity,
sophistication, seriousness, gravity, learnedness. They are used in
official papers and documents, in scientific communication, in high
poetry, in authorial speech of creative prose.
Colloquial words, on the contrary, mark the message as informal,
non-official, conversational. Apart from general colloquial words,
widely used by all speakers of the language in their everyday
communication (e.g. “dad”, “kid”, “crony”, “fan”, “to pop”, “folks”),
such special subgroups may be mentioned:
1. Slang forms the biggest one. Slang words, used by most speakers in
very informal communication, are highly emotive and expressive and as
such, lose their originality rather fast and are replaced by newer
formations. This tendency to synonymic expansion results in long chains
of synonyms of various degrees of expressiveness, denoting one and the
same concept. So, the idea of a “pretty girl” is worded by more than one
hundred ways in slang.
In only one novel by S. Lewis there are close to a dozen synonyms used
by Babbitt, the central character, in reference to a girl: “cookie”,
“tomato”, “Jane”, “sugar”, “bird”, “cutie”, etc.
The substandard status of slang words and phrases, through universal
usage, can be raised to the standard colloquial: “pal”, “chum,” “crony”
for “friend”; “heavies”, “woolies” for “thick panties”; “booze” for
“liquor”; “dough” for “money”; “how’s tricks” for “how’s life”; “beat
it” for “go away” and many many more – are examples of such a
2. Jargonisms stand close to slang, also being substandard,
expressiveand emotive, but, unlike slang they are used by limited groups
of people,united either professionally (in this case we deal with
professionalJargonisms, or professionalisms), or socially (here we deal
withjargonisms proper). In distinction from slang, Jargonisms of both
typescover a narrow semantic field: in the first case it is that,
connected withthe technical side of some profession. So, in oil
industry, e.g., for theterminological “driller” (буровщик) there exist
“borer”, “digger”,”wrencher”, “hogger”, “brake weight”; for “pipeliner”
(трубопроводчик)- “swabber”, “bender”, “cat”, “old cat”,
“collar-pecker”, “hammerman”;for “geologist” – “smeller”, “pebble pup”,
“rock hound”, “witcher”, etc.From all the examples at least two points
are evident: professionalismsare formed according to the existing
word-building patterns or presentexisting words in new meanings, and,
covering the field of specialprofessional knowledge, which is
semantically limited, they offer a vastvariety of synonymic choices for
naming one and the same professionalitem.
Jargonisms proper are characterized by similar linguistic features, but
differ in function and sphere of application. They originated from the
thieves’ jargon (l’argo, cant) and served to conceal the actual
significance of the utterance from the uninitiated. Their major function
thus was to be cryptic, secretive. This is why among them there are
cases of conscious deformation of the existing words. The so-called back
jargon (or back slang) can serve as an example: in their effort to
conceal the machinations of dishonest card-playing, gamblers used
numerals in their reversed form: “ano” for “one”, “owt” for “two”,
“erth” for “three”.
Anglo-American tradition, starting with E. Partridge, a famous English
lexicographer, does not differentiate between slang and Jargonisms
regarding these groups as one extensive stratum of words divided into
general slang, used by all, or most, speakers and special slang, limited
by the professional or social standing of the speaker. This debate
appears to concentrate more on terminology than on essence. Indeed slang
(general slang) and jargonisms (special slang) have much in common: are
emotive, expressive, unstable, fluctuating, tending to expanded
synonymity within certain lexico-semantic groups and limited to a highly
informal, substandard communication. So it seems appropriate to use the
indicated terms as synonyms.
3. Vulgarisms are coarse words with a strong emotive meaning, mostly
derogatory, normally avoided in polite conversation. History of
vulgarisms reflects the history of social ethics. So, in Shakespearian
times people were much more linguistically frank and disphemistic in
their communication than in the age of Enligtenment or the Victorian
era, famous for its prudish and reserved manners. Nowadays words which
were labelled vulgar in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are
considered such no more. In fact, at present we are faced with the
reverse of the problem: there are practically no words banned from use
by the modern permissive society. Such intensifiers as “bloody”,
“damned”, “cursed”, “hell of”, formerly deleted from literature and not
allowed in conversation, are not only welcomed in both written and oral
speech, but, due to constant repetition, have lost much of their emotive
impact and substandard quality. One of the best-known American editors
and critics Maxwell Perkins, working with the serialized 1929 magazine
edition of Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms found that the
publishers deleted close to a dozen words which they considered vulgar
for the publication. Preparing the hard-cover edition Perkins allowed
half of them back (“son of a bitch”, “whore”, “whorehound,” etc.).
Starting from the late fifties no publishing house objected to any
coarse or obscene expressions. Consequently, in contemporary West
European and American prose all words, formerly considered vulgar for
public use (including the four-letter words), are accepted by the
existing moral and ethical standards of society and censorship.
4. Dialectal words are normative and devoid of any stylistic meaning in
regional dialects, but used outside of them, carry a strong flavour of
the locality where they belong. In Great Britain four major dialects are
distinguished: Lowland Scotch, Northern, Midland (Central) and Southern.
In the USA three major dialectal varieties are distinguished: New
England, Southern and Midwestern (Central, Midland). These
classifications do not include many minor local variations Dialects
markedly differ on the phonemic level: one and the same phoneme is
differently pronounced in each of them. They differ also on the lexical
level, having their own names for locally existing phenomena and also
supplying locally circulating synonyms for the words, accepted by the
language in general. Some of them have entered the general vocabulary
and lost their dialectal status (“lad”, “pet”, “squash”, “plaid”).
Each of the above-mentioned four groups justifies its label of special
colloquial words as each one, due to varying reasons, has application
limited to a certain group of people or to certain communicative
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What can you say about the meaning of a word and its relation to the
concept of an object (entity)?
2 What types of lexical meaning do you know and what stipulates their
existence and differentiation?
3 What connotational meanings do you know? Dwell on each of them,
providing your own examples.
4. What is the role of the context in meaning actualization?
5. What registers of communication are reflected in the
stylistic-differentiation of the vocabulary?
6. Speak about general literary words illustrating your elaboration with
examples from nineteenth- and
7. What are the main subgroups of special literary words?
8 What do you know of terms, their structure, meaning, functions?
9. What are the fields of application of archaic words and forms?
10. Can you recognize general colloquial words in a literary text? Where
do they mainly occur?
11. What are the main characteristics of slang?
12. What do you know of professional and social jargonisms?
13. What connects the stock of vulgarisms and social history?
14. What is the place and the role of dialectal words in the national
language? in the literary text?
15. To provide answers to the above questions find words belonging to
different stylistic groups and
a) in the dictionary, specifying its stylistic mark (“label”);
b) in your reading material, specifying the type of discourse, where you
found it -authorial speech (narration description, philosophising) or
I. State the type and function of literary words in the following
1. “I must decline to pursue this painful discussion. It is not pleasant
to my feelings; it is repugnant to my feelings.” (D.)
2. “I am not in favour of this modern mania for turning bad people into
good people at a moment’s notice. As a man sows so let him reap.” (O.W.)
3. Isolde the Slender had suitors in plenty to do her lightest hest.
Feats of arms were done daily for her sake. To win her love suitors were
willing to vow themselves to perdition. But Isolde the Slender was
heedless of the court thus paid to her. (L.)
4. “He of the iron garment,” said Daigety, entering, “is bounden unto
you, MacEagh, and this noble lord shall be bounden also.” (W.Sc.)
5. If manners maketh man, then manner and grooming maketh poodle. (J.
6. “Thou art the Man,” cried Jabes, after a solemn pause, leaning over
his cushion. “Seventy times didst thou gapingly contort thy visage –
seventy times seven did I take council with my soul – Lo! this is human
weakness: this also may be absolved. The first of the seventy first is
come. Brethren – execute upon him the judgement written. Such honour
have all His saints.” (E. Br.)
7. At noon the hooter and everything died. First, the pulley driving the
punch and shears and emery wheels stopped its lick and slap.
Simultaneously the compressor providing the blast for a dozen
smith-fires went dead. (S. Ch.)
8. “They’re real!” he murmured. “My God, they are absolutely real!” Erik
turned. “Didn’t you believe that the neutron existed?” “Oh, I believed,”
Fabermacher shrugged away the praise. “To me neutrons were symbols л
with a mass of Mn = 1.008. But until now I never saw them.” (M.W.)
9. Riding back I saw the Greeks lined up in column of march. They were
all still there. Also, all armed. On long marches when no action
threatened, they had always piled their armour, helmets and weapons in
their carts, keeping only their swords; wearing their short tunics (made
from all kinds of stuff, they had been so long from home) and the wide
straw hats Greeks travel in, their skins being tender to sun. Now they
had on corselets or cuirasses, helmets, even grades if they owned them,
and their round shields hung at their backs. (M.R.)
10. There wasn’t a man-boy on this ground tonight did not have a shield
he cast, riveted or carved himself on his way to his first attack,
compounded of remote but nonetheless firm and fiery family devotion,
flag-blown patriotism and cocksure immortality strengthened by the
touchstone of very real gunpowder, ramrod minnie-ball and flint. (R.Br.)
11. Into the organpipes and steeples
Of the luminous cathedrals,
Into the weathercocks’ molten mouths
Rippling in twelve-winded circles,
Into the dead clock burning the hour
Over the urn of sabbaths…
Erupt, fountain, and enter to utter for ever
Glory glory glory
The sundering ultimate kingdom of genesis’ thunder.
12. If any dispassionate spectator could have beheld the countenance of
the illustrious man, whose name forms the leading feature of the title
of this work, during the latter part of this conversation, he would have
been almost induced to wonder that the indignant fire that flashed from
his eyes, did not melt the glasses of his spectacles – so majestic was
his wrath. His nostrils dilated, and his fists clenched involuntarily,
as he heard himself addressed by the villain. But he restrained himself
again -he did not pulverize him.
“Here,” continued the hardened traitor tossing the licence at Mr.
Pickwick’s feet; “get the name altered – take home the lady – do for
II. Think of the type of additional information about the speaker or
communicative situation conveyed by the following general and special
1. “She’s engaged. Nice guy, too. Though there’s a slight difference in
height. I’d say a foot, her favor.” (T.C.)
2. “You know Brooklyn?”
“No. I was never there. But I had a buddy at Myer was from Brooklyn.”
3. I didn’t really do anything this time. Just pulled the dago out of
the river. Like all dagos, he couldn’t swim. Well, the fellow was sort
of grateful about it. Hung around like a dog. About six months later he
died of fever. I was with him. Last thing, just as he was pegging out,
he beckoned me and whispered some excited jargon about a secret (Ch.)
4. “Here we are now,” she cried, returning with the tray. “And don’t
look so miz.” (P.)
5. “What’s the dif,” he wanted to know. (Th.S.)
6. Going down the stairs he overheard one beanied freshman he knew
talking to another. “Did you see that black cat with the black whiskers
who had those binocks in front of us? That’s my comp рrоf.” (В. М.)
7. “Don’t you intend to get married?” asked Eugene curiously. “I don’t
know,” she replied, “I’d want to think about that. A woman-artist is in
a d – of a position anyway,” using the letter d only to indicate the
word “devil”. (Dr.)
8. “There we were… in the hell of a country – pardon me – a country of
…It’s like a man of sixty looking down his nose at a youth of thirty
and there’s no such God-darned – pardon me – mistake as that. (G.)
9. “All those medical bastards should go through the ops they put other
people through. Then they wouldn’t talk so much bloody nonsense or be so
damnably unutterably smug.” (D. C.)
10. “I thought of going to the flicks,” she said. “Or we could go for a
walk if it keeps fine.” (J.Br.)
11. “Let me warn you that the doc is a frisky bacheldore, Carol. Come
on, now, folks, shake a leg. Let’s have some stunts or a dance or
12. “Goddamn sonofabitching stool,” Fishbelly screamed, raining blows on
Bert’s head. “Lawd Gawd in heaven, I’ll kill, kill every chink-chink
goddamn chinaman white man on this sonofabitching bastard earth.” (Wr.)
13. There was a fearful mess in the room, and piles of unwashed crocks
in the kitchen. (A. T.)
14. “Of course I’ve spent nine years around the Twin Cities – took my
B.A. and M.D. over at the U, and had my internship in a hospital in
15. “How long did they cook you?” Dongeris stopped short and looked at
him. “How long did they cook you?” “Since eight this morning. Over
twelve hours.” “You didn’t unbutton then? After twelve hours of it?”
“Me? They got a lot of dancing to do before they’ll get anything out of
me.” (Т. Н.)
16. “Nix on that,” said Roy. “I don’t need a shyster quack to shoot me
full of confidence juice. I want to go through on my own steam.” (B. M.)
17. “Go in there, you slob. I hope you get a hell of a lot of fun out of
it. He looks too damned sick.” (H.)
18. Just then Taylor comes down. “Shut up and eat,” my mother says to
him before he can open his mouth. In less than five minutes my father is
back. “Keep the kids home,” he says.
“My God,” my mother says wearily, “them under foot all day.” (Sh. Gr.)
19. “Don’t wanna sleep, Don’t wanna die, just wanna go a-travelin’
through the pastures of the sky.” (T.C.)
20. “Never heard anything so bloody daft in all my life.” (J.Br.)
21. “You know. The mummies – them dead guys that get buried in them
toons and all.” (S.)
22. His expenses didn’t go down… washing cost a packet, and you’d be
surprised the amount of linen he needed. (S.M.)
23. “We’ll show Levenford what my clever lass can do. I’m looking ahead,
and I can see it. When we’ve made ye the head scholar of the Academy,
then you’ll see what your father means to do wi’ you. But ye must stick
in to your lessons, stick in hard.” (A. C.)
24. Wee modest crimson tipped flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crash amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r
Thou bonnie gem.
25. “That’s so, my lord. I remember having tae du much the same thing,
mony years since, in an inquest upon a sailing vessel that ran aground
in the estuary and got broken up by bumping herself to bits in a gale.
The insurance folk thocht that the accident wasna a’tegither
straightforward. We tuk it upon oorsels tae demonstrate that wi’ the
wind and tide setti’ as they did, the boat should ha’ been wellaway fra’
the shore if they started at the hour they claimed tae ha’ done. We lost
the case, but I’ve never altered my opeenion.” (D.S.)
III. Compare the neutral and the colloquial (or literary) modes of
1. “Also it will cost him a hundred bucks as a retainer.”
“Huh?” Suspicious again. Stick to basic English.
“Hundred dollars,” I said. “Iron men. Fish. Bucks to the number of one
hundred. Me no money, me no come. Savvy?” I began to count a hundred
with both hands. (R.Ch.)
2. “…some thief in the night boosted my clothes whilst I slept. I
sleep awful sound on the mattresses you have here.” “Somebody
boosted…?” “Pinched. Jobbed. Swiped. Stole,” he says happily. (K.K.)
3. “Now take fried, crocked, squiffed, loaded, plastered, blotto,
tiddled, soaked, boiled, stinko, viled, polluted.”
“Yes,” I said.
“That’s the next set of words I am decreasing my vocabulary by”, said
Atherton. “Tossing them all out in favor of-”
“Intoxicated?” I supplied.
“I favor fried,” said Atherton. “It’s shorter and monosyllabic, even
though it may sound a little harsher to the squeamish-minded.”
“But there are degrees of difference,” I objected. “Just being tiddled
isn’t the same as being blotto, or-”
“When you get into the vocabulary-decreasing business,” he interrupted,
“you don’t bother with technicalities. You throw out the whole kit and
caboodle – I mean the whole bunch,” he hastily corrected himself.
4. “Do you talk?” asked Bundle. “Or are you just strong and silent?”
“Talk?” said Anthony. “I, burble. I murmur. I gurgle – like a running
brook, you know. Sometimes I even ask questions.” (Ch.)
5. “So you’ll both come to dinner? Eight fifteen. Dinny, we must be back
to lunch. Swallows,” added Lady Mont round the brim of her hat and
passed out through the porch.
“There’s a house-party,” said Dinny to the young man’s elevated
eyebrows. “She means tails and a white tie.”
“Oh! Ah! Best bib and tucker, Jean.” (G.)
6. “What do you really contemplate doing?” “No Plaza? Not even when I’m
in the ohips?” “Why are you so rich?” (J.O’H.)
7. “Obviously an emissary of Mr. Bunyan had obtained clandestine access
to her apartment in her absence and purloined the communication in
question.” It took Lord Uffenham some moments to work this out, but
eventually he unravelled it and was able to translate it from his
butler’s language. What the man was trying to say was that some low
blister, bought with Bunyan’s gold, had sneaked into the girl’s flat and
pinched the bally things. (P.G.W.)
8. ”I say, old boy, where do you hang out?” Mr. Pickwick responded that
he was at present suspended at the George and Vulture. (D.)
9. “The only thing that counts in his eyes is solid achievement.
Sometimes I have been prostrate with fatigue. He calls it idleness. I
need the stimulation of good company. He terms this riff-raff. The plain
fact is, I am misunderstood.” (D. du M.)
10. “The scheme I would suggest cannot fail of success, but it has what
may seem to you a drawback, sir, in that it requires a certain financial
“He means,” I translated to Corky, “that he has a pippin of an idea but
it’s going to cost a bit.” (P.G.W.)
11. Mrs. Sunbury never went to bed – she retired, but Mr. Sunbury who
was not quite so refined as his wife always said: “Me for Bedford.”
12. “He tried those engineers. But no soap. No answer.” (J.O’H.)
13. “You want to know what I think? I think you’re nuts. Pure plain
crazy. Goofy as a loon. That’s what I think.” (J.)
14. The famous Alderman objected to the phrase in Canning’s inscription
for a Pitt Memorial “He died poor” and wished to substitute “He expired
in indigent circumstances.” (Luc.)
15. “I am Alpha and Omega – the first and the last,” the solemn voice
would announce. (D. du M.)
16. The tall man ahead of him half-turned saying “Gre’t God! I never, I
never in all my days seen so many folks.” Mr. Munn thought that he, too,
had never seen so many people, never before. (R.W.)
17. It may sound to some like cold-blooded murder of the English tongue,
but American kids have been speaking a language of their own since they
annoyed their Pilgrim parents at Plymouth Rock.
Ask a teen-ager today what he thought of last night’s rock show. If he
liked it, it was “wicked” or “totally awesome”. But if he didn’t, it was
“groady” or “harsh”.
Young people punctuate their sentences with slang. They drop phrases
that would make Professor Henry Higgins turn over in his grave. Twice.
“It’s just like a dictionary that only teen-agers understand,” said
Michael Harris, 17, a high school student in Richmond, Va. “You go home
and you have to spell it for your parents. They don’t even know what
you’re talking about.”
But this has been going on for years. Slang is as old as English itself,
says Stuart Berg Flexner, editor-in-chief of the Random House
Dictionary, author of the Dictionary of American Slang.
It offended puritan parents that their Pilgrim children took their
traditional farewell – God be with you – and turned it into “good-bye”,
Today’s words are obsolete tomorrow.
“I may call somebody a jerk, but today they would call him a nerd,” says
Flexner, 54. “Each generation seems to want to have some of its own
“It’s not so much to shut out adults – although that’s a part of it. It
gives them identity with their own age group. They sort of belong to
their own club,” he says.
There is valleytalk and preppyspeak, jocktalk and street language.
Take Moon Unit Zappa’s Valley Talk. The daughter of famed rocker Frank
Zappa was 14 years old when her dad sat her before a microphone and
documented her language in a pop song.
“Gag me with a spoon,” she says to show disgust. “Groady to themax.”
Legions of youngsters across America picked it up. The song, and
language, was a coast-to-coast hit. But that killed it.
“Valley Speak is out,” reports Jane Segal, 16, a reformed Valley Girl at
Santa Monica High School. “It went out after the song was played to
death. It was really popular, and then everyone got so sick of the
stupid song they quit saying that stuff.”
“No one ever says ‘Gag me’ anymore,” she says. “‘Totally’ is still
hanging on, and everyone uses’ “like”. They say it everywhere, just
sprinkle it in. I do it subconsciously, I use it like “um.”
Flexner considers slang.a reflection of American pop culture. Words come
and go like No. 1 hit songs. Once a word is widely known it may be
dropped, relegated to the used-slang bin alongside “swell” from the ’50s
and “groovy” from the ’60s.
Others stick around like golden oldies.
“There are classics. Once” a good phrase comes along it’s pretty hard to
replace it,” says Scott Wenger, 19, a New York University student.
“Flipped” out still means crazy and “pulling an allnighter” still means
to study.hard until all hours of the morning for exams.”
Teen-agers may dream up slang, but adults use it too. Julia Shields, 42,
a high school English teacher in Charlottesville, Va., is an avowed
“I love slang, think it’s colorful, wonderful, metaphoric. Some of it is
quite clever,” she says. “I hate it, but I call everything “neat”. It’s
such a horrible, vague, meaningless word. But I use it in every
Slang is not the talk of board rooms and diplomatic sessions. Because
young people spend more time informally than adults, and slang is a
product of relaxing the rules, high schools and college campuses are
breeding grounds for it. (C. R.)
IV. Speak about the difference between the contextual and the dictionary
meanings of italicized words:
1. Mr. James Duffy lived in Chapelizod because he wished to live as far
as possible from the city of which he was the citizen and because he
found all the other suburbs of Dublin mean, modern and
2. He does all our insurance examining and they say he’s some doctor.
3. He seemed prosperous, extremely married and unromantic. (S.L.)
4. “What do you think?” The question pops their heads up. (K.K.)
5. We tooled the car into the street and eased it into the ruck of
6. He inched the car forward. (A.H.)
7. “Of course it was considered a great chance for me, as he is so rich.
And – and – we drifted into a sort of understanding – I suppose I should
call it an engagement -”
“You may have drifted into it; but you will bounce out of it, my
pettikins, if I am to have anything to do with it.” (B.Sh.)
8. He sat with the strike committee for many hours in a smoky room and
agonized over ways and means. (M.G.)
9. Betty loosed fresh tears. (Jn.B.)
10. When the food came, they wolfed it down rapidly. (A.M.)
11. He had seen many places and been many things railroad foreman,
plantation overseer, boss mechanic, cow-puncher, and Texas
12 Station platforms were such long, impersonal, dirty, ugly things,
with too many goodbyes, lost hearts, and tears stamped into the concrete
paving. (A. S.)
13. “Let me say, Virginia, that I consider your conduct most unbecoming.
Nor at all that of a pure young widow.”
“Don’t be an idiot. Bill. Things are happening.”
“What kind of things?”
“Queer things.” (Ch.)
14. I need young critical things like you to punch me up. (S.L.)
15. Oh! the way the women wear their prettiest every thing’ (T.C.)
Lexical Stylistic Devices
Metaphor. Metonymy. Synecdoche. Play on Words. Irony. Epithet.
Hyperbole. Understatement. Oxymoron
You know by now that among multiple functions of the word the main one
is to denote, denotational meaning thus being the major semantic
characteristic of the word. In this paragraph we shall deal with the
foregrounding of this particular function, i.e. with such types of
denoting phenomena that create additional expressive, evaluative,
subjective connotations. We shall deal in fact with the substitution of
the existing names approved by long usage and fixed in dictionaries by
new, occasional, individual ones, prompted by the speaker’s subjective
original view and evaluation of things. This act of name-exchange, of
substitution is traditionally referred to as transference, for, indeed,
the name of one object is transferred onto another, proceeding from
their similarity (of shape, colour, function, etc.), or closeness (of
material existence, cause/ effect, instrument/result, part/whole
Each type of intended substitution results in a stylistic device (SD)
called also a trope. The most frequently used, well known and elaborated
among them is a metaphor – transference of names based on the associated
likeness between two objects, as in the “pancake”, or “ball”, or
“volcano” for the “sun”; “silver dust”, “sequins” for “stars”; “vault”,
“blanket”, “veil” for the “sky”.
From previous study you know that nomination – the process of naming
reality by means of the language – proceeds from choosing one of the
features characteristic of the object which is being named, for the
representative of the object. The connection between the chosen feature,
representing the object, and the word is especially vivid in cases of
transparent “inner form” when the name of the object can be easily
traced to the name of one of its characteristics. Cf.: “railway”,
“chairman”, “waxen”. Thus the semantic structure of a word reflects, to
a certain extent, characteristic features of the piece of reality which
it denotes (names). So it is only natural that similarity between real
objects or phenomena finds its reflection in the semantic structures of
words denoting them: both words possess at least one common semantic
component. In the above examples with the “sun” this common semantic
component is “hot” (hence – “volcano”, “pancake” which are also “hot”),
or “round” (“ball”, “pancake” which are also of round shape).
The expressiveness of the metaphor is promoted by the implicit
simultaneous presence of images of both objects – the one which is
actually named and the one which supplies its own “legal” name. So that
formally we deal with the name transference based on the similarity of
one feature common to two different entities, while in fact each one
enters a phrase in the complexity of its other characteristics. The
wider is the gap between the associated objects the more striking and
unexpected – the more expressive – is the metaphor.
If a metaphor involves likeness between inanimate and animate objects,
we deal with personification, as in “the face of London”, or “the pain
of the ocean”.
Metaphor, as all other SDs, is fresh, orginal, genuine, when first used,
and trite, hackneyed, stale when often repeated. In the latter case it
gradually loses its expressiveness becoming just another entry in the
dictionary, as in the “leg of a table” or the “sunrise”, thus serving a
very important source of enriching the vocabulary of the language.
Metaphor can be expressed by all notional parts of speech, and functions
in the sentence as any of its members.
When the speaker (writer) in his desire to present an elaborated image
does not limit its creation to a single metaphor but offers a group of
them, each supplying another feature of the described phenomenon, this
cluster creates a sustained (prolonged) metaphor.
Exercise I. Analyse the given cases of metaphor from all sides mentioned
above – semantics, originality, expressiveness, syntactic function,
vividness and elaboration of the created image. Pay attention to the
manner in which two objects (actions) are identified: with both named or
only one – the metaphorized one – presented explicitly:
1. She looked down on Gopher Prairie. The snow stretching without break
from street to devouring prairie beyond, wiped out the town’s pretence
of being a shelter. The houses were black specks on a white sheet.
2. And the skirts! What a sight were those skirts! They were nothing but
vast decorated pyramids; on the summit of each was stuck the upper half
of a princess. (A.B.)
3. I was staring directly in front of me, at the back of the driver’s
neck, which was a relief map of boil scars. (S.)
4. She was handsome in a rather leonine way. Where this girl was a
lioness, the other was a panther – lithe and quick. (Ch.)
5. His voice was a dagger of corroded brass. (S.L.)
6. Wisdom has reference only to the past. T-he future remains for ever
an infinite field for mistakes. You can’t know beforehand. (D.H.L.)
7. He felt the first watery eggs of sweat moistening the palms of his
hands. (W. S.)
8. At the last moment before the windy collapse of the day, I myself
took the road down. (Jn. H.)
9. The man stood there in the middle of the street with the deserted
dawnlit boulevard telescoping out behind him. (Т.Н.)
10. Leaving Daniel to his fate, she was conscious of joy springing in
her heart. (A.B.)
11. He smelled the ever-beautiful smell of coffee imprisoned in the can.
12. We talked and talked and talked, easily, sympathetically, wedding
her experience with my articulation. (Jn.B.)
13. “We need you so much here. It’s a dear old town, but it’s a rough
diamond, and we need you for the polishing, and we’re ever so
14. They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable
to communicate. (W.G.)
15. Geneva, mother of the Red Cross, hostess of humanitarian congresses
for the civilizing of warfare! (J.R.)
16. She and the kids have filled his sister’s house and their welcome is
wearing thinner and thinner. (U.)
17. Notre’Dame squats in the dusk. (H.)
18. I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am
your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last
twelve months about life.
All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me; I
am waiting for you to search it out again and with more determination.
All the good that you tried to do for others and didn’t achieve last
year is mine to grant – providing you have fewer selfish and conflicting
In me lies the potential of all that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not perform, all you prayed for but did not
yet experience. These dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by
the touch of an enduring purpose. I am your opportunity. (Т. Н.) •
19. Autumn comes And trees are shedding their leaves, And Mother
Nature blushes Before disrobing. (N. W.)
20. He had hoped that Sally would laugh at this, and she did, and in a
sudden mutual gush they cashed into the silver of laughter all the sad”
secrets they could find in their pockets. (U.)
21. All across the Union audiences clamour for her arrival, which will
coincide with that of the new century. For we are at the fag-end, the
smouldering cigar-butt, of a nineteenth century which is just about to
be ground out in the ashtray of history. (An.C.)
Metonymy, another lexical SD, – like metaphor – on losing its
originality also becomes instrumental in enriching the vocabulary of the
language, though metonymy is created by a different semantic process and
is based on contiguity (nearness) of objects or phenomena. Transference
of names in metonymy does not involve a necessity for two different
words to have a common component in their semantic structures, as is the
case of metaphor, but proceeds from the fact that two objects
(phenomena) have common grounds of existence in reality. Such words as
“cup” and “tea” have no linguistic semantic nearness, but the first one
may serve the container of the second, hence – the conversational cliche
“Will you have another cup?”, which is a case of metonymy, once
original, but due to long use, no more accepted as a fresh SD.
“My brass will call your brass,” says one of the characters of A.
Hailey’s Airport to another, meaning “My boss will call your boss.” The
transference of names is caused by both bosses being officers, wearing
uniform caps with brass cockades.
The scope of transference in metonymy is much more limited than that of
metaphor, which is quite understandable: the scope of human imagination
identifying two objects (phenomena, actions) on the grounds of
commonness of one of their innumerable characteristics is boundless
while actual relations between objects are more limited. This is why
metonymy, on the whole,- is a less frequently observed SD, than
Similar to singling out one particular type of metaphor into the
self-contained SD of personification, one type of metonymy – namely, the
one, which is based on the relations between a part and the whole – is
often viewed independently as synecdoche.
As a rule, metonymy is expressed by nouns (less frequently – by
substantivized numerals) and is used in syntactical functions
characteristic of nouns (subject, object, predicative).
Exercise II. Indicate metonymies, state the type of relations between
the object named and the object implied, which they represent, lso pay
attention to the degree of their originality, and to their syntactical
1. He went about her room, after his introduction, looking at her
pictures, her bronzes and clays, asking after the creator of this, the
painter of that, where a third thing came from. (Dr.)
2. She wanted to have a lot of children, and she was glad that things
were that way, that the Church approved. Then the little girl died.
Nancy broke with Rome the day her baby died. It was a secret break, but
no Catholic breaks with Rome casually. (J.O’H.)
3. “Evelyn Glasgow, get up out of that chair this minute.” The girl
looked up from her book. “What’s the matter?”
“Your satin. The skirt’ll be a mass of wrinkles in the back.” (E. F.)
4. Except for a lack of youth, the guests had no common theme, they
seemed strangers among strangers; indeed, each face, on entering, had
straggled to conceal dismay at seeing others there. (T.C.)
5. She saw around her, clustered about the white tables, multitudes of
violently red lips, powdered cheeks, cold, hard eyes, self-possessed
arrogant faces, and insolent bosoms. (A.B.)
6. Dinah, a slim, fresh, pale eighteen, was pliant and yet fragile. (С.
7. The man looked a rather old forty-five, for he was already going
grey. (K. P.)
8. The delicatessen owner was a spry and jolly fifty. (T. R.)
9. “It was easier to assume a character without having to tell too many
lies and you brought a fresh eye and mind to the job.” (P.)
10. “Some remarkable pictures in this room, gentlemen. A Holbein, two
Van Dycks and if I am not mistaken, a Velasquez. I am interested in
11. You have nobody to blame but yourself. The saddest words of tongue
or pen. (I.Sh.)
12. For several days he took an hour after his work to make inquiry
taking with him some examples of his pen and inks. (Dr.)
13. There you are at your tricks again. The rest of them do earn their
bread; you live on my charity. (E.Br.)
14. I crossed a high toll bridge and negotiated a no man’s land and came
to the place where the Stars and Stripes stood shoulder to shoulder with
the Union Jack. (J. St.)
15. The praise was enthusiastic enough to have delighted any common
writer who earns his living by his pen. (S.M.)
16. He made his way through the perfume and conversation. (I.Sh.)
17. His mind was alert and people asked him to dinner not for old times’
sake, but because he was worth his salt. (S.M.)
18. Up the Square, from the corner of King Street, passed a woman in a
new bonnet with pink strings, and a new blue dress that sloped at the
shoulders and grew to a vast circumference at the hem. Through the
silent sunlit solitude of the Square this bonnet and this dress floated
northwards in search of romance. (A.B.)
19. Two men in uniforms were running heavily to the Administration
building. As they ran, Christian saw them throw away their rifles. They
were portly men who looked like advertisements for Munich beer, and
running came hard to them. The first prisoner stopped and picked up one
of the discarded rifles. He did not fire it, but carried it, as he
chased the guards. He swung the rifle like a club, and one of the beer
advertisements went down (I.Sh.)
As you must have seen from the brief outline and the examples of
metaphor and metonymy, the first one operates on the linguistic basis
(proceeding from the similarity of semantic components of a word), while
the latter one rests solely on the extralinguistic, actually existing
relations between the phenomena denoted by the words.
Our next concern is a cluster of SDs, which are united into a small
group as they have much in common both in the mechanism of their
formation and in their functioning. They are – pun (also referred to as
paronomasia), zeugma, violation of phraseological units, semantically
false chains, and nonsense of non-sequence. In the stylistic tradition
of the English-speaking countries only the first two are widely
discussed. The latter two, indeed, may be viewed as slight variations of
the first ones for, basically, the foursome perform the same stylistic
function in speech, and operate on the same linguistic mechanism:
namely, one word-form is deliberately used in two meanings. The effect
of these SDs is humorous. Contextual conditions leading to the
simultaneous realization of two meanings and to the formation of pun may
vary: it can be misinterpretation of one speaker’s utterance by the
other, which results in his remark dealing with a different meaning of
the misinterpreted word or its homonym, as in the famous case from the
Pickwick Papers When the fat boy, Mr. Wardle’s servant, emerged from the
corridor, very pale, he was asked by his master: “Have you been seeing
any spirits?” “Or taking any?” – added Bob Alien. The first “spirits”
refers to supernatural forces, the second one – to strong drinks.
Punning may be the result of the speaker’s intended violation of the
listener’s expectation, as in the jocular quotation from B. Evans “There
comes a period in every man’s life, but she is just a semicolon in his.”
Here we expect the second half of the sentence to unfold the content,
proceeding from “period” understood as “an interval of time”, while the
author has used the word in the meaning of “punctuation mark” which
becomes clear from the “semicolon”, following it.
Misinterpretation may be caused by the phonetic similarity of two
homonyms, such as in the crucial case of O. Wilde’s play The Importance
of Being Ernest.
In very many cases polysemantic verbs that have a practically unlimited
lexical valency and can be combined with nouns of most varying semantic
groups, are deliberately used with two or more homogeneous members,
which are not connected semantically, as in such examples from Ch.
Dickens: “He took his hat and his leave”, or “She went home, in a flood
of tears and a sedan chair”. These are cases of classical zeugma, highly
characteristic of English prose.
When the number of homogeneous members, semantically disconnected, but
attached to the same verb, increases, we deal with semantically false
chains, which are thus a variation of zeugma. As a rule, it is the last
member of the chain that falls out of the thematic group, defeating our
expectancy and producing humorous effect. The following case from S.
Leacock may serve an example: “A Governess wanted. Must possess
knowledge of Romanian, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Music and
As you have seen from the examples of classical zeugma, the tiesbetween
the verb on one hand and each of the dependent members, onthe other, are
of different intensity and stability. In most cases one ofthem, together
with the verb, forms a phraseological unit or a cliche, inwhich the verb
loses some of its semantic independence and strength(Cf.: “to take one’s
leave” and “to take one’s hat”). Zeugma restores theliteral original
meaning of the word, which also occurs in violation ofphraseological
units of different syntactical patterns, as in Galsworthy’sremark:
“Little Jon was born with a silver spoon in his mouth which wasrather
curly and large.” The word “mouth”, with its content, is completelylost
in the phraseological unit which means “to have luck, to be bornlucky”.
Attaching to the unit the qualification of the mouth, the authorrevives
the meaning of the word and offers a very fresh, original andexpressive
Sometimes the speaker (writer) interferes into the structure of the word
attributing homonymous meanings to individual morphemes as in these
jocular definitions from Esar’s dictionary: professorship — a ship full
of professors; relying – telling the same story again; beheld – to have
somebody hold you, etc.
It is possible to say thus that punning can be realized on most levels
of language hierarchy. Indeed, the described violation of word-structure
takes place on the morphological level; zeugma and pun – on the lexical
level; violation of phraseological units includes both lexical and
syntactical levels; semantically false chains and one more SD of this
group – nonsense of non-sequence – on the syntactical level.
Nonsense of non-sequence rests on the extension of syntactical valency
and results in joining two semantically disconnected clauses into one
sentence, as in: “Emperor Nero played the fiddle, so they burnt Rome.”
(E.) Two disconnected statements are forcibly linked together by cause /
Exercise III. Analyse various cases of play on words, indicate which
type is used, how it is created, what effect it adds to the utterance:
1. After a while and a cake he crept nervously to the door of the
parlour. (A. T.)
2 There are two things I look for jn a man. A sympathetic character and
full lips. (I.Sh.)
3. Dorothy, at my statement, had clapped her hand over her mouth to hold
down laughter and chewing gum. (Jn.B.)
4. I believed all men were brothers; she thought all men were husbands.
I gave the whole mess up. (Jn.B.)
5. In December, 1960, Naval Aviation News, a well-known special
publication, explained why “a ship” is referred to as “she”: Because
there’s always a bustle around her; because there’s usually a gang of
men with her; because she has waist and stays; because it takes a good
man to handle her right; because she shows her topsides, hides her
bottom and when coming into port, always heads for the buyos.” (N.)
6. When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
“His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.” (H. B.)
7. Most women up London nowadays seem to furnish their rooms with
nothing but orchids, foreigners and French novels. (O.W.)
8. I’m full of poetry now. Rot and poetry. Rotten poetry. (H )
9. “Bren, I’m not planning anything. I haven’t planned a thing in three
years… I’m – I’m not a planner. I’m a liver.”
“I’m a pancreas,” she said. “I’m a —” and she kissed the absurd game
away. (Ph. R.)
10. “Someone at the door,” he said, blinking.
“Some four, I should say by the sound,” said Fili. (A. T.)
11. He may be poor and shabby, but beneath those ragged trousers beats a
heart of gold. (E.)
12. Babbitt respected bigness in anything: in mountains, jewels,
muscles, wealth or words. (S.L.)
13. Men, pals, red plush seats, white marble tables, waiters in white
aprons. Miss Moss walked through them all. (M.)
14. My mother was wearing her best grey dress and gold brooch and a
faint pink flush under each cheek bone. (W.G1.)
15. Hooper laughed and said to Brody, “Do you mind if I give Ellen
“What do you mean?” Brody said. He thought to himself, give her what? A
kiss? A box of chocolates? A punch in the nose?
“A present. It’s nothing, really.” (P.B.)
16. “There is only one brand of tobacco allowed here – “Three nuns”.
None today, none tomorrow, and none the day after.” (Br. B.)
17. “Good morning,” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining and
the grass was very green. (A.T.)
18. Some writer once said: “How many times you can call yourself a Man
depends on how many languages you know.” (M.St.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What lexical meanings of a word can you name? Which of them, in most
cases, is the most important one?
2. What SDs are based on the use of the logical (denotational) meaning
of a word?
3. What is a contextual meaning? How is it used in a SD?
4. What is the difference between the original and the hackneyed SDs?
5. What is a metaphor? What are its semantic, morphological,
syntactical, structural, functional peculiarities?
6. What is a metonymy? Give a detailed description of the device.
7. What is included into the group of SDs known as “play on words”?
Which ones of them are the most frequently used? What levels of language
hierarchy are involved into their formation?
8. Describe the difference between pun and zeugma, zeugma and a
semantically false chain, semantically false chain and nonsense of
9. What meanings of a word participate in the violation of a
10. What is the basic effect achieved by the play on words?
11. Find examples of each of the discussed stylistic devices in your
12. Try and find peculiarities in the individual use of various SDs by
different authors known to you from your courses of literature,
interpretation of the text, home reading.
In all previously discussed lexical SDs we dealt with various
transformations of the logical (denotational) meaning of words, which
participated in the creation of metaphors, metonymies, puns, zeugmas,
etc. Each of the SDs added expressiveness and originality to the
nomination of the object. Evaluation of the named concept was often
present too, but it was an optional characteristic, not inherent in any
of these SDs. Their subjectivity relies on the new and fresh look at the
object mentioned, which shows the latter from a new and unexpected side.
In irony, which is our next item of consideration, subjectivity lies in
the evaluation of the phenomenon named. The essence of this SD consists
in the foregrounding not of the logical but of the evaluative meaning.
The context is arranged so that the qualifying word in irony reverses
the direction of the evaluation, and the word positively charged is
understood as a negative qualification and (much-much rarer) vice versa.
Irony thus is a stylistic device in which the contextual evaluative
meaning of a word is directly opposite to its dictionary meaning, So,
like all other SDs, irony does not exist outside the context, which
varies from the minimal – a word combination, as in J. Steinbeck’s “She
turned with the sweet smile of an alligator,” – to the context of a
whole book, as in Ch: Dickens, where one of the remarks of Mr. Micawber,
known for his complex, highly bookish and elaborate style of speaking
about the most trivial things, is introduced by the author’s words
“…Mr. Micawber said in his usual plain manner”.
In both examples the words “sweet” and “plain” reverse their positive
meaning into the negative one due to the context, micro- in the first,
macro- in the second case.
In the stylistic device of irony it is always possible to indicate the
exact word whose contextual meaning diametrically opposes its dictionary
meaning. This is why this type of irony is called verbal irony. There
are very many cases, though, which we regard as irony, intuitively
feeling the reversal of the evaluation, but unable to put our finger on
the exact word in whose meaning we can trace the contradiction between
the said and the implied. The effect of irony in such cases is created
by a number of statements, by the whole of the text. This type of irony
is called sustained, and it is formed by the contradiction of the
speaker’s (writer’s) considerations and the generally accepted moral and
ethical codes. Many examples of sustained irony are supplied by D.
Defoe, J. Swift or by such XX-ieth c. writers as S. Lewis, K. Vonnegut,
E. Waugh and others.
Exercise IV. In the following excerpts you will find mainly examples of
verbal irony. Explain what conditions made the realization of the
opposite evaluation possible. Pay attention to the part of speech which
is used in irony, also its syntactical function:
1. The book was entitled Murder at Milbury Manor and was a whodunit of
the more abstruse type, in which everything turns on whether a certain
character, by catching the three-forty-three train at Hilbury and
changing into the four-sixteen at Milbury, could have reached Silbury by
five-twenty-seven, which would have given him just time to disguise
himself and be sticking knives into people at Bilbury by
2. When the, war broke out she took down the signed photograph of the
Kaiser and, with some solemnity, hung it in the men-servants’ lavatory;
it was her one combative action. (E.W.)
3. “I had a plot, a scheme, a little quiet piece of enjoyment afoot, of
which the very cream and essence was that this old man and grandchild
should be as poor as frozen rats,” and Mr. Brass revealed the whole
story, making himself out to be rather a saintlike holy character. (D.)
4. The lift held two people and rose slowly, groaning with diffidence.
5. England has been in a dreadful state for some weeks. Lord Coodle
would go out. Sir Thomas Doodle wouldn’t come in, and there being nobody
in Great Britain (to speak of) except Coodle and Doodle, there has been
no Government (D.)
6. From her earliest infancy Gertrude was brought up by her aunt. Her
aunt had carefully instructed her to Christian principles. She had also
taught her Mohammedanism, to make sure. (L.)
7. She’s a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud
and if she has washed her hair since Coolidge’s second term, I’ll eat my
spare tire, rim and all. (R.Ch.)
8. With all the expressiveness of a stone Welsh stared at him another
twenty seconds apparently hoping to see him gag. (R.Ch.)
9. “Well. It’s shaping up into a lovely evening, isn’t it?” “Great,” he
“And if I may say so, you’re doing everything to make it harder, you
little sweet.” (D. P.)
10. Mr. Vholes is a very respectable man. He has not a large business,
but he is a very respectable man. He is allowed, by the greater
attorneys to be a most respectable man. He never misses a chance in his
practice which is a mark of respectability, he never takes any pleasure,
which is another mark of respectability, he is reserved and serious
which is another mark of respectability. His digestion is impaired which
is highly respectable. (D.)
11. Several months ago a magazine named Playboy which concentrates
editorially on girls, books, girls, art, girls, music, fashion, girls
and girls, published an article about old-time science-fiction. (M.St.)
12. Apart from splits based on politics, racial, religious and ethnic
backgrounds and specific personality differences, we’re just one
cohesive team. (D.U.)
13. A local busybody, unable to contain her curiosity any longer, asked
an expectant mother point-blank whether she was going to have a baby.
“Oh, goodness, no,” the young woman said pleasantly. “I’m just carrying
this for a friend.” (P.G.W.)
14. Sonny Grosso was a worrier who looked for and frequently managed to
find, the dark side of most situations. (P. M.)
15. Bookcases covering one wall boasted a half-shelf of literature.
16. I had been admitted as a partner in the firm of Andrews and Bishop,
and throughout 1927 and 19281 enriched myself and the firm at the rate
of perhaps forty dollars a month. (Jn.B.)
17. Last time it was a nice, simple, European-style war. (I.Sh.)
18. He could walk and run, was full of exact knowledge about God, and
entertained no doubt concerning the special partiality of a minor deity
called Jesus towards himself. (A.B.)
19. But every Englishman is born with a certain miraculous power that
makes him master of the world. As the great champion of freedom and
national’independence he conquers and annexes half the world and calls
it Colonization. (B.Sh.)
20. All this blood and fire business tonight was probably part of the
graft to get the Socialists chucked out and leave honest businessmen
safe to make their fortunes out of murder. (L. Ch)
21. He spent two years in prison, making a number of valuable contacts
among other upstanding embezzlers, frauds and confidence men whilst
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is irony, what lexical meaning is employed in its formation?
2. What types of irony do you know? What is the length of the context
needed for the realization of each of them?
3. What are the most frequently observed mechanisms of irony formation?
Can you explain the role of the repetition in creating irony?
4. Can you name English or American writers known for their ingenuity
and versatility in the use of irony?
5. Find cases of irony in books you read both for work and pleasure.
Antonomasia is a lexical SD in which a proper name is used instead of a
common noun or vice versa, i.e. a SD, in which the nominal meaning of a
proper name is suppressed by its logical meaning or the logical meaning
acquires the new – nominal — component. Logical meaning, as you know,
serves to denote concepts and thus to classify individual objects into
groups (classes). Nominal meaning has no classifying power for it
applies to one single individual object with the aim not of classifying
it as just another of a number of objects constituting a definite group,
but, on the contrary, with the aim of singling it out of the group of
similar objects, of individualizing one particular object. Indeed, the
word “Mary” does not indicate whether the denoted object refers to the
class of women, girls, boats, cats, etc., for it singles out without
denotational classification. But in Th. Dreiser we read: “He took little
satisfaction in telling each Mary, shortly after she arrived,
something….” The attribute “each”, used with the name, turns it into a
common noun denoting any female. Here we deal with a case of antonomasia
of the first type.
Another type of antonomasia we meet when a common noun serves as an
individualizing name, as in D. Cusack: “There are three doctors in an
illness like yours. I don’t mean only myself, my partner and the
radiologist who does your X-rays, the three I’m referring to are Dr.
Rest, Dr. Diet and Dr. Fresh Air.”
Still another type of antonomasia is presented by the so-called
“speaking names” – names whose origin from common nouns is still clearly
perceived. So, in such popular English surnames as Mr. Smith or Mr.
Brown the etymology can be restored but no speaker of English today has
it in his mind that the first one used to mean occupation and the second
one – color. While such names from Sheridan’s School for Scandal as Lady
Teazle or Mr. Surface immediately raise associations with certain human
qualities due to the denotational meaning of the words “to tease” and
“surface”. The double role of the speaking names, both to name and to
qualify, is sometimes preserved in translation. Cf. the list of names
from another of Sheridan’s plays, The Rivals: Miss Languish – Мисс
Томней; Mr. Backbite – М-р Клевентаун; Mr. Credulous – М-р Доверч; Mr.
Snake – М-р Гад, etc. Or from F. Cooper: Lord Chatterino – Лорд
Балаболо; John Jaw — Джон Брех; Island Leap-High – Остров Высокопрыгия.
Antonomasia is created mainly by nouns, more seldom by attributive
combinations (as in “Dr. Fresh Air”) or phrases (as in “Mr. What’s-his
name”). Common nouns used in the second type of antonomasia are in most
cases abstract, though there are instances of concrete ones being used
Exercise V. Analyse the following cases of antonomasia. State the type
of meaning employed and implied; indicate what additional information is
created by the use of antonomasia; pay attention to the morphological
and semantic characteristics of common nouns used as proper names:
1. “You cheat, you no-good cheat – you tricked our son. Took our son
with a scheming trick, Miss Tomboy, Miss Sarcastic, Miss Sncerface.”
2. A stout middle-aged man, with enormous owl-eyed spectacles, was
sitting on the edge of a great table. I turned to him.
“Don’t ask me,” said Mr. Owl Eyes washing his hands of the whole matter.
3. To attend major sports event most parents have arrived. A Colonel
Sidebotham was standing next to Prendergast, firmly holding the tape
with “FINISH”. “Capital,” said Mr. Prendergast, and dropping his end of
the tape, he sauntered to the Colonel. “I can see you are a fine judge
of the race, sir. So was I once. So’s Grimes. A capital fellow, Grimes;
a bounder, you know, but a capital fellow. Bounders can be capital
fellows; don’t you agree. Colonel Slidebottom… I wish you’d stop
pulling at my arm, Pennyfeather. Colonel Shybottom and I are just having
a most interesting conversation.” (E.W.)
4. I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I know);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views.
I know a person small –
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all.
She sends ’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes –
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys. (R. K.)
5. “Her mother is perfectly unbearable. Never met such a Gorgon.” “I
don’t really know what a Gorgon is like, but I am quite sure, that
Lady Bracknell is one. In any case, she is a monster without being a
6. Our secretary is Esther D’Eath. Her name is pronounced by vulgar
relatives as Dearth, some of us pronounce it Deeth. (S. Ch.)
7. When Omar P. Quill died, his solicitors referred to him always as
O.P.Q. Each reference to O.P.Q. made Roger think of his grandfather as
the middle of the alphabet. (G. M.)
8. “Your fur and his Caddy are a perfect match. I respect history: don’t
you know that Detroit was founded by Sir Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac,
French fur trader.” (J.O’H.)
9. Now let me introduce you – that’s Mr. What’s-his-name, you remember
him, don’t you? And over there in the corner, that’s the Major, and
there’s Mr. What-d’you-call-him, and that’s an American. (E.W.)
10. Cats and canaries had added to the already stale house an entirely
new dimension of defeat. As I stepped down, an evil-looking Tom slid by
us into the house. (W.G1.)
11. Kate kept him because she knew he would do anything in the world if
he were paid to do it or was afraid not to do it. She had no illusions
about him. In her business Joes were necessary. (J. St.)
12. In the moon-landing year what choice is there for Mr. and Mrs.
Average-the programme against poverty or the ambitious NASA project?
13. The next speaker was a tall gloomy man. Sir Something Somebody. (P.)
14. We sat down at a table with two girls in yellow and three men, each
one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble. (Sc.F.)
15. She’s been in a bedroom with one of the young Italians, Count
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is antonomasia? What meanings interact in its formation?
2. What types of antonomasia do you know? Give examples of each.
3. Do you remember any speaking names from the books you have read?
4. Give examples of personages’ names used as qualifying common nouns.
Epithet is probably as well known to you as metaphor, because it is
widely mentioned-by the critics, scholars, teachers, and students
discussing a literary work. Epithet expresses characteristics of an
object, both existing and imaginary. Its basic feature is its
emotiveness and subjectivity: the characteristic attached to the object
to qualify it is always chosen by the speaker himself. Our speech
ontologically being always emotionally coloured, it is possible to say
that in epithet it is the emotive meaning of the word that is
foregrounded to suppress the denotational meaning of the latter.
Epithet has remained over the centuries the most widely used SD, which
is understandable – it offers ample opportunities of qualifying every
object from the author’s partial and subjective viewpoint, which is
indispensable in creative prose, publicist style, and everyday speech.
Through long and repeated use epithets become fixed. Many fixed epithets
are closely connected with folklore and can be traced buck to folk
ballads (e.g. “true love”, “merry Christmas”, etc.). A number of them
have originated in euphemistic writing of the late sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries (e.g. “a valiant youth”, “a trembling maiden”,
“dead silence”, etc.). Those which were first found in Homer’s poetry
and have been repeated since, are known as Homeric epithets (e.g.
“swift-footed Achilles”, “rosy-fingered dawn”).
The structure and semantics of epithets are extremely variable which is
explained by their long and wide use. Semantically, there should be
differentiated two main groups, the biggest of them being affective (or
emotive proper). These epithets serve to convey the emotional.evaluation
of the object by the speaker. Most of the qualifying words found in the
dictionary can be and are used as affective epithets (e.g. “gorgeous”,
“nasty”, “magnificent”, “atrocious”, etc.).
The second group – figurative, or transferred, epithets – is formed of
metaphors, metonymies and similes (which will be discussed later)
expressed by adjectives. E.g. “the smiling sun”, “the frowning cloud”,
“the sleepless pillow”, ”the tobacco-stained smile”, “a ghpst-like
face”, “a dreamlike experience”. Like metaphor, metonymy and simile,
corresponding epithets are also based on similarity of characteristics
of – two objects in the first case, on nearness of the qualified objects
in the second one, and on their comparison in the third.
In the ovei vvhelming majority of examples epithet is expressed by
adjectives or qualitative adverbs (e.g. “his triumphant look” = he
looked triumphantly).* Nouns come next. They are used either as
exclamatory sentences (“You, ostrich!”) or as postpositive attributes
(“Alonzo the Clown”, “Richard of the Lion Heart”).
Epithets are used singly, in pairs, in chains, in two-step structures,
and in inverted constructions, also as phrase-attributes. All previously
given examples demonstrated single epithets. Pairs are represented by
two epithets joined by a conjunction or asyndetically as in “wonderful
and incomparable beauty” (O.W.) or “a tired old town” (H.L.). Chains
(also called strings) of epithets present a group of homogeneous
attributes varying in number from three up to sometimes twenty and even
more. E.g. “You’re a scolding, unjust, abusive, aggravating, bad old
creature.” (D.) From the last example it is evident that if a logical
attribute (which in our case is the word “old”) is included into the
chain of epithets it begins to shine with their reflected light, i.e.
the subjectivity of epithets irradiates onto the logical attribute and
adapts it for expressive purposes, along with epithets proper.
Two-step epithets are so called because the process of qualifying
seemingly passes two stages: the qualification of the object and the
qualification of the qualification itself, as in “an unnaturally mild
day” (Hut.), or “a pompously majestic female”. (D.) As you see from the
examples, two-step epithets have a fixed structure of Adv + Adj model.
Phrase-epithets always produce an original impression Cf.: “the
sunshine-in-the-breakfast-room smell” (J.B.), or “a move-if-you-dare
expression”. (Gr.) Their originality proceeds from the fact of the rare
repetition of the once coined phrase-epithet which, in its turn, is
explained by the fact that into a phrase-epithet is turned a
semantically self-sufficient word combination or even a whole sentence,
which loses some of its independence and self-sufficiency, becoming a
member of another sentence, and strives to return to normality. The
forcible manner of this syntactical transformation is the main obstacle
for repeated use of such phrasally-structured epithets.
A different linguistic mechanism is responsible for the emergence of one
more structural type of epithets, namely, inverted epithets They are
based on the contradiction between the logical and the syntactical:
logically defining becomes syntactically defined and vice versa. E.g.
instead of “this devilish woman”, where “devilish” is both logically and
syntactically defining, and “woman” also both logically and
syntactically defined, W. Thackeray says “this devil of a woman”. Here
“of a woman” is syntactically an attribute, i.e. the defining, and
“devil” the defined, while the logical relations between the two remain
the same as in the previous example – “a woman” is defined by “the
All inverted epithets are easily transformed into epithets of a more
habitual structure where there is no logico-syntactical contradiction.
Cf.: “the giant of a man” (a gigantic man); “the prude of a woman” (a
prudish woman), etc. When meeting an inverted epithet do not mix it up
with an ordinary of-phrase. Here the article with the second noun will
help you in doubtful cases: “the toy of the girl” (the toy belonging to
the girl); “the toy of a girl” (a small, toylike girl), or “the kitten
of the woman” (the cat belonging to the woman); “the kitten of a woman”
(a kittenlike woman).
Exercise VI. Discuss the structure and semantics of epithets in the
following examples. Define the type and function of epithets:
1. He has that unmistakable tall lanky “rangy” loose-jointed graceful
closecropped formidably clean American look. (I.M.)
2. Across the ditch Doll was having an entirely different reaction. With
all his heart and soul, furiously, jealously, vindictively, he was
hoping Queen would not win. (J.)
3. During the past few weeks she had become most sharply conscious of
the smiling interest of Hauptwanger. His straight lithe body – his
quick, aggressive manner – his assertive, seeking eyes. (Dr.)
4. He’s a proud, haughty, consequential, turned-nosed peacock. (D.)
5. The Fascisti, or extreme Nationalists, which means black-shirted,
knife-carrying, club-swinging, quick-stepping,
nineteen-year-old-pot-shot patriots, have worn out their welcome in
6. Where the devil was heaven? Was it up? Down? There was no up or down
in a finite but expanding universe in which even the vast, burning,
dazzling, majestic sun was in a state of progressive decay that would
eventually destroy the earth too. (Js.H.)
7. She has taken to wearing heavy blue bulky shapeless quilted People’s
Volunteers trousers rather than the tight tremendous
how-the-West-was-won trousers she formerly wore. (D.B.)
8. Harrison – a fine, muscular, sun-bronzed, gentle-eyed,
patrician-nosed, steak-fed, Oilman-Schooled, soft-spoken, well-tailored
aristocrat was an out-and-out leaflet-writing revolutionary at the time.
9. In the cold, gray, street-washing, milk-delivering,
shutters-coming-off-the-shops early morning, the midnight train from
Paris arrived in Strasbourg. (H.)
10. Her painful shoes slipped off. (U.)
11. She was a faded white rabbit of a woman. (A. C.)
12. And she still has that look, that don’t-you-touch-me look, that
women who-were beautiful carry with them to the grave. (J.B.)
13. Ten-thirty is a dark hour in a town where respectable doors are
locked at nine. (T.C.)
14. He loved the afterswim salt-and-sunshine smell of her hair. (Jn.B.)
15. I was to secretly record, with the help of a powerful long-range
movie-camera lens, the walking-along-the-Battery-in-the-sunshine meeting
between Ken and Jerry. (D.U.)
16. “Thief!” Pilon shouted. “Dirty pig of an untrue friend!” (J.St.)
17. She spent hausfrau afternoons hopping about in the sweatbox of her
midget kitchen. (T.C.)
18. He acknowledged an early-afternoon customer with a
be-with-you-in-a-minute nod. (D.U.)
19. He thoroughly disliked this never-far-from-tragic look of a ham
Shakespearian actor. (H.)
20. “What a picture!” cried the ladies. “Oh! The lambs! Oh, the sweets!
Oh, the ducks! Oh, the pets!” (K.M.)
21. A branch, cracking under his weight sent through the tree a sad
cruel thunder. (T.C.)
22. There was none of the Old-fashioned Five-Four-Three-Two-One-Zero
business, so tough on the human nervous system. (A. Cl.)
23. His shrivelled head bobbed like a dried pod on his frail stick of a
24. The children were very brown and filthily dirty. (W. V.)
25. Liza Hamilton was a very different kettle of Irish. Her head was
small and round and it held small and round convictions. (J. St.)
26. He sat with Daisy in his arms for a long silent time. (Sc.F.)
27. From the Splendide Hotel guests and servants were pouring in
chattering bright streams. (R.Ch.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What lexical meaning is instrumental in the formation of epithets?
2. What semantic types of epithets do you know?
3. What structural types of epithets do you know?
4. What parts of speech are predominantly used as epithets and why?
5. When reading a book pay attention to the type and distribution of
epithets there and to what defines the quantity and the quality of
epithets in a literary work.
Hyperbole – a stylistic device in which emphasis is achieved through
deliberate exaggeration, – like epithet, relies on the foregrounding of
the emotive meaning. The feelings and emotions of the speaker are so
raffled that he resorts in his speech to intensifying the quantitative
or the qualitative aspect of the mentioned object. E.g.: In his famous
poem “To His Coy Mistress” Andrew Marvell writes about love: “My
vegetable love should grow faster than empires.”
Hyperbole is one of the most common expressive means of our everyday
speech. When we describe our admiration or anger and say “I would gladly
see this film a hundred times”, or “I have told it to you a thousand
times” – we use trite language hyperboles which, through long and
repeated use, have lost their originality and remained signals of the
speaker’s roused emotions.
Hyperbole may be the final effect of another SD – metaphor, simile,
irony, as we have in the cases “He has the tread of a rhinoceros” or
“The man was like the Rock of Gibraltar”.
Hyperbole can be expressed by all notional parts of speech. There are
words though, which are used in this SD more often than others. They are
such pronouns as “all”, ”every”, “everybody” and the like. Cf.:
“Calpurnia was all angles and bones” (H. L.); also numerical nouns (“a
million”, “a thousand”), as was shown above; and adverbs of time
The outstanding Russian philologist A. Peshkovsky once stressed the
importance of both communicants clearly perceiving that the
exaggeration, used by one of them is intended as such and serves not to
denote actual quality or quantity but signals the emotional background
of the utterance. If this reciprocal understanding of the intentional
nature of the overstatement is absent, hyperbole turns into a mere lie,
Hyperbole is aimed at exaggerating quantity or quality. When it is
directed the opposite way, when the size, shape, dimensions,
characteristic features of the object are hot overrated, but
intentionally underrated, we deal with understatement. The mechanism of
its creation and functioning is identical with that of hyperbole, and it
does not signify the actual state’ of affairs in reality, but presents
the latter through the emotionally coloured perception and rendering of
the speaker. It is not the actual diminishing or growing of the object
that is conveyed by a hyperbole or understatement. It is a transient
subjective impression that finds its realization in these SDs. They
differ only in the direction of the flow of roused emotions. English is
well known for its preference for understatement in everyday speech – “I
am rather annoyed” instead of “I’m infuriated”, “The wind is rather
strong” instead of “There’s a gale blowing outside” are typical of
British polite speech, but are less characteristic of American English.
Some hyperboles and understatements (both used individually and as the
final effect of some other SD) have become fixed, as we have in “Snow
White”, or “Liliput”, or “Gargantua”.
Trite hyperboles and understatements, reflecting their use in everyday
speech, in creative writing are observed mainly in dialogue, while the
author’s speech provides us with examples of original SDs, often rather
extended or demanding a considerable fragment of the text to be fully
Exercise VII. In the following examples concentrate on cases of
hyperbole and understatement. Pay attention to their originality or
stateness, to other SDs promoting their effect, to exact words
containing the foregrounded emotive meaning:
1. I was scared to death when he entered the room. (S.)
2. The girls were dressed to kill. (J.Br.)
3. Newspapers are the organs of individual men who have jockeyed
themselves to be party leaders, in countries where a new party is born
every hour over a glass of beer in the nearest cafe. (J.R.)
4. I was violently sympathetic, as usual. (Jn.B.)
5. Four loudspeakers attached to the flagpole emitted a shattering roar
of what Benjamin could hardly call music, as if it were played by a
collection of brass bands, a few hundred fire engines, a thousand
blacksmiths’ hammers and the amplified reproduction of a force-twelve
wind. (A. S.)
6. The car which picked me up on that particular guilty evening was a
Cadillac limousine about seventy-three blocks long. (J.B.)
7. Her family is one aunt about a thousand years old. (Sc.F.)
8. He didn’t appear like the same man; then he was all milk and honey –
now he was all starch and vinegar. (D.)
9. She was a giant of a woman. Her bulging figure was encased in a green
crepe dress and her feet overflowed in red shoes. She carried a mammoth
red pocketbook that bulged throughout as if it were stuffed with rocks.
10. She was very much upset by the catastrophe that had befallen the
Bishops, but it was exciting, and she was tickled to death to have
someone fresh to whom she could tell all about it. (S.M.)
11. Babbitt’s preparations for leaving the office to its feeble self
during the hour and a half of his lunch-period were somewhat less
elaborate than the plans for a general European War. (S.M.)
12. The little woman, for she was of pocket size, crossed her hands
solemnly on her middle. (G.)
13. We danced on the handkerchief-big space between the speakeasy
14. She wore a pink hat, the size of a button. (J.R.)
15. She was a sparrow of a woman. (Ph. L.)
16. And if either of us should lean toward the other, even a fraction of
an inch, the balance would be upset. (O.W.)
17. He smiled back, breathing a memory of gin at me. (W.G.)
18. About a very small man in the Navy: this new sailor stood five feet
nothing in sea boots. (Th.P.)
19. She busted herself in her midget kitchen. (T.C.)
20. The rain had thickened, fish could have swum through the air. (T.C.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What meaning is foregrounded in a hyperbole?
2. What types of hyperbole can you name?
3. What makes a hyperbole trite and where are trite hyperboles
4. What is understatement? In what way does it differ from hyperbole?
5. Recollect cases of vivid original hyperboles or understatements from
your English reading.
Oxymoron is a stylistic device the syntactic and semantic structures of
which come to clashes. In Shakespearian definitions of love, much quoted
from his Romeo and Juliet, perfectly correct syntactically, attributive
combinations present a strong semantic discrepancy between their
members. Cf.: “O brawling love! О loving hate! О heavy lightness!
Serious vanity! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!”
As is clearly seen from this string of oxymorons, each one of them is a
combination of two semantically contradictory notions, that help to
emphasize contradictory qualities simultaneously existing in the
described phenomenon as a dialectical unity. As a rule, one of the two
members of oxymoron illuminates the feature which is universally
observed and acknowledged while the other one offers a purely
subjective, individual perception of the object. Thus in an oxymoron we
also deal with the foregrounding of emotive meaning, only of a different
type than the one observed in previously discussed SDs. The most widely
known structure of oxymoron is attributive, so it is easy to believe
that the subjective part of the oxymoron is embodied in the
attribute-epithet, especially because the latter also proceeds from the
foregrounding of the emotive meaning. But there are also others, in
which verbs are employed. Such verbal structures as “to shout mutely”
(I.Sh.) or “to cry silently” (M.W.) seem to strengthen the idea, which
leads to the conclusion that oxymoron is a specific type of epithet. But
the peculiarity of an oxymoron lies in the fact that the speaker’s
(writer’s) subjective view can be expressed through either of the
members of the word combination.
Originality and specificity of oxymoron becomes especially evident in
non-attributive structures which also, not infrequently, are used to
express semantic contradiction, as in “the stree’ damaged by
improvements” (O. H.) or “silence was louder than thunder” (U.).
Oxymorons rarely become trite, for their components, linked forcibly,
repulse each other and oppose repeated use. There are few colloquial
oxymorons, all of them showing a high degree of the speaker’s emotional
involvement in the situation, as in “damn nice”, “awfully pretty”.
Exercise VIII. In the following sentences pay attention to the structure
and semantics of oxymorons. Also indicate which of their members conveys
the individually viewed feature of the object and which one reflects its
generally accepted characteristic:
1. He caught a ride home to the crowded loneliness of the barracks. (J.)
2. Sprinting towards the elevator he felt amazed at his own cowardly
courage. (G. M.)
3. They were a bloody miserable lot – the miserablest lot of men I ever
saw. But they were good to me. Bloody good. (J. St.)
4. He behaved pretty busily to Jan. (D. C.)
5. Well might he perceive the hanging of her hair in fairest quantity in
locks, some curled and some as if it were forgotten, with such a
careless care and an art so hiding art that it seemed she would lay them
for a pattern. (Ph. S.)
6. There were some bookcases of superbly unreadable books. (E.W.)
7. Absorbed as we were in the pleasures of travel – and I in my modest
pride at being the only examinee to cause a commotion – we were over the
old Bridge. (W.G.)
8. “Heaven must be the hell of a place. Nothing but repentant sinners up
there, isn’t it?” (Sh. D.)
9. Harriet turned back across the dim garden. The lightless light looked
down from the night sky. (I.M.)
10. Sara was a menace and a tonic, my best enemy; Rozzie was a disease,
my worst friend. (J. Car.)
11. It was an open secret that Ray had been ripping his father-in-law
12. A neon sign reads “Welcome to Reno – the biggest little town in the
world.” (A. M.)
13. Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield are Good Bad Boys of American
14. Haven’t we here the young middle-aged woman who cannot quite compete
with the paid models in the fashion magazine but who yet catches our
eye? (Jn. H.)
15. Their bitter-sweet union did not last long. (A. C.)
16. He was sure the whites could detect his adoring hatred of them.
17. You have got two beautiful bad examples for parents. (Sc.F.)
18. He opened up a wooden garage. The doors creaked. The garage was full
of nothing. (R.Ch.)
19. She was a damned nice woman, too. (H.)
20. A very likeable young man with a pleasantly ugly face. (A. C.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is an oxymoron and what meanings are foregrounded in its
2. Why are there comparatively few trite oxymorons and where are they
3. Give some examples of trite oxymorons.
After you had learnt individual lexical stylistic devices and the
linguistic mechanism which operates in each of them, we may pass on to
the general stylistic analysis on the lexical level. Your main task is
to indicate how and through what lexical means additional logical,
emotive, expressive information is created. In many cases you will see a
number of lexical units used in convergence to still more enhance the
expressiveness and emphasis of the utterance.
Exercise IX. Pay attention to the stylistic function of various lexical
expressive means used individually and in convergence:
1. Constantinople is noisy, hot, hilly, dirty and beautiful. It is
packed with uniforms and rumors. (H.)
2. At Archie Schwert’s party the fifteenth Marquess of Vanburgh, Earl
Vanburgh de Brendon, Baron Brendon, Lord of the Five Isles and
Hereditary Grand Falconer to the Kingdom of Connaught, said to the
eighth Earl of Balcairn, Viscount Erdinge, Baron Cairn of Balcairn, Red
Knight of Lancaster, Count of the Holy Roman Empire and Chenonceaux
Herald to the Duchy of Aquitaine, “Hullo,” he said. “Isn’t it a
repulsive party? What are you going to say about it?” for they were both
of them as it happened, gossip writers for the daily papers, (E. W.)
3. Across the street a bingo parlour was going full blast; the voice of
the hot dog merchant split the dusk like an axe. The big blue blared
down the street. (R.Ch.)
4. Lester was all alone. He listened to his steps, as if they weren’t
his at all but somebody else’s. How long can a guy stand this without
going nuts? Wattinger has been a good boy but it got him and he was
blown to smithereens; they say they’d seen his arm sailing through the
air; higher and higher, an arm alone rising to meet God. He wondered
whether, up there, they’d accept an arm in place of the whole man. His
soul couldn’t possibly have been in the arm; it was in your heart or in
your guts or in your bram but not in your arm. (St H )
5. For me the work of Gertrude Stein consists in a rebuilding, an entire
new recasting of life, in the city of words. Here is one artist who has
been able to accept ridicule, to go live among the little housekeeping
words, the swaggering bullying street-comer words, the honest working,
money-saving words, and all the other forgotten and neglected citizens
of the sacred and half forgotten city. (Sh. A.)
6. Only a couple of the remaining fighters began to attack the bombers
On they all came, slowly getting larger. The tiny mosquitoes dipped and
swirled and dived in a mad, whirling dance around the heavier, stolid
horseflies, who nevertheless kept serenely and sedately on. (J.)
7 “I guess,” said Mr. Hiram Fish sotto voce to himself and the world at
large, “that this has been a great little old week.” (Ch.)
8. The good ships Law and Equity, those teak-built, copper-bottomed
iron-fastened, brazen-faced, ard not by any means fast-sailing Clippers,
are laid up in ordinary. (D.)
9 An enormous grand piano grinned savagely at the curtains as if it
would grab them, given the chance. (W.G1.)
10. Duffy was face to face with the margin of mistery where all our
calculations collapse, where the stream of time dwindles into the sands
of eternity, where the formula fails in the test-tube, where chaos and
old night hold sway and we hear the laughter in the ether dream. (R.W.)
11. Mrs. Ape watched them benignly, then squaring her shoulders and
looking (except that she had really no beard to speak of) every inch a
sailor strode resolutely forrad to the first-class bar. (E.W.)
12. The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
13. On that little pond the leaves floated in peace and praised Heaven
with their hues, the sunlight haunting over them. (G.)
14. From the throats of the ragged black men, as they trotted up and
down the landing-stage, strange haunting notes. Words were caught up,
tossed about, held in the throat. Word-lovers, sound-lovers – the blacks
seemed to hold a tone in some warm place, under their led tongues
perhaps. Their thick lips were walls under which the tone hid. (Sh. A.)
15. It was a relief not to have to machete my way through a jungle of
what-are-you-talking-aboutery before I could get at him. (J. A.)
16. Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice,
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
17. Outside the narrow street fumed, the sidewalks swarmed with fat
18. The owner, now at the wheel, was the essence of decent
self-satisfaction; a baldish, largish, level-eyed man, rugged of neck
but sleek and round of face – face like the back of a spoon bowl. (S.L.)
19. His fingertips seemed to caress the wheel as he nursed it over the
dark winding roads at a mere whispering sixty. (L. Ch.)
20. We plunged in and out of sun and shadow-pools, and joy, a
glad-to-be-alive exhilaration, jolted through me like a jigger of
nitrogen. (T.C )
21. They were both wearing hats like nothing on earth, which bobbed and
nodded as they spoke. (E.W.)
22. These jingling toys in his pocket were of eternal importance like
baseball or Republican Party. (S.L.)
23. He might almost have been some other man dreaming recurrently that
he was an electrical engineer. On the other side of the edge, waiting
for him to peer into it late at night or whenever he was alone and the
show of work had stopped, was illimitable unpopulated darkness, a
greenland night; and only his continuing heart beats kept him from
disappearing into it. Moving along this edge, doing whatever the day
demanded, or the night offered, grimly observant (for he was not without
fortitude), he noticed much that has escaped him before. He found he was
attending a comedy, a show that would have been very funny indeed if
there had been life outside the theatre instead of darkness and
24. Poetry deals with primal and conventional things – the hunger for
bread, the love of woman, the love of children, the desire for immortal
life. If men really had new sentiments, poetry could not deal with them.
If, let us say, a man felt a bitter craving to eat brass fenders or
mahogany tables, poetry could not express him. If a man, instead of
falling in love with a woman, fell in love with a fossil or a sea
anemone poetry could not express him. Poetry can only express what is
original in one sense -the sense in which we speak of original sin. It
is original not in the paltry sense of being new, but in the deeper
sense of being old; it is original in the sense that it deals with
origins. (G. K. Ch.)
25. His dinner arrived, a plenteous platter of food – but no plate. He
glanced at his neighbors. Evidently plates were an affectation frowned
upon in the Oasis cafe.
Taking up a tarnished knife and fork, he pushed aside the underbrush of
onions and came face to face with his steak.
First impressions are important, and Bob Eden knew at once that this was
no meek, complacent opponent that confronted him. The steak looked back
at him with an air of defiance that was amply justified by what
followed. After a few moments of unsuccessful battling, he summoned the
sheik. “How about a steel knife?” inquired Bob.
“Only got three and they’re all in use,” the waiter replied.
Bob Eden resumed the battle, his elbows held close, his muscles
swelling. With set teeth and grim face he bore down and cut deep. There
was a terrible screech as his knife skidded along the platter, and to
his horror he saw the steak rise from its bed of gravy and onions and
fly from him. It travelled the grimy counter for a second then dropped
on to the knees of the girl and thence to the floor.
Eden turned to meet her blue eyes filled with laughter.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I thought it was a steak, and it seems to be
a lap dog.” (D. B.)
CHAPTER III. SYNTACTICAL LEVEL
Main Characteristics of the Sentence. Syntactical SDs. Sentence Length.
One-Word Sentences. Sentence Structure. Punctuation. Arrangement of
Sentence Members. Rhetorical Question. Types of Repetition. Parallel
Constructions. Chiasmus. Inversion. Suspense. Detachment. Completeness
of Sentence Structure. Ellipsis. One-Member Sentences. Apokoinu
Constructions. Break. Types of Connection. Polysyndeton. Asyndeton.
Stylistic study of the syntax begins with the study of the length and
the structure of a sentence. It appears, the length of any language unit
is a very important factor in information exchange, for the human brain
can receive and transmit information only if the latter is punctuated by
Theoretically speaking a sentence can be of any length, as there are no
linguistic limitations for its growth, so even monstrous constructions
of several hundred words each, technically should be viewed as
Indeed, psychologically, no reader is prepared to perceive as a
syntactical whole those sentences in which the punctuation mark of a
full stop comes after the 124th word (Joyce Carol Oates. Expensive
People), or 128th word (E. Hemingway. The Short Happy Life of Francis
Macomber), or 256th word (T. Pynchon. The Crying of Lot 49), or 631 st
word (N. Mailer. Why Are We in Vietnam ?), or even after 45 whole pages
of the text (J. Joyce. Ulysses).
Unable to specify the upper limit of sentence length we definitely know
its lower mark to be one word. One-word sentences possess a very strong
emphatic impact, for their only word obtains both the word-and the
sentence-stress. The word constituting a sentence also obtains its own
sentence-intonation which, too, helps to foreground the content. Cf.:
“They could keep the Minden Street Shop going until they got the notice
to quit; which mightn’t be for two years. Or they could wait and see
what kind of alternative premises were offered. If the site was good. –
If. Or. And, quite inevitably, borrowing money.” (J.Br.) As you see,
even synsemantic conjunctions, receiving the status of sentences are
noticeably promoted in their semantic and expressive value.
Abrupt changes from short sentences to long ones and then back again,
create a very strong effect of tension and suspense for they serve to
arrange a nervous, uneven, ragged rhythm of the utterance.
There is no direct or immediate correlation between the length and the
structure of a sentence: short sentences may be structurally
complicated, while the long ones, on the contrary, may have only one
subject-predicate pair. Cf.: “Through the windows of the drag-store
Eighth street looked extremely animated with families trooping toward
the center of the town, flags aslant in children’s hands, mother and pa
in holiday attire and sweating freely, with patriarchal automobiles of
neighbouring farmers full of starched youngsters and draped with
bunting.” (J.R.) Almost 50 words of this sentence cluster around one
subject-predicate centre “Eighth street looked animated”.
At the same time very short sentences may boast of two and more clauses,
i.e. may be complex, as we observe in the following cases: “He promised
he’d come if the cops leave.” (J.B.) “Their father who was the poorest
man in town kept turning to the same jokes when he was treated to a beer
or two.” (A. S.) Still, most often, bigger lengths go together with
Not only the clarity and understandability of the sentence but also its
expressiveness depend on the position of clauses, constituting it. So,
if a sentence opens with the main clause, which is followed by dependent
units, such a structure is called loose, is less emphatic and is highly
characteristic of informal writing and conversation. Periodic sentences,
on the contrary, open with subordinate clauses, absolute and participial
constructions, the main clause being withheld until the end. Such
structures are known for their emphasis and are used mainly in creative
prose. Similar structuring of the beginning of the sentence and its end
produces balanced sentences known for stressing the logic and reasoning
of the content and thus preferred in publicist writing.
A word leaving the dictionary to become a member of the sentence
normally loses its polysemy and actualizes only one of its meanings in
the context. The same is true about the syntactical valency: a member of
the sentence fulfils one syntactical function. There are cases, though,
when syntactical ambivalence is preserved by certain members of a
sentence which fact creates semantic ambiguity for it allows at least
two different readings of the sentence. In the now famous quotation from
N. Chomsky “The shooting of the hunters…” the second part may be
regarded both as an attribute (“whose shooting” = who was shooting) and
as аи object (“whose shooting” = who was shot). Another sentence,
composed by Yu. Apresyan to prove the effectiveness of transformational
procedures, shows a much bigger syntactical ambivalence, for practically
each of its members can be viewed as playing more than one syntactical
role, which brings the total number of possible readings of the sentence
to 32 semantic variants. Here it is: “Приглашение рабочих бригад вызвало
осуждение товарища Иванова”.
Sometimes syntactical ambivalence, like the play on words on the lexical
level, is intentional and is used to achieve a humorous effect. Cf.: “Do
you expect me to sleep with you in the room?” (B.Sh.) Depending on the
function of “with you” the sentence may be read “to sleep with you! in
the room” (and not in the field, or in the garden) or “to sleep with you
in the room” (and not alone, or with my mother). The solution lies with
the reader and is explicated in oral communication by the corresponding
pausation and intonation. To convey them in the written form of speech
order of words and punctuation are used.
The possibilities of intonation are much richer than those of
punctuation. Indeed, intonation alone may create, add, change, reverse
both the logical and the emotional information of an utterance.
Punctuation is much poorer and it is used not alone, but emphasizing and
substantiating the lexical and syntactical meanings of
sentence-components. Points of exclamation and of interrogation, dots,
dashes help to specify the meaning of the written sentence which in oral
speech would be conveyed by the intonation. It is not only the emphatic
types of punctuation listed above that may serve as an additional source
of information, but also more conventional commas, semicolons and full
stops. E.g.: “What’s your name?” “John Lewis.” “Mine’s Liza. Watkin.”
(K.K.) The full stop between the name and the surname shows there was a
pause between them and the surname came as a response to the reaction
(surprise, amusement, roused interest) of John Lewis at such an informal
Exercise I. Comment on the length, the structure, thecommunicative type
and punctuation of sentences, indicatingconnotations created by them:
1. The sick child complained that his mother was going to read to him
again from the same book: “What did you bring that book I don’t like to
be read aloud to out of up for?” (E.)
2. Now, although we were little and I certainly couldn’t be dreaming of
taking Fonny from her or anything like that, and although she didn’t
really love Fonny, only thought mat she was supposed to because she had
spasmed him into this woild, already, Penny’s mother didn’t like me.
3. The congregation amened him to death; a big sister, in the pulpit, in
her long white robe, jumped up and did a little shout; they cried. Help
him, Lord Jesus, help him! and the moment he sat down, another sister,
her name was Rose and not much later she was going to disappear from the
church and have a baby – and I still remember the last time I saw her,
when I was about 14 walking the streets in the snow with her face all
marked and her hands all swollen and a rag around her head and her
stockings falling down singing to herself- stood up and started singing.
4. Than Roy no one could show a more genuine cordiality to a fellow
5. Such being at bottom the fact, I think it is well to leave it at
that. (S M.)
6. Yet at least Mucho, the used car salesman, had believed in the cars.
Maybe to excess: how could he not, seeing people poorer than him come
in, Negro, Mexican, cracker, a parade seven days a week, bringing the
most Godawful of trade-ins: motorized metal extensions of themselves, of
their families and what their whole lives must be like, out there so
naked for anybody, a stranger like himself, to look at, frame cockeyed,
rusty underneath, fender repainted in a shade just off enough to depress
the value, if not Mucho himself, inside smelling hopelessly of children,
supermarket booze, two, sometimes three generations of cigarette
smokers, or only of dust – and when the cars were swept out you had to
look at the actual residue of these lives, and there was no way of
telling what things had been truly refused (when so little he supposed
came by that out of fear most of it had to be taken and kept) and what
had simply (perhaps tragically) been lost: clipped coupons promising
savings of 5 to 10 cents, trading stamps, pink flyers advertizing
specials at the market, butts, tooth-shy combs, help-wanted ads. Yellow
Pages torn from the prione book, rags of old underwear or dresses that
were already period costumes, for wiping your own breath off the inside
of a windshield with so you could see whatever it was, a movie, a woman,
or car you coveted, a cop who might pull you over just for drill, all
the bits and pieces coated uniformly, like a salad of despair, in a grey
dressing of ash, condensed exhaust, dust, body wastes – it made him sick
to look, but he had to look (Th.P.)
7. Soldiers with their cartridges gone wandered aimlessly out of the
chapparal, dragging their rifles and plunged into the brush again on the
other side of the railroad, black with powder, streaked with sweat,
their eyes vacantly on the ground. (J.R.)
8. Strolling up and down the Main Street, talking in little groups on
the corners, lounging in and out of strike headquarters were hundreds of
big strong-faced miners in their Sunday best. (J.R.)
9. I am, he thought, a part of all that I have touched and that has
touched me, which having for me no existence save that I gave to it,
became other than itself by being mixed with what I then was, and is now
still otherwise, having fused with what I now am, which is itself a
cumulation of what I have been becoming. (T.W.)
10. I like people. Not just empty streets and dead buildings. People.
People. (P. A.)
11. “You know so much. Where is she?” “Dead. Or in a crazy house. Or
married. I think she’s married and quieted down.” (T.C.)
12. “Jesus Christ! Look at her face!” Surprise. “Her eyes is closed!”
Astonishment. “She likes it!” Amazement.
“Nobody could take my picture doing that!” Moral disgust. “Them goddam
white folks!” Fascinated fear. (Wr.)
13. What courage can withstand the ever-enduring and all-besetting
terrors of a woman’s tongue? (W. I.)
14. “You talk of Christianity when you are in the act of banging your
enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!” (B.Sh.)
15. What is the good of sitting on the throne when other fellows give
all the orders? (B.Sh.)
16. And what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody? (R. Fr)
17. Father, was that you calling me? Was it you, the voiceless and the
dead? Was it you, thus buffeted as you lie here in a heap? Was it you
thus baptized unto Death? (D.)
18. “Let us see the state of the case. The question is simple. The
question, the usual plain, straight-forward, common-sense question. What
can we do for ourself? What can we do for ourself?” (D.)
19. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull narrowed his eyes in fierce
concentration, held his breath, forced one… single – more… inch…
of… curve-Then his feathers raffled, he stalled and fell. (Rch. B.)
20. “Jake, will you get out!” said Magdalen. (I.M.)
21. A boy and a girt sat on stools drinking pop. An elderly man alone –
someone John knew vaguely by sight – the town clerk? – sat behind an
empty Coca-Cola bottle. (P. Q.)
22. What your doctor learned: biggest A.M.A. convention ever is full of
medical news about remedies and treatments he may (sob!) be using on
23. The neon lights in the heart of the city flashed on and off. On and
off. On. Off. On. Off. Continuously. (P. A.)
24. Bagdworthy was in seventh heaven. A murder! At Chimneys! Inspector
Badgworthy in charge of the case. The police have a clue. Sensational
arrest. Promotion and kudos for the afforementioned Inspector. (Ch.)
25. What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief.Too final, certain,
closed. Itself a kind of belief. Doubt. (S.R.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Comment on the length of the sentence and its stylistic relevance.
2. What do you know about one-word sentences?
3. Is there any correlation between the length and the structure of the
4. Can syntactical ambivalence be put to stylistic use?
5. What punctuation marks do you know and what is their stylistic
Punctuation also specifies the communicative type of the sentence. So,
as you well know, a point of interrogation marks a question and a full
stop signals a statement. There are cases though when a statement is
crowned with a question mark. Often this punctuation-change is combined
with the change of word-order, the latter following the pattern of
question. This peculiar interrogative construction which semantically
remains a statement is called a rhetorical question. Unlike an ordinary
question, the rhetorical question does not demand any information but
serves to express the emotions of the speaker and also to call the
attention of listeners. Rhetorical questions make an indispensable part
of oratoric speech for they very successfully emphasize the orator’s
ideas. In fact the speaker knows the answer himself and gives it
immediately after the question is asked. The interrogative intonation
and / or punctuation draw the attention of listeners (readers) to the
focus of the utterance. Rhetorical questions are also often asked in
“unanswerable” cases, as when in distress or anger we resort to phrases
like “What have I done to deserve…” or “What shall I do when…”. The
artificiality of question-form of such constructions is further stressed
by exclamation marks which, alongside points of interrogation, end
The effect of the majority of syntactical stylistic devices depends on
either the completeness of the structure or on the arrangement of its
members. The order in which words (clauses) follow each other is of
extreme importance not only for the logical coherence of the sentence
but also for its connotational meanings. The following sprawling
rambling sentence from E. Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies, with clauses
heaping one over another, testifies to the carelessness, talkativeness
and emotionality of the speaker: “Well, Tony rang up Michael and told
him that I’d said that William, thought Michael had written the review
because of the reviews I had written of Michael’s book last November,
though, as a matter of fact, it was Tony himself who wrote it.” (E.W.)
More examples showing the validity of the syntactical pattern were shown
in Exercise I on the previous page.
One of the most prominent places among the SDs dealing with the
arrangement of members of the sentence decidedly belongs to repetition.
‘ We have already seen the repetition of a phoneme (as in alliteration),
of a morpheme (as in rhyming, or plain morphemic repetition). As a
syntactical SD repetition is recurrence of the same word, word
combination, phrase for two and more times. According to the place which
the repeated unit occupies in a sentence (utterance), repetition is
classified into several types:
1. anaphora: the beginning of two or more successive sentences (clauses)
is repeated – a…, a…, a… . The main stylistic function of anaphora
is hot so much to emphasize the repeated unit as to create the
background textile nonrepeated unit, which, through its novelty, becomes
foregrounded. The background-forming function of anaphora is also
evident from the kind of words which are repeated anaphorically. Pay
attention to their semantics and syntactical function in the sentence
when working with Exercise II.
2. epiphora: the end of successive sentences (clauses) is repeated
-…a, …a, …a. The main function of epiphora is to add stress to the
final words of the sentence.
3 framing: the beginning of the sentence is repeated in the end, thus
forming the “frame” for the non-repeated part of the sentence
(utterance) – a… a. The function of framing is to elucidate the notion
mentioned in the beginning of the sentence. Between two appearances of
the repeated unit there comes the developing middle part of the sentence
which explains and clarifies what was introduced in the beginning, so
that by the time it is used for the second time its semantics is
concretized and specified.
4. catch repetition (anadiplosis). the end of one clause (sentence) is
repeated in the beginning of the following one -…a, a….
Specification of the semantics occurs here too, but on a ‘more modest
5. chain repetition presents several successive anadiploses -…a,
a…b, b…c, c. The effect is that of the smoothly developing logical
6. ordinary repetition has no definite place in the sentence and the
repeated unit occurs in various positions – …a, …a…, a.. .
Ordinary repetition emphasizes both the logical and the emotional
meanings of the reiterated word (phrase).
7. successive repetition is a string of closely following each other
reiterated units – …a, a, a… This is the most emphatic type of
repetition which signifies the peak of emotions of the speaker.
As you must have seen from the brief description, repetition is a
powerful means of emphasis. Besides, repetition adds rhythm and balance
to the utterance. The latter function is the major one in parallel
constructions which may be viewed as a purely syntactical type of
repetition for here we deal with the reiteration of the structure of
several successive sentences (clauses), and not of their lexical
“flesh”. True enough, parallel constructions almost always include some
type of lexical repetition too, and such a convergence produces a very
strong effect, foregrounding at one go logical, rhythmic, emotive and
expressive aspects of the utterance.
Reversed parallelism is called chiasmus. The second part of a chiasmus
is, in fact, inversion of the first construction. Thus, if the first
sentence (clause) has a direct word order – SPO, the second one will
have it inverted – OPS.
Exercise II. From the following examples yon will get a better idea of
the functions of various types of repetition, and also of parallelism
1. I wake up and I’m alone and I walk round Warley and I’m alone; and I
talk with people and I’m alone and I look at his face when I’m home and
it’s dead, (J.Br.)
2. Babbitt was virtuous. He advocated, though he did not practice, the
prohibition of alcohol; he praised, – though he did not obey, the laws
against motor-speeding. (S.L.)
3. “To think better of it,” returned the gallant Blandois, “would be to
slight a lady, to slight a lady would be to be deficient in chivalry
towards the sex, and chivalry towards the sex is a part of my
4. Halfway along the righthand side of the dark brown hall was a dark
brown door with a dark brown settie beside it. After I had put my hat,
my gloves, my muffler and my coat on the settie we three went through
the dark brown door into a darkness without any brown in it. (W.G)
5. I might as well face facts; good-bye “Susan, good-bye a big car,
good-bye a: big house, good-bye power, good-bye the silly handsome
6. I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very
romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite
7. I wanted to knock over the table and hit him until my arm had no
more strength in it, then give him the boot, give him the boot, give him
the boot – I drew a deep breath. (J.Br.)
8. Of her father’s being groundlessly suspected, she felt sure. Sure.
9. Now he understood. He understood many things. One can be a person
first. A man first and then a black man or a white man. (P. A.)
10. She stopped, and seemed to catch the distant sound of knocking.
Abandoning the traveller, she hurried towards the parlour; in the
she assuredly did hear knocking, angry and impatient knocking, the
knocking of someone who thinks he has knocked too long. (A.B.)
11. Obviously – this is a streptococcal infection. Obviously. (W.D.)
12. And a great desire for peace, peace of no matter what kind, swept
through her. (A.B.)
13. When he blinks, a parrot-like look appears, the look of some heavily
blinking tropical bird. (A. M.)
14. And everywhere were people. People going into gates and coming out
of gates. People staggering and falling. People fighting and cursing.
15. Then there was something between them. There was. There was.
16. He ran away from the battle. He was an ordinary human being that
didn’t want to kill or be killed. So he ran away from the battle.
17. Failure meant poverty, poverty meant squalor, squalor led, in the
final stages, to the smells and stagnation of B. Inn Alley. (D. du M.)
18. “Secret Love”, “Autumn Leaves”, and something whose title he missed.
Supper music. Music to cook by. (U.)
19. Living is the art of loving.
Loving is the art of caring.
Caring is the art of sharing.
Sharing is the art of living. (W.H.D.)
20. I came back, shrinking from my father’s money, shrinking from my
father’s memory: mistrustful of being forced on a mercenary wife,
mistrustful of my father’s intention in thrusting that marriage on me,
mistrustful that I was already growing avaricious, mistrustful that I
was slackening in gratitude to the dear noble honest friends who had
made the only sunlight in my childish life. (D.)
21. If you know anything that is not known to others, if you have any
suspicion, if you have any clue at “all, and any reason for keeping it
in your own breast, think of me, and conquer that reason and let it be
22. I notice that father’s is a large hand, but never a heavy one when
it touches me, and that father’s is a rough voice but never an angry one
when it speaks to me. (D.)
23. From the offers of marriage that fell to her Dona Clara,
deliberately, chose the one that required her removal to Spain. so to
Spain she went. (O.W.)
24. There lives at least one being who can never change – one being who
would be content to devote his whole existence to your happiness – who
lives but in your eyes – who breathes but in your smile – who bears the
heavy burden of life itself only for you. (D.) 25. It is she, in
association with whom, saving that she has been for years a main fibre
of the roof of his dignity and pride, he has never had a selfish
thought. It is she, whom he has loved, admired, honoured and set up for
the world to respect. It is she, who, at the core of all the constrained
formalities and conventionalities of his life, has been a stock of
living tenderness and love. (D.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is a rhetorical question?
2. What types of repetition do you know?
3. Comment on the functions of repetition which you observed in your
4. Which type of repetition have you met most often? What, in your
opinion, makes it so popular?
5. What constructions are called parallel?
6. Have you ever observed chiasmus? What is it?
Inversion which was briefly mentioned in the definition of chiasmus is
very often used as an independent SD in which the direct word order is
changed either completely so that the predicate (predicative) precedes
the subject; or partially so that the object precedes the
subject-predicate pair. Correspondingly, we differentiate between
partial and a complete inversion.
The stylistic device of inversion should not be confused with
grammatical inversion which is a norm in interrogative constructions.
Stylistic inversion deals with the rearrangement of the normative word
order. Questions may also be rearranged: “Your mother is at home?” asks
one of the characters of J. Baldwin’s novel. The inverted question
presupposes the answer with more certainty than the normative one. It is
. the assuredness of the speaker of the positive answer that constitutes
additional information which is brought into the question by the
inverted wprd order. Interrogative constructions with the direct word
order may. be viewed as cases of two-step (double) inversion: direct w/o
—» grammatical inversion —» direct w/o.
Still another SD dealing with the arrangement of members of the sentence
is suspense – a deliberate postponement of the completion of the
sentence. The term “suspense” is also used in literary criticism to
denote an expectant uncertainty about the outcome of the plot. To hold
the reader in suspense means to keep the final solution just out of
sight. Detective and adventure stories are examples of suspense fiction.
The – theme, that which is known, and the rheme, that which is new, of
the sentence are distanced from each other and the new information is
withheld, creating the tension of expectation. Technically, suspense is
organized with the help of embedded clauses (homogeneous members)
separating the predicate from the subject and introducing less important
facts and details first, while the expected information of major
importance is reserved till the end of the sentence (utterance).
A specific arrangement of sentence members is observed in detachment, a
stylistic device based on singling out a secondary member of the
sentence with the help of punctuation (intonation). The word-order here
is not violated, but secondary members obtain their own stress and
intonation because they are detached from the rest of the sentence by
commas, dashes or even a full stop as in the following cases: “He had
been nearly killed, ingloriously, in a jeep accident.” (I.Sh.) “I have
to beg you for money. Daily.” (S.L.) Both “ingloriously” and “daily”
remain adverbial modifiers, occupy their proper normative places,
following the modified verbs, but – due to detachment and the ensuing
additional pause and stress – are foregrounded into the focus of the
Exercise III. Find and analyse cases of detachment, suspense and
inversion. Comment on the structure and functions of each:
1. She narrowed her eyes a trifle at me and said I looked exactly like
Celia Briganza’s boy. Around the mouth. (S.)
2. He observes it all with a keen quick glance, not unkindly, and full
rather of amusement than of censure. (V.W.)
3. She was crazy about you. In the beginning. (R.W.)
4. How many pictures of new journeys over pleasant country, of resting
places under the free broad sky, of rambles in the fields and woods, and
paths not often trodden-how many tones of that one well-remembered
voice, how many glimpses of the form, the fluttering dress, the hair
that waved so gaily in the wind – how many visions of what had been and
what he hoped was yet to be – rose up before him in the old, dull,
silent church! (D.)
5. It Was not the monotonous days uncheckered by variety anduncheered by
pleasant companionship, it was not the dark dreary eveningsor the long
solitary nights, it was not the absence of every slight and easypleasure
for which young hearts beat high or the knowing nothing ofchildhood but
its weakness and its easily wounded spirit, that had wrungsuch tears
from Nell. (D.)
6. Of all my old association, of all my old pursuits and hopes, of all
the living and the dead world, this one poor soul alone comes natural to
7. Corruption could not spread with so much success, though reduced into
a system, and though some ministers, with equal impudence and folly,
avowed it by themselves and their advocates, to be the principal
expedient by which they governed; if a long and almost unobserved
progression of causes and effects did not prepare the conjuncture.
8. I have been accused of bad taste. This has disturbed me not so much
for my own sake (since I am used to the slights and arrows of outrageous
fortune) as for the sake of criticism in general. (S.M.)
9. On, on he wandered, night and day, beneath the blazing sun, and the
cold pale moon; through the dry heat of noon, and the damp cold of
night; in the grey light of morn, and the red, glare of eve. (D.)
10. Benny Collan, a respected guy, Benny Collan wants to marry her. An
agent could ask for more? (T.C.)
11. Women are not made for attack. Wait they must. (J. C.)
12. Out came the chase – in went the horses – on sprang the boys -in got
the travellers. (D.)
13. Then he said: “You think it’s so? She was mixed up in this lousy
14. And she saw that Gopher Prairie was merely an enlargement of all the
hamlets which they had been passing. Only to the eyes of a Kennicot was
it exceptional. (S.L.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What syntactical stylistic devices dealing with arrangement of
sentence members do you remember?
2. What types of inversion do you know? Which of them have you met more
often and why?
3. What is suspense, how is it arranged and what is Us function?
4. What do you know about detachment and punctuation used with detached
5. What sentence members are most often detached?
6. Find in your reading material cases of all syntactical SDs based on
the re-arrangement or intended specific arrangement of sentence members.
The second, somewhat smaller, group of syntactical SDs deals not so much
with specificities of the arrangement as with the completeness of
sentence-structure. The most prominent place here belongs to ellipsis,
or deliberate omission of at least one member of the sentence, as in the
famous quotation from Macbeth: What! all my pretty chickens and their
dam // at one fell swoop?
In contemporary prose ellipsis is mainly used in dialogue where it is
consciously employed by the author to reflect the natural omissions
characterizing oral colloquial speech. Often ellipsis is met close to
dialogue, in author’s introductory remarks commenting the speech of the
characters. Elliptical remarks in prose resemble stage directions in
drama. Both save only the most vital information letting out those bits
of it which can be easily reassembled from the situation. It is the
situational nature of our everyday speech which heavily relies on both
speakers’ awareness of the conditions and details of the communication
act that promotes normative colloquial omissions. Imitation of these
oral colloquial norms is created by the author through ellipsis, with
the main function of achieving the authenticity and plausibility of
Ellipsis is the basis of the so-called telegraphic style, in which
connectives and redundant words are left out. In the early twenties
British railways had an inscription over luggage racks in the carriages:
“The use of this rack for heavy and bulky packages involves risk of
injury to passengers and is prohibited.” Forty years later it was
reduced to the elliptical: “For light articles only.” The same progress
from full completed messages to clipped phrases was made in drivers’
directions: “Please drive slowly” “Drive slowly” “Slow”.
The biggest contributors to the telegraphic style are one-member
sentences, i.e. sentences consisting only of a nominal group, which is
semantically and communicatively self-sufficient. Isolated verbs,
proceeding from the ontological features of a verb as a part of speech,
cannot be considered one-member sentences as they always rely on the
context for their semantic fulfilment and are thus heavily ellipticized
sentences. In creative prose one-member sentences are mostly used in
descriptions (of nature, interior, appearance, etc.), where they produce
the effect of a detailed but laconic picture foregrounding its main
components; and as the background of dialogue, mentioning the emotions,
attitudes, moods of the speakers.
In apokoinu constructions the omission of the pronominal (adverbial)
connective creates a blend of the main and the subordinate clauses so
that the predicative or the object of the first one is simultaneously
used as the subject of the second one. Cf: “There was a door led into
the kitchen.” (Sh. A.) “He was the man killed that deer.” (R.W.) The
double syntactical function played by one word produces the general
impression of clumsiness of speech and is used as a means of speech
characteristics in dialogue, in reported speech and the type of
narrative known as “entrusted” in which the author entrusts the telling
of the story to an imaginary narrator who is either an observer or
participant of the described events.
The last SD which promotes the incompleteness of sentence structure is
break (aposiopesis). Break is also used mainly in the, dialogue or in
other forms of narrative imitating spontaneous oral speech. It reflects
the emotional or/and the psychological state of the speaker: a sentence
may be broken because the speaker’s emotions prevent him from finishing
it. Another cause of the break is the desire to cut short the
information with which the sentence began. In such cases there are
usually special remarks by the author, indicating the intentional
abruptness of the end. (See examples in Exercise IV). In many cases
break is the result of the speaker’s uncertainty as to what exactly he
is to promise (to threaten, to beg).
To mark the break, dashes and dots are used. It is only in cast-iron
structures that full stops may also appear, as in the well-known phrases
“Good intentions, but”, or “It depends”.
Exercise IV. Discuss different types of stylistic devices dealing with
the completeness of the sentence:
1. In manner, close and dry. In voice, husky and low. In face, watchful
behind a blind. (D.)
2. Malay Camp. A row of streets crossing another row of streets. Mostly
narrow streets. Mostly dirty streets. Mostly dark streets. (P. A.)
3. His forehead was narrow, his face wide, his head large, and his nose
all on one side. (D.)
4. A solemn silence: Mr. Pickwick humorous, the old lady serious, the
fat gentleman cautious and Mr. Miller timorous. (D.)
5. He, and the falling light and dying fire, the time-worn room, the
solitude, the wasted life, and gloom, were all in fellowship. Ashes, and
dust, and ruin! (D.)
6. She merely looked at him weakly. The wonder of him! The beauty of
love! Her desire toward him! (Dr.)
7. Ever since he was a young man, the hard life on Earth, the panic of
2130, the starvation, chaos, riot, want. Then bucking through the
planets, the womanless, loveless years, the alone years. (R.Br.)
8. H. The waves, how are the waves? C.: The waves? Lead. H.: And the
sun? C.: Zero.
H.: But it should be sinking. Look again. C.: Damn the sun. H.: Is it
night already then? C: No.
H.: Then what is it? C: Grey! Grey! GREY! H.: Grey! Did I hear you say
grey? C.: Light black. From pole to pole. (S. B.)
9. I’m a horse doctor, animal man. Do some farming, too. Near Tulip,
10. “I’ll go, Doll! I’ll go!” This from Bead, large eyes larger than
usual behind his hornrimmed glasses. (J.)
11. A black February day. Clouds hewn of ponderous timber weighing down
on the earth: an irresolute dropping of snow specks upon the trampled
wastes. Gloom but no veiling of angularity. The second day of
Kennicott’s absence. (S.L.)
12. And we got down at the bridge. White cloudy sky, with
mother-of-pearl veins. Pearl rays shooting through, green and
blue-white. River roughed by a breeze. White as a new file in the
distance. Fish-white streak on the smooth pin-silver upstream. Shooting
new pins. (J. C.)
13. This is a story how a Baggins had an adventure. He may have lost the
neighbours’ respect, but he gained – well, you will see whether he
gained anything in the end. (A. T.)
14. “People liked to be with her. And —” She paused again, ” – and she
was crazy about you.” (R.W.)
15. What I had seen of Patti didn’t really contradict Kitty’s view of
her: a girl who means well, but. (D.U.)
16. “He was shouting out that he’d come back, that his mother had better
have the money ready for him. Or else! That is what he said: “Or else!”
It was a threat.” (Ch.)
17. “Listen, I’ll talk to the butler over that phone and he’ll know my
voice. Will that pass me in or do I have to ride on your back?”
“I just work here,” he said softly. “If I didn’t —” he let the rest hang
in the air, and kept on smiling. (R.Ch.)
18. I told her, “You’ve always acted the free woman, you’ve never let
any thing stop you from —” He checks himself, goes on hurriedly. “That
made her sore.” (J.O’H.)
19. “Well, they’ll get a chance now to show -” Hastily: “I don’t mean –
But let’s forget that.” (O’N.)
20. And it was unlikely that anyone would trouble to look there -until –
until – well. (Dr.)
21. There was no breeze came through the door. (H.)
22. I love Nevada. Why, they don’t even have mealtimes here. I never met
so many people didn’t own a watch. (A. M.)
23. Go down to Lord and Taylors or someplace and get yourself something
real nic&to impress the boy invited you. (J. K.)
24. There was a whisper in my family that it was love drove him out and
not love of the wife he married. (J. St.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What syntactical stylistic devices deal with the completeness of
2. What types of ellipses do you know and where is each of them used
3. What member of the sentence represents “one-member sentences”?
4. Where are apokoinu constructions used?
5. What additional information about the act of communication and its
participants is conveyed by the
6. What punctuation is used in the break?
7. Find examples of the above-mentioned SDs in your reading.
The arrangement of sentence members, the completeness of sentence
structure necessarily involve various types of connection used within
the sentence or between sentences. Repeated use of conjunctions is
called polysyndeton; deliberate omission of them is, correspondingly,
named asyndeton. Both polysyndeton and asyndeton, have a strong rhythmic
impact. Besides, the function of polysyndeton is to strengthen the idea
of equal logical (emotive) importance of connected sentences, while
asyndeton, cutting off connecting words, helps to create the effect of
terse, energetic, active prose.
These two types of connection are more characteristic of the author’s
speech. The third type – attachment (gap-sentence, leaning sentence,
link) on the contrary,’ is mainly to be found in various representations
of the voice of the personage – dialogue, reported speech, entrusted
narrative. In the attachment the second part of the utterance is
separated from the first one by a full stop though their semantic and
grammatical ties remain very strong. The second part appears as an
afterthought and is often connected with the beginning of the utterance
with the help of a conjunction, which brings the latter into the
foregrounded opening position. Cf: “It wasn’t his fault. It was yours.
And mine. I now humbly beg you to give me the money with which to buy
meals for you to eat. And hereafter do remember it: the next time I
shan’t beg. I shall simply starve.” (S.L.); “Prison is where she
belongs. And my husband agrees one thousand per cent.” (T.C.)
Exercise V. Specify stylistic functions of the types of connection given
1. Then from the town pour Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women
in trousers and rubber coats and oilcloth aprons. They come running to
clean and cut and pack and cook and can the fish. The whole street
rumbles and groans and screams and rattles while the silver rivers of
fish pour in out of the boats and the boats rise higher and higher in
the water until they are empty. The canneries rumble and rattle and
squeak until the last fish is cleaned and cut and cooked and canned and
then the whistles scream again and the dripping smelly tired Wops and
Chinamen and Polaks, men and women struggle out and droop their ways up
the hill into the town and Cannery Row becomes itself again – quiet and
magical. (J. St.)
2. “What sort of a place is Dufton exactly?”
“A lot of mills. And a chemical factory. And a Grammar school and a war
memorial and a river that runs different colours each day. And a cinema
and fourteen pubs. That’s really all one can say about it.” (J.Br.)
3. By the time he had got all the bottles and dishes and knives and
forks and glasses and plates and spoons and things piled up on big
trays, he was getting very hot, and red in the face, and annoyed. (A.
4. Bella soaped his face and rubbed his face, and soaped his hands and
rubbed his hands, and splashed him, and rinsed him, and towelled him,
until he was as red as beetroot. (D.)
5. Secretly, after the nightfall, he visited the home of the Prime
Minister. He examined it from top to bottom. He measured all the doors
and windows. He took up the flooring. He inspected the plumbing. He
examined the furniture. He found nothing. (L.)
6. With these hurried words Mr. Bob Sawyer pushed the postboy on one
side, jerked his friend into the vehicle, slammed the door, put up the
steps, wafered the bill on the street-door, locked it, put the key into
his pocket, jumped into the dickey, gave the word for starting. (D.)
7. “Well, guess it’s about time to turn in.” He yawned, went out to look
at the thermometer, slammed the door, patted her head, unbuttoned his
waistcoat, yawned, wound the clock, went to look at the furnace, yawned
and clumped upstairs to bed, casually scratching his thick woolen
8. “Give me an example,” I said quietly. “Of something that means
something. In your opinion.” (T.C.)
9. “I got a small apartment over the place. And, well, sometimes I stay
over. In the apartment. Like the last few nights.” (D.U.)
10. “He is a very deliberate, careful guy and we trust each other
completely. With a few reservations.” (D.U.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What types of connecting syntactical units do you know? Which of them
are used to create additional information and achieve a specific effect?
2. Speak about asyndeton and its functions.
3. Discuss polysyndeton. Give some examples from your reading.
4. What is attachment? When and where is it used? Have you met it in
Lexico-Syntactical Stylistic Devices Antithesis.
Climax. Anticlimax. Simile. Litotes. Periphrasis
Syntactical stylistic devices add logical, emotive, expressive
information to the utterance regardless of lexical meanings of sentence
components. There are certain structures though, whose emphasis depends
not only on the arrangement of sentence members but also on the
lexico-semantic aspect of the utterance. They are known as
Antithesis is a good example of them: syntactically, antithesis is just
another case of parallel constructions. But unlike parallelism, which is
indifferent to the semantics of its components, the two parts of an
antithesis must be semantically opposite to each other, as in the sad
maxim of O.Wilde: “Some people have much to live on, and little to live
for”, where “much” and “little” present a pair of antonyms, supported by
the ‘ contextual opposition of postpositions “on” and “for”. Another
example: “If we don’t know who gains by his death we do know who loses
by it.” (Ch.) Here, too, we have the leading antonymous pair “gam –
lose” and the supporting one, made stronger by the emphatic form of the
affirmative construction – “don’t know / do know”.
Antithesis as a semantic opposition emphasized by its realization in
similar structures, is often observed on lower levels of language
hierarchy, especially on the morphemic level where two antonymous
affixes create a powerful effect of contrast: “Their pre-money wives did
not go together with their post-money daughters.” (H.)
The main function of antithesis is to stress the heterogeneity of the
described phenomenon, to show that the latter is a dialectical unity of
two (or more) opposing features.
Exercise I. Discuss the semantic centres and structural peculiarities of
1. Mrs. Nork had a large home and a small husband. (S.L.)
2. In marriage the upkeep of woman is often the downfall of man. (Ev.)
3. Don’t use big words. They mean so little. (O.W.)
4. I like big parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t
any privacy. (Sc.F.)
5. There is Mr. Guppy, who was at first as open as the sun at noon, but
who suddenly shut up as close as midnight. (D.)
6. Such a scene as there was when Kit came in! Such a confusion of
tongues, before the circumstances were related and the proofs disclosed!
Such a dead silence when all was told! (D.)
7. Rup wished he could be swift, accurate, compassionate and stern
instead of clumsy and vague and sentimental. (I.M.)
8. His coat-sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a
great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes. (D.)
9. There was something eery about the apartment house, an unearthly
quiet that was a combination of overcarpeting and underoccupancy.
10. It is safer to be married to the man you can be happy with than to
the man you cannot be happy without. (E.)
11. Then came running down stairs a gentleman with whiskers, out of
12. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age
of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it
was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the
season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of
despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were
all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in
short the period was so far like the present period, that some of its
noisiest authorities insisted on its being received for good or for
evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (D.)
13. Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating
noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.
Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron, and rust and
splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine
canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses
and little crowded groceries and laboratories and flophouses. Its
inhabitants are, as the man once said “Whores, pimps, gamblers and sons
of bitches”, by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through
another peephole he might have said “Saints and angels and martyrs and
holy men” and he would have meant the same thing. (J. St.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Comment on linguistic properties of sentences which are foregrounded
in lexico-syntactical stylistic devices.
2. What do you know about antithesis? Why is it viewed separately from
3. Have you ever met, in your home-reading, cases of antithesis in which
the structure of a word was also used in the creation of the SD?
Another type of semantically complicated parallelism is presented by
climax, in which each next word combination (clause, sentence) is
logically more important or emotionally stronger and more explicit:
“Better to borrow, better to beg, better to die!” (D.) “I am firm, thou
art obstinate, he is pig-headed.” (B.Ch.) If to create antithesis we use
antonyms (or their contextual equivalents), in climax we deal with
strings of synonyms or at least semantically related words belonging to
the same thematic group.
The negative form of the structures participating in the formation of
climax reverses the order in which climax-components are used, as in the
following examples: “No tree, no shrub, no blade of grass that was not
owned.” (G.) It is the absence of substance or quality that is being
emphasized by the negative form of the climax, this is why relative
synonyms are arranged not in the ascending but in the descending order
as to the expressed quality or quantity. Cf.: “Be careful,” said Mr.
Jingle. “Not a look.” “Not a wink,” said Mr. Tupman. “Not a syllable.
Not a whisper.” (D.)
Proceeding from the nature of the emphasized phenomenon it is possible
to speak of logical, emotive or quantitative types of climax. The most
widely spread model of climax is a three-step construction, in which
intensification of logical importance, of emotion or quantity (size,
dimensions) is gradually rising Step by step. In emotive climax though,
we rather often meet a two-step structure, in which the second part
repeats the first one and is further strengthened by an intensifier, as
in the following instances: “He was so helpless, so very helpless.”
(W.D.) “She felt better, immensely better.” (W.D.) “I have been so
unhappy here, so very very unhappy.” (D.)
Climax suddenly interrupted by an unexpected turn of the thought which
defeats expectations of the reader (listener) and ends in complete
semantic reversal of the emphasized idea, is called anticlimax. To
the abruptness of the change emphatic punctuation (dash, most often) is
used between the ascending and the descending parts of the anticlimax.
Quite a few paradoxes are closely connected with anticlimax.
Exercise II. Indicate the type of climax. Pay attention to its structure
and the semantics of its components:
1. He saw clearly that the best thing was a cover story or camouflage.
As he wondered and wondered what to do, he first rejected a stop as
impossible, then as improbable, then as quite dreadful. (W.G.)
2. “Is it shark?” said Brody. The possibility that he at last was going
to confront the fish – the beast, the monster, the nightmare – made
Brody’s heart pound. (P.B.)
3. If he had got into the gubernatorial primary on his own hook, he
would have taken a realistic view. But this was different. He had been
called. He had been touched. He had been summoned. (R.W.)
4. We were all in аll tо one another, it was the morning of life, it was
bliss, it was frenzy, it was everything else of that sort in the highest
5. Like a well, like a vault, like a tomb, the prison had no knowledge
of the brightness outside. (D.)
6. “I shall be sorry, I shall be truly sorry to leave you, my friend.”
7. “Of course it’s important. Incredibly, urgently, desperately
8. “I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister
when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the
address was like this: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Graver’s Corners;
Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America.” “What’s funny
about it?” “But listen, it’s not finished: the United States of America;
Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar
System; the Universe; the Mind of God – that’s what it said on the
9. “You have heard of Jefferson Brick, I see. Sir,” quoth the Colonel
with a smile. “England has heard of Jefferson Brick. Europe has heard of
Jefferson Brick.” (D.)
10. After so many kisses and promises – the lie given to her dreams, her
words, the lie given to kisses, hours, days, weeks, months of
unspeakable bliss. (Dr.)
11. For that one instant there was no one else in the room, in the
house, in the world, besides themselves. (M.W.)
12. Fledgeby hasn’t heard of anything. “No, there’s not a word of news,”
says Lammle. “Not a particle,” adds Boots. “Not an atom,” chimes in
13. Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover
everything except the obvious. (O.W.)
14. This was appalling – and soon forgotten. (G.)
15. He was unconsolable – for an afternoon. (G.)
16. In moments of utter crises my nerves act in the most extraordinary
way. When utter disaster seems imminent, my whole being is
simultaneously braced to avoid it. I size up the situation in a flash,
set my teeth, contract my muscles, take a firm grip of myself, and
without a tremor always do the wrong thing. (B.Sh.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Speak about the SD of climax and its types.
2. In what way does the structure of an emotive climax differ from that
of other types?
3. What can you say about the negative form of the climax?
4. What is an anticlimax?
5. Is every paradox expressed by a climax?
A structure of three components is presented in a stylistic device
extremely popular at all times – simile. Simile is an imaginative
comparison of two unlike objects belonging to two different classes. The
one which is compared is called the tenor, the one with which it is
compared, is called the vehicle. The tenor and the vehicle form the two
semantic poles of the simile, which are connected by one of the
following link words “like”, “as”, “as though”, “as like”, “such as”,
“as…as”, etc. Simile should not be confused with simple (logical,
ordinary) comparison. Structurally identical, consisting of the tenor,
the vehicle and the uniting formal element, they are semantically
different: objects belonging to the same class are likened in a simple
comparison, while in a simile we deal with the likening of objects
belonging to two different classes. So, “She is like her mother” is a
simple comparison, used to state an evident fact. “She is like a rose”
is a simile used for purposes of expressive evaluation, emotive
explanation, highly individual description.
The tenor and the vehicle may be expressed in a brief “nucleus” manner,
as in the above example, or may be extended. This last case of sustained
expression of likeness is known as epic, or Homeric simile.
If you remember, in a metaphor two unlike objects (actions, phenomena)
were identified on the grounds of possessing one common characteristic.
In a simile two objects are compared on the grounds of similarity of
some quality. This feature which is called foundation of a simile, may
be explicitly mentioned as in: “He stood immovable like a rock in a
torrent” (J.R.), or “His muscles are hard as rock”. (T.C.) You see that
the “rock” which is the vehicle of two different similes offers two
different qualities as their foundation – “immovable” in the first case,
and “hard” in the second. When the foundation is not explicitly named,
the simile is considered to be richer in possible associations, because
the fact that a phenomenon can be qualified in multiple and varying ways
allows attaching at least some of many qualities to the object of
comparison. So “the rose” of the previous case allows to simultaneously
foreground such features as “fresh, beautiful, fragrant, attractive”,
etc. Sometimes the foundation of the simile is not quite clear from the
context, and the author supplies it with a key, where he explains which
similarities led him to liken two different entities, and which in fact
is an extended and detailed foundation. Cf.: “The conversations she
began behaved like green logs: they fumed but would not fire.” (T.C.)
A simile, often repeated, becomes trite and adds to the stock of
language phraseology. Most of trite similes have the foundation
mentioned and conjunctions “as”, “as…as” used as connectives. Cf.: “as
brisk as a bee”, “as strong as a horse”, “as live as a bird” and many
Similes in which the link between the tenor and the vehicle is expressed
by notional verbs such as “to resemble”, “to seem”, “to recollect”, “to
remember”, “to look like”, “to appear”, etc. are called disguised,
because the realization of the comparison is somewhat suspended, as the
likeness between the objects seems less evident. Cf.: “His strangely
taut, full-width grin made his large teeth resemble a dazzling miniature
piano keyboard in the green light.” (J.) Orf “The ball appeared to the
batter to be a slow spinning planet looming toward the earth.” (В. М.)
Exercise III. Discuss the following cases of simile. Pay attention to
the semantics of the tenor and the vehicle, to the briefer sustained
manner of their presentation. Indicate the foundation of the simile,
both explicit and implicit. Find examples of disguised similes, do not
miss the link word joining the two parts of the structure:
1. The menu was rather less than a panorama, indeed, it was as
repetitious as a snore. (O.N.)
2. The topic of the Younger Generation spread through the company like a
3. Penny-in-the-slot machines stood there like so many vacant faces,
their dials glowing and flickering – for nobody. (B.N.)
4. As wet as a fish – as dry as a bone;
As live as a bird – as dead as a stone; As plump as a partridge – as
crafty as a rat;
As strong as a horse – as weak as a cat; As hard as a flint – as soft as
a mole; As white as a lily – as black as coal; As plain as a pike – as
rough as a bear; As tight as a dram – as free as the air; As heavy as
lead – as light as a feather; As steady as time – uncertain as weather;
As hot as an oven – as cold as a frog; As gay as a lark – as sick as a
dog; As savage as a tiger – as mild as ц dove; As stiff as a poker – as
limp as a glove; As blind as a bat – as deaf as a post; As cool as a
cucumber – as warm as toast; As flat as a flounder – as round as a ball;
As blunt as a hammer – as sharp as an awl; As brittle as glass – as
tough as gristle; As neat as a pin – as clean as a whistle; As red as a
rose – as square as a box. (O.N.)
5. She has always been as live as a bird. (R.Ch.)
6. She was obstinate as a mule, always had been, from a child. (G.)
7. Children! Breakfast is just as good as any other meal and I won’t
have you gobbling like wolves. (Th.W.)
8. Six o’clock still found him in indecision. He had had no appetite for
lunch and the muscles of his stomach fluttered as though a flock of
sparrows was beating their wings against his insides. (Wr.)
9. And the cat, released, leaped and perched on her shoulder: his tail
swinging like a baton, conducting rhapsodic music. (T.C.)
10. He felt that his presence must, like a single drop of some stain,
tincture the crystal liquid that was absolutely herself. (R.W.)
11. He has a round kewpie’s face. He looks like an enlarged, elderly,
bald edition of the village fat boy, a sly fat boy, congenitally
indolent, a practical joker, a born grafter and con merchant. (O’N.)
12. You could have knocked me down with a feather when he said all those
things to me. I felt just like Balaam when his ass broke into light
13. Two footmen leant against the walls looking as waxen as the clumps
of flowers sent up that morning from hothouses in the country. (E.W.)
14. The Dorset Hotel was built in the early eighteen hundreds and my
room, like many an elderly lady, looks its best in subdued light.
15. For a long while – for many years in fact – he had not thought of
how it was before he came to the farm. His memory of those times was
like a house where no one lives and where the furniture has rotted away.
But tonight it was as if lamps had been lighted through all the gloomy
dead rooms. (T.C.)
16. It was an unforgettable face, and a tragic face. Its sorrow welled
out of it as purely, naturally and unstoppably as water out of a
woodland spring. (J.F.)
17. He ached from head to foot, all zones of pain seemingly
interdependent. He was rather like a Christmas tree whose lights wired
in series, must all go out if even one bulb is defective. (S.)
18. Indian summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle,
she comes and goes as she pleases so that one is never sure whether she
will come at all nor for how long she will stay. (Gr.M.)
19. You’re like the East, Dinny. One loves it at first sight or not at
all and one never knows it any better. (G.)
20. He felt like an old book: spine defective, covers dull, slight
foxing, fly missing, rather shaken copy. (J.Br.)
21. Susan at her piano lesson, playing that thing of Scarlatti’s. The
sort of music, it struck him, that would happen if the bubbles in a
magnum of champagne were to rush up rhythmically and as they reached the
surface, burst into sound as dry and tangy as the wine from whose depth
they had arisen. The simile pleased him so much. (A.H.)
22. There was no moon, a clear dark, like some velvety garment, was
wrapped around the trees, whose thinned branches, resembling plumes,
stirred in the still, warm air. (G.)
23. There are in every large chicken-yard a number of old and indignant
hens who resemble Mrs. Bogart and when they are served at Sunday noon
dinner, as fricasseed chicken with thick dumplings, they keep up the
24. H.G.Wells r.eminded her of the rice paddies in her native
California. Acres and acres of shiny water but never more than two
inches deep. (A.H.)
25. On the wall hung an amateur oil painting of what appeared to be a
blind man’s conception of fourteen whistling swan landing simultaneously
in the Atlantic during a half-gale. (Jn.B.)
26. Today she had begun by watching the flood. The water would crouch
and heave at a big boulder fallen off the bluff-side and the
red-and-white foam would fly. It reminded her of the blood-streaked foam
every heave would fling out of the nostrils of a windbroke horse. (R.W.)
27. I’m not nearly hot enough to draw a word-picture that would do
justice to that extraordinarily hefty crash. Try to imagine the Albert
Hall falling on the Crystal Palace and you will have got the rough
28. Her startled glance descended like a beam of light, and settled for
a moment on the man’s face. He was fortyish and rather fat, with a
moustache that made her think of the yolk of an egg, and a nose that
spread itself. His face had an injected redness. (W.D.)
29. Huddled in her grey fur against the sofa cushions she had a strange
resemblance to a captive owl bunched in its soft feathers against the
wires of a cage. The supple erectness of her body was gone, as though
she had been broken by cruel exercise, as though there were no longer
any reason for being beautiful, and supple, and erect. (G.)
30. Someone might have observed in him a peculiar resemblance to those
plaster reproductions of the gargoyles of Notre Dame which may be seen
in the shop windows of artists’ colourmen. (E.W.)
31. Walser felt the strangest sensation, as if these eyes of the trapeze
gymnast were a pair of sets of Chinese boxes, as if each one opened into
a world into a world, an infinite plurality of worlds, and these
unguessable guests exercised the strongest possible attraction, so that
he felt himself trembling as if he, too, stood on an unknown threshold.
32. All was elegant, even sumptuous, finished with a heavy rather queasy
luxury that always seemed to have grime under its fingernails, the
luxury peculiar to this country. (An.C.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is a simile and what is a simple comparison?
2. What semantic poles of a simile do you know?
3. Which of the link words have you met most often?
4. What is the foundation of the simile?
5. What is the key of the simile?
6. What is a trite simile? Give examples.
7. What is an epic simile?
8. What is a disguised simile?
9. What are the main functions of a simile?
10. Find examples of similes in your reading. State their type,
structure and functions.
Litotes is a two-component structure in which two negations are joined
to give a positive evaluation. Thus “not unkindly” actually means
“kindly”, though the positive effect is weakened and some lack of the
speaker’s confidence in his statement is implied. The first component of
a litotes is always the negative particle “not”, while the second,
always negative in semantics, varies in form from a negatively affixed
word (as above) to a negative phrase.
Litotes is especially expressive when the semantic centre of the whole •
structure is stylistically or/and emotionally coloured, as in the case
of the following occasional creations: “Her face was not
unhandsome” (A.H.) or “Her face was not unpretty”. (K.K.)
The function of litotes has much in common with that of understatement –
both weaken the effect of the utterance. The uniqueness of litotes lies
in its specific “double negative” structure and in its weakening only
the positive evaluation. The Russian term “литота” corresponds only to
the English “understatement” as it has no structural or semantic
Exercise IV. Analyse the structure, the semantics and the functions
1. “To be a good actress, she must always work for the truth in what
she’s playing,” the man said in a voice not empty of self-love. (N.M.)
2. “Yeah, what the hell,” Anne said and looking at me, gave that not
unsour smile. (R.W.)
3. It was not unnatural if Gilbert felt a certain embarrassment. (E. W.)
4. The idea was not totally erroneous. The thought did not displease me.
5. I was quiet, but not uncommunicative; reserved, but not reclusive;
energetic at times, but seldom enthusiastic. (Jn.B.)
6. He had all the confidence in the world, and not without reason.
7. Kirsten said not without dignity: “Too much talking is unwise.” (Ch.)
8. “No, I’ve had a profession and then a firm to cherish,” said
Ravenstreet, not without bitterness. (P.)
9. I felt I wouldn’t say “no” to a cup of tea. (K.M.) 10. I wouldn’t say
“no” to going to the movies. (E.W.)
11. “I don’t think you’ve been too miserable, my dear.” (P.)
12. Still two weeks of success is definitely not nothing and phone calls
were coming in from agents for a week. (Ph.R.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is a litotes?
2. What is there in common between litotes and understatement?
3. Describe most frequently used structures of litotes.
Periphrasis is a very peculiar stylistic device which basically consists
of using a roundabout form of expression instead of a simpler one, i.e.
of using a more or less complicated syntactical structure instead of a
word. Depending on the mechanism of this substitution, periphrases are
classified into figurative (metonymic and metaphoric), and logical. The
first group is made, in fact, of phrase-metonymies and phrase-metaphors,
as you may well see from the following example: “The hospital was
crowded with the surgically interesting products of the fighting in
Africa” (I.Sh.) where the extended metonymy stands for “the wounded”.
Logical periphrases are phrases synonymic with the words which were
substituted by periphrases: “Mr. Du Pont was dressed in the conventional
disguise with which Brooks Brothers cover the shame of American
millionaires.” (M.St.) “The conventional disguise” stands here for “the
suit” and “the shame of American millionaires” — for “the paunch (the
belly)”. Because the direct nomination of the not too elegant feature of
appearance was substituted by a roundabout description this periphrasis
may be also considered euphemistic, as it offers a more polite
qualification instead of a coarser one.
The main function of periphrases is to convey a purely individual
perception of the described object. To achieve it the generally accepted
nomination of the object is replaced by the description of one of its
features or qualities, which seems to the author most important for the
characteristic of the object, and which thus becomes foregrounded.
The often repeated periphrases become trite and serve as universally
accepted periphrastic synonyms: “the gentle / soft / weak sex” (women);
“my better half (my spouse); “minions of Law” (police), etc.
Exercise V. Analyse the given periphrases from the viewpoint of their
semantic type, structure, function and originality:
1. Gargantuan soldier named Dahoud picked Ploy by the head and
scrutinized this convulsion of dungarees and despair whose feet thrashed
a yard above the deck. (Th.P.)
2. His face was red, the back of his neck overflowed his collar and
there had recently been published a second edition of his chin. (P.G.W.)
3. His huge leather chairs were kind to the femurs. (R.W.)
4. “But Pickwick, gentlemen, Pickwick, this ruthless destroyer of . this
domestic oasis in the desert of Goswell street!” (D.)
5. He would make some money and then he would come back and marry his
dream from Blackwood. (Dr.)
6. The villages were full of women who did nothing but fight against
dirt and hunger and repair the effects of friction on clothes. (A.B.)
7. The habit of saluting the dawn with a bend of the elbow was a
hangover from college fraternity days. (Jn.B.)
8. I took my obedient feet away from him. (W.G.)
9. I got away on my hot adolescent feet as quickly as I could. (W.G.)
10. I am thinking an unmentionable thing about your mother. (I.Sh.)
11. Jean nodded without turning and slid between two vermilion-coloured
buses so that two drivers simultaneously used the same qualitative word.
12. During the previous winter I had become rather seriously ill with
one of those carefully named difficulties which are the whispers of
approaching age. (J. St.)
13. A child had appeared among the palms, about a hundred yards along
the beach. He was a boy of perhaps six years, sturdy and fair, his
clothes torn, his face covered with a sticky mess of fruit. His trousers
had been lowered for an obvious purpose and had only been pulled back
14. When I saw him again, there were silver dollars weighting down his
15. She was still fat after childbirth; the destroyer of her figure sat
at the head of the table. (A.B.)
16. I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great
17. “Did you see anything in Mr. Pickwick’s manner and conduct towards
the opposite sex to induce you to believe all this?” (D.)
18. Bill went with him and they returned with a tray of glasses, siphons
and other necessaries of life. (Ch.)
19. It was the American, whom later we were to learn to know and love as
the Gin Bottle King, because of a great feast of arms performed at an
early hour in the morning with a container of Mr. Gordon’s celebrated
product as his sole weapon. (H.)
20. Jane set her bathing-suited self to washing the lunch dishes.
21. Naturally, I jumped out of the tub, and before I had thought twice,
ran out into the living room in my birthday suit. (В. М.)
22. For a single instant, Birch was helpless, his blood curdling in his
veins at the imminence of the danger, and his legs refusing their
natural and necessary office. (T.C.)
23. The apes gathered around him and he wilted under the scrutiny of the
eyes of his little cousins twice removed. (An.C.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Speak about semantic types of periphrasis.
2. In what cases can a logical or a figurative periphrasis also be
qualified as euphemistic?
3. What are the main stylistic functions of periphrases?
4. Which type of periphrasis, in your opinion, is most favoured in
contemporary prose and why?
Exercise VI. Now, after you have been acquainted with the semantics,
structures and functions of major syntactical stylistic devices, you may
proceed, in the summarizing form, to cases of their convergence, paying
attention to each SD contributing to the general effect and of course
specifying those which bear the main responsibility for the creation of
additional information and the intensification of the basic one:
1. In Paris there must have been a lot of women not unlike Mrs. Jesmond,
beautiful women, clever women, cultured women, exquisite, long-necked,
sweet smelling, downy rats. (P.)
2. The stables – I believe they have been replaced by television studios
– were on West Sixty-sixth street. Holly selected for me an old
sway-back black-and-white mare: “Don’t worry, she’s safer than a
cradle.” Which, in my case, was a necessary guarantee, for ten-cent pony
rides at childhood carnivals were the limit of my equestrian experience.
3. However, there was no time to think more about the matter, for the
fiddles and harp began in real earnest. Away went Mr. Pickwick — hands
across, down the middle to the very end of the room, and halfway up the
chimney, back again to the door – poussette everywhere – loud stamp on
the ground – ready for the next couple – off again – all the figure over
once more – another stamp to beat out the time – next couple, and the
next, and the next again – never was such going! (D.)
4. Think of the connotations of “murder”, that awful word: the lossof
emotional control, the hate, the spite, the selfishness, the broken
glass, the blood, the cry in the throat, the trembling blindness that
results in theirrevocable act, the helpless blow. Murder is the most
limited of gestures.(J.H.)
5. There is an immensity of promenading on crutches and off, with sticks
and without; and a great deal of conversation, and liveliness and
6. We sat down at the table. The jaws got to work around the table.
7. Babbitt stopped smoking at least once a month. He did everything in
fact except stop smoking. (S.L.)
8. I’m interested in any number of things, enthusiastic about nothing.
Everything is significant and nothing is finally important. (Jn.B.)
9. Lord Tompson owns 148 newspapers in England and Canada. He is the
most influential Fleet-Street personality. His fortune amounts to 300
mln. He explains his new newspaper purchases so: “I buy newspapers to
make money. I make money to buy more newspapers. I buy more newspapers
to make more money, etc., etc. without end.” (M.St.)
10. He illustrated these melodramatic morsels by handing the tankard to
himself with great humility, receiving it haughtily, drinking from it
thirstily, and smacking his lips fiercely. (D.)
11. The cigarette tastes rough, a noseful of straw. He puts it out.
Never again. (U.)
12. The certain mercenary young person felt that she must not sell her
sense of what was right and what was wrong, and what was true and what
was false, and what was just and what was unjust, for any price that
could be paid to her by any one alive. (J.F.)
13. A girl on a hilltop, credulous, plastic, young: drinking the air she
longed to drink life. The eternal aching comedy of expectant youth.
14 I have made him my executor. Nominated, constituted and appointed
him. In my will. (D.)
15. This is what the telegram said: Has Cyril called yet? On no account
introduce him into theatrical circles. Vitally important. Letter
16. In November a cold unseen stranger whom the doctors called
Pneumonia, stalked about the colony touching one here and one there with
icy fingers. Mr. Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old
17. He came to us, you see, about three months ago. A skilled and
experienced waiter. Has given complete satisfaction. He has been in
England about five years. (Ch.)
18. If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life,
talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have died, unmarked,
unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our
triumph. Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for
tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man, as now we do by
an accident. Our words – our lives – our pains – nothing! The taking of
our lives -lives of a good shoe-maker and a poor fish-peddler – all!
That last mo’ment belongs to us – that agony is our triumph! (H.R.)
19. The main thought uppermost in Fife’s mind was that everything in the
war was so organized, and handled with such matter-of-fact dispatch.
Like a business. Like a regular business. And yet at the bottom of it
was blood: blood, mutilation, death. It seemed weird, wacky to Fife.
20. Constance had said: “If ever I’m a widow, I won’t wear them,
positively,” in the tone of youth; and Mrs. Baines had replied: “I hope
you won’t, my dear.” That was over twenty years ago, but Constance
perfectly remembered. And now, she was a widow! How strange and how
impressive was life! And she had kept her word; not without hesitations;
for though times were changed, Bursley was still Bursley; but she had
kept it. (A.B.)
21. The reasons why John Harmon should not come to life: Because he has
passively allowed these dear old faithful friends to pass into
possession of the property. Because he sees them happy with it. Because
they have virtually adopted Bella, and will provide for her. Because
there is affection enough in her heart to develop into something
enduringly good, under favourable conditions. Because her faults have
been intensified by her place in my father’s will and she is already
growing better. Because her marriage with John Harmon, after what I have
heard from her own lips, would be a shocking mockery. Because if John
Harmon comes to life and does not marry her, the property falls into the
very hands that hold it now. (D.)
22. In Arthur Calgary’s fatigued brain the word seemed to dance on the
wall. Money! Money! Money! Like a motif in an opera, he thought. Mrs.
Argyle’s money! Money put into trust! Money put into an annuity!
Residual estate left to her husband! Money got from the bank! Money in
the bureau drawer! Hester rushing out to her car with no money in her
purse… Money found on Jacko, money that he swore his mother had given
23. Mr. Pickwick related, how he had first met Jingle; how he had eloped
with Miss Wardle; how he had cheerfully resigned the fady for pecuniary
considerations; how he had entrapped him into a lady’s boarding school;
and how he, Mr. Pickwick, now felt it his duty to expose his assumption
for his present name and rank. (D.)
24. “And with a footman up behind, with a bar across, to keep his legs
from being poled! And with a coachman up in front sinking down into a
seat big enough for three of him, all covered with upholstery in green
and white! And with two bay horses tossing their heads and stepping
higher than they trot long-ways! And with you and me leaning back
inside, as grand as ninepence!” (D.)
25. I looked at him. I know I smiled. His face looked as though it were
plunging into water. I couldn’t touch him. I wanted so to touch him I
smiled again and my hands got wet on the telephone and then for the
moment I couldn’t see him at all and I shook my head and my face was wet
and I said, “I’m glad. I’m glad. Don’t you worry. I’m glad.” (J.B.)
26. What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows.
No time to see when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see in broad day light,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
CHAPTER IV. TYPES OF NARRATION
Author’s Narrative. Dialogue. Interior
Speech. Represented Speech. Compositional Forms
A work of creative prose is never homogeneous as to the form and essence
of the information it carries. Both very much depend on the viewpoint of
the addresser, as the author and his personages may offer different
angles of perception of the same object. Naturally, it is the author who
organizes this effect of polyphony, but we, the readers, while reading
the text, identify various views with various personages, not
attributing them directly to the writer. The latter’s views and emotions
are most explicitly expressed in the author’s speech (or the author’s
The uhfoldinof me plot is mainly concentrated here, personages are given
characteristics, the time and the pla’ce of action are also described
here, as the author sees them. The author’s narrative supplies the
reader with direct information about the author’s preferences and
objections, beliefs and contradictions, i.e. serves the major source of
shaping up the author’s image.
In contemporary prose, in an effort to make his writing more plausible,
to impress the reader with the effect of authenticity of the described
events, the writer entrusts some fictitious character (who might also
participate in the narrated events) with the task of story-telling. The
writer himself thus hides behind the figure of the narrator, presents
all the events of the story from the latter’s viewpoint and only
sporadically emerges in the narrative with his own considerations, which
may reinforce or contradict those expressed by the narrator. This form
of the author’s speech is called entrusted narrative. The structure of
the entrusted narrative is much more complicated than that of the
author’s narrative proper, because instead of one commanding, organizing
image of the author, we have the hierarchy of the narrator’s image
seemingly arranging the pros and cons of the related problem and,
looming above the narrator’s image, there stands the image of the
author, the true and actual creator of it all, responsible for all the
views and evaluations of the text and serving the major and predominant
force of textual cohesion and unity.
Entrusted narrative can be carried out in the 1st person singular, when
the narrator proceeds with his story openly and explicitly, from his own
name, as, e.g., in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, or The Great
Gatsby by Sc. Fitzgerald, or All the King’s Men by R.f.Warren. In the
first book Holden Caulfield himself retells about the crisis in his own
life which makes the focus of the novel. In the second book Nick
Carraway tells about Jay Gatsby, whom he met only occasionally, so that
to tell Gatsby’s life-story he had to rely on the knowledge of other
personages too. And in the third book Jack Burden renders the dramatic
career of Willie Stark, himself being one of the closest associates of
the man. In the first case the narration has fewer deviations from the
main line, than in the other two in which the narrators have to supply
the reader also with the information about themselves and their
connection with the protagonist.
Entrusted narrative may also be anonymous. The narrator does not openly
claim responsibility for the views and evaluations but the manner of
presentation, the angle of description very strongly suggest that the
story is told not by the author himself but by some of his factotums,
which we see, e.g., in the prose of Fl. O’Connor, C. McCullers, E.
Hemingway, E. Caldwell.
The narrative, both the author’s and the entrusted, is not the only type
of narration observed in creative prose. A very important place here is
occupied by dialogue, where personages express their minds in the form
of uttered speech. In their exchange of remarks the participants of the
dialogue, while discussing other people and their actions, expose
themselves too. So dialogue is one of the most significant forms of the
personage’s self-characterization, which allows the author to seemingly
eliminate himself from the process.
Another form, which obtained a position of utmost significance in
contemporary prose, is interior speech of the personage, which allows
the author (and the readers) to peep into the inner world of the
character, to observe his ideas and views in the. making. Interior
speech is best known in the form of interior monologue, a rather lengthy
piece of the text (half a page and over) dealing with one major topic of
the character’s thinking, offering causes for his past, present or
future actions. Short insets of interior speech present immediate mental
and emotional reactions of the personage to the remark or action of
The workings of our brain are not intended for communication and are,
correspondingly, structured in their own unique way. The imaginative
reflection of mental processes, presented in the form of interior
speech, being a part of the text, one of the major functions of which is
communicative, necessarily undergoes some linguistic structuring to make
it understandable to the readers. In extreme cases, though, this desire
to be understood by others is outshadowed by the author’s effort to
portray the disjointed, purely associative manner of thinking, which
makes interior speech almost or completely incomprenensible. These cases
exercise the so-called stream-of-consciousness technique which is
especially popular with representatives of modernism in contemporary
So the personage’s viewpoint can be realized in the uttered (dialogue)
and inner (interior) speech forms. Both are introduced into the text by
the author’s remarks containing indication of the personage (his name or
the name-substitute) and of the act of speaking (thinking) expressed by
such verbs as “to say”, “to think” and their numerous synonyms.
To separate and individualize the sphere of the personage, language
means employed in the dialogue and interior speech differ from those
used in the author’s narrative and, in their unity and combination, they
constitute the personage’s speech characteristic which is indispensable
in the creation of his image in the novel.
The last – the fourth – type of narration observed in artistic prose is
a peculiar blend of the viewpoints and language spheres of both the
author and the character. It was first observed and analysed almost a
hundred years ago, with the term represented (reported) speech- attached
to it. Represented speech serves to show either the mental reproduction
of a once uttered remark, or the character’s thinking. The first case is
known as represented uttered speech, the second one as represented inner
speech. The latter is close to the personage’s interior speech in
essence, but differs from it in form: it is rendered in the third person
singular and may have the author’s qualitative words, i.e. it reflects
the presence of the author’s viewpoint alongside that of the character,
while interior speech belongs to the personage completely, formally too,
which is materialized through the first-person pronouns and the language
idiosyncrasies of the character.
The four types of narration briefly described above are singled out on
the basis of the viewpoint commanding the organization of each one. If
it is semantics of the text that is taken as the foundation of the
classification then we shall deal with the three narrative compositional
forms traditionally singled out in poetics and stylistics. They are:
narrative proper where the unfolding of the plot is concentrated. This
is the most dynamic compositional form of the text. Two other forms –
description and argumentation – are static. The former supplies the
details of the appearance of people and things “populating” the book, of
the place and time of action, the latter offers causes and effects of
the personage’s behaviour, his (or the author’s) considerations about
moral, ethical, ideological and other issues. It is rather seldom that
any of these compositional forms is used in a “pure”, uninterrupted way.
As a rule they intermingle even within the boundaries of a paragraph.
All the compositional forms can be found in each of the types of
narration but with strongly varying frequences.
Exercise I. Find examples of various types of narration and narrative
compositional forms. Pay attention to language means used in each one.
State their functions. Discuss correlations existing between the type of
narration, compositional form and the language of the discourse:
1. Novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame,
for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for
pride, for curiosity, for amusement; as skilled furniture-makers enjoy
making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as
Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy’s back. I could fill a
book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all.
Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as
real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot
plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine. We also know that a
genuinely created world must be independent of its creator: a planned
world (a world that fully reveals its planning) is a dead world. It is
only when our characters and events begin to disobey us that they begin
to live. (J.F.)
2. He refused a taxi. Exercise, he thought, and no drinking at least a
month. That’s what does it. The drinking. Beer, martinis, have another.
And the way your head felt in the morning. (I.Sh.)
3. Now she come my room, he thought. “What you want?” he demanded.
“May I come in?”
“This house,” he said slowly, “she yours.”
“Tell me your name,” she said. “You,” he burst out. “This long time and
no know my name – and no ask! What my name? Who me? You no care.” (R.W.)
4. His mind gathered itself out of the wreckage of little things: out of
all that the world had shown or taught him he could remember now only
the great star above the town, and the light that had swung over the
hill, and the fresh sod upon Ben’s grave and the wind, and the far
sounds and music, and Mrs. Pert.
Wind pressed the boughs, the withered leaves were shaking. A star was
shaking. A light was waking. Wind was quaking. The star was far. The
night, the light. The light was bright. A chant, a song, the slow dance
of the little things within him. The star over the town, the light over
the hill, the sod over Ben, night all over. His mind fumbled with little
things. Over us all is some thing. Star night, earth, light… light…
О lost!… a stone… a leaf… a door… О ghost!… a light… a
song… a light… a light… a light awnings over the hill… over us
all… a star shines over the town… over us all… a light.
We shall not come again. We never shall come back again. But over us all
over us all… is – something.
A light swings over the hill. (We shall not come again.) And over the
town a star. (Over us all, over us all that shall not come again.) And
over the day the dark. But over the darkness – what?
We shall not come again. We never shall come back again.
Over the dawn a lark. (That shall not come again.) And wind and music
far. О lost! (It shall not come again.) And over your mouth the earth. О
ghost! But over the darkness – what? (T.W.)
5. “Honestly. I don’t feel anything. Except ashamed.” “Please. Are you
sure? Tell me the truth. You might have been killed.” “But I wasn’t. And
thank you. For saving my life. You’re wonderful. Unique. I love you.”
6. “What’s your Christian name, Sir?” angrily inquired the little Judge.
“Nathaniel, Sir.” “Daniel – any other name?” “Nathaniel, Sir – my Lord,
I mean.” “Nathaniel Daniel or Daniel Nathaniel?” “No, my Lord, only
Nathaniel – not Daniel at all.” “What did you tell me it was Daniel for
then, Sir?” inquired the Judge. (D.)
7. “Now I know you lying,” Sam was emphatic. “You lying as fast as a dog
can trot,” Fishbelly said. “You trying to pull wool over our eyes,” Tony
8. “She thought he could be persuaded to come home.” “You mean a dinge?”
“No, a Greek.”
“Okey,” Nulty said and spit into the wastebasket. “Okey. You met the big
guy how? You seem to pick up awful easy.”
“All right,” I said. “Why argue? I’ve seen the guy and you haven’t. In
the morning I was a well man again.” (R.Ch.)
9. “She’s home. She’s lying down.”
“She all right?” “She’s tired. She went to see Fonny.”
“How’s Fonny taking it?”
“She see Mr. Hayword?”
“No. She’s seeing him on Monday.”
“You going with her?”
“I think I better.” (J.B.)
10. “Ah, fine place,” said the stranger, “glorious pile – frowning walls
– tottering arches – dark nooks – crumbling staircases – old cathedral
too – earthy smell – pilgrim’s feet worn away the old steps – little
Saxon doors – confessionals like money-taker’s boxes at theatres – queer
customers those monks – Popes and Lord Treasurers and all sort of old
fellows, with great red faces, and broken noses turning up every day
buff jerkins too – match-locks – Sarcophagus – fine place – old legends
too – strange stories: capital.” (D.)
11. “She’s a model at Bergdorf Goodman’s.” “She French?”
“She’s about as French as you are -” “That’s more French than you
12. …and the wineshops open at night and the castanets and the night
we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about with his lamp
and О that awful deepdown torrent О and the sea crimson sometimes like
fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens
yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses
and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and
Gibraltar as a girl where I was a flower of the mountains yes when I put
the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red
yes how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well
him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and
then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I
put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me yes…. (J.J.)
13. …Thou lost one. All songs on that theme. Yet more Bloom stretched
his string. Cruel it seems. Let people get fond of each other: lure them
on. Then tear asunder. Death. Explos. Knock on head. Outohellout of
that. Human life. Dignam. Ugh, that rat’s tail wriggling! Five bob I
gave. Corpus paradisum. Corncrake croaker: belly like a poisoned pup.
Gone. Forgotten. I too. And one day she with. Leave her: get tired.
Suffer then. Snivel. Big Spanishy eyes goggling at nothing. Her
wavyavyeavyheavyeavyevyevy hair uncombe’d. (J.J.)
14. The young man’s name was Eddy Little John, but over dinner he said,
look here, would they call him Ginger: everyone else did. So they began
to call him Ginger, and he said wouldn’t it be a good idea if they had
another bottle of fizz, and Nina and Adam said yes, it would, so they
had a magnum and got very friendly. (E.W.)
15. Every morning she was up betimes to get the fire lit in her
gentlemen’s sitting room so that they needn’t eat their breakfasts
simply perishin’ with the cold, my word it’s bitter this morning. (S.M.)
16. The girl noted the change for what she deemed the better. He was so
nice now, she thought, so white-skinned and clear-eyed and keen. (Dr.)
17. But in any case, in her loving she was also re-creating herself, and
she had gone upstairs to be in the dark. While downstairs Adam and I sat
in the swing on the gallery, not saying a word. That was the evening
Adam got counted out for all the other evenings, and out you go, you
dirty dishrag, you. (R. W.)
18. And then he laughed at himself. He was getting nervy and het up like
everybody else m the house. (Ch.)
19. Sometimes he wondered if he’d ever really known his father. Then out
of the past would come that picture of a lithe, active young feller who
was always good for an argument, always ready to bring company home,
especially the kind of company that gives food for thought in return for
a cup of tea and something to go with it. (St.B.)
20. Well, I’ll tell you. A man I know slightly, he was one of the
smartest traders in Wall Street. You wouldn’t know his name, because I
don’t think I ever had occasion to mention it except perhaps to your
mother and it wouldn’t have interested you. He was a real plunger, that
fellow. The stories they told downtown about him, they were sensational.
Well, as I say he’s always been a pretty smart trader. They say he was
the only one that called the turn in 1929. He got out of the market in
August 1929, at the peak. Everybody told him, why, you’re crazy, they
said. Passing up millions. Millions, they told him. Sure, he said. Well,
I’m willing to pass them up and keep what I have, he told them, and of
course they all laughed when he told them he was going to retire and sit
back and watch the ticker from a cafe in Paris. Retire and only
thirty-eight years of age? Huh. They never heard such talk, the
wisenheimers downtown. Him retire? No, it was in his blood, they said.
He’d be back. He’d go to France and make a little whoopee, but he’d be
back and in the market just as deeply as ever. But he fooled them. He
went to France all right, and I suppose he made whoopee because I happen
to know he has quite a reputation that way. And they were right saying
he’d be back, but not the way they thought. He came back first week in
November, two years ago, right after the crash. Know what he did? He
bought a Rolls-Royce Phantom that originally cost eighteen thousand
dollars, he bought that for a thousand-dollar bill. He bought a big
place out on Long Island. I don’t know exactly what he paid for it, but
one fellow told me he got it for not a cent more than the owner paid for
one of those big indoor tennis courts they have out there. For that he
got the whole estate, the land house proper, stables, garages,
everything. Yacht landing. Oh, almost forget. A hundred and eighty foot
yacht for eighteen thousand dollars. The figure”! do know because I
remember hearing a hundred dollars a foot was enough for any yacht. And
mind you, the estate was with all the furniture. And because he got out
in time and had the cash. Everything he had was cash. Wouldn’t lend a
cent. Not one red cent for any kind of interest. Just wasn’t interested,
he said. Buy, yes. He bought cars, houses, big estates, paintings worth
their weight in radium, practically, but lend money? No. He said it was
his way of getting even with the wisenheimers that laughed at him the
summer before when he said he was going to retire. (J.O’H.)
21. Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with He was quiet
in his ways and his habits were regular. It was rare for him to be up
after ten at night and he had invariably breakfasted and gone out before
I rose in the morning. His very person and appearance were such as to
strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was
rather over six feet and so excessively lean that he seemed to be
considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing save during those
intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin hawklike nose
gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin,
too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. Indicate the types of narration which you know.
2. What is the difference between the author’s narrative proper and the
3. What forms of entrusted narrative do you know?
4. Comment on the main functions of the image of the author.
5. How is speech characteristic of a personage formed?
6. What forms of interior speech do you remember?
7. What is represented speech and which of its types have you met more
8. What is stream of consciousness? Have you ever observed it in your
9. What narrative compositional forms are mainly represented in a prose
10. Which compositional forms are considered static and why?
CHAPTER V. FUNCTIONAL STYLES
Colloquial vs. Literary Type of Communication. Oral vs.
Written Form of Communication
Language means which we choose for communication depend on several
factors, the most important among them being the situation of the
communication act. Indeed, depending on the situation (which includes
the purpose of the communication and its participants) we adhere either
to informal, or to formal manner. The former is observed in everyday
non-official communication which is known as colloquial speech.
Colloquial speech occupies a prominent place in our lives, and is viewed
by some linguists as a system of language means so strongly differing
from those presented in the formal (literary) communication that it can
be classified as an independent entity with its own peculiar units and
rules of their structuring. (See the works of O. Lapteva, O. Sirotinina,
The literary communication, most often (but not always) materialized in
the written form, is not homogeneous, and proceeding from its function
(purpose) we speak of different functional styles. As the whole of the
language itself, functional styles are also changeable. Their quantity
and quality change in the course of their development. At present most
scholars differentiate such functional styles: scientific, official,
publicist, newspaper, belles-lettres.
Scientific style is employed in professional communication. Its most
conspicuous feature is the abundance of terms denoting objects,
phenomena and processes characteristic of some particular field of
science and technique. Scientific style is also known for its precision,
clarity and logical cohesion which is responsible for the repeated use
of such cliches as: “Proceeding from…”; “As it was said above…”; “In
connection with..” and other lexico-syntactical forms emphasizing the
logical connection and interdependence of consecutive parts of the
Official style, or the style of official documents, is the most
conservative one. It preserves cast-iron forms of structuring and uses
syntactical constructions and words long known as archaic and not
observed anywhere else. Addressing documents and official letters,
signing them, expressing the reasons and considerations leading to the
subject of the document (letter) – all this is strictly regulated both
lexically and syntactically. All emotiveness and subjective modality are
completely banned out of this style.
Publicist style is a perfect example of the historical changeability of
stylistic differentiation of discourses. In ancient Greece, e.g., it was
practiced mainly in its oral form and was best known as oratoric style,
within which views and sentiments of the addresser (orator) found their
expression. Nowadays political, ideological, ethical, social beliefs and
statements of the addresser are prevailingly expressed in the written
form, which was labelled publicist in accordance with the name of the
corresponding genre and its practitioners. Publicist style is famous for
its explicit pragmatic function of persuasion directed at influencing
the reader and shaping his views, in accordance with the argumentation
of the author. Correspondingly, we find in publicist style a blend of
the rigorous logical reasoning, reflecting the objective state of
things, and a strong subjectivity reflecting the author’s personal
feelings and emotions towards the discussed subject.
Newspaper style, as it is evident from its name, is found in newspapers.
You should not conclude though that everything published in a newspaper
should be referred to the newspaper style. The paper contains vastly
varying materials, some of them being publicist essays, some – feature
articles, some – scientific reviews, some – official stock-exchange
accounts etc., so that a daily (weekly) newspaper also offers a variety
of styles. When we mention “newspaper style”, we mean informative
materials, characteristic of newspaper only and not found in other
publications. To attract the reader’s attention to the news, special
graphical means are used. British and American papers are notorious for
the change of type, specific headlines, space ordering, etc. We find
here a large proportion of dates and personal names of countries,
territories, institutions, individuals. To achieve the effect of
objectivity and impartiality in rendering some fact or event, most of
the newspaper information is published anonymously, without the name of
the newsman who supplied it, with little or no subjective modality. But
the position and attitude of the paper, nonetheless, become clear from
the choice not only of the subject-matter but also of the words denoting
international or domestic issues.
Belles-lettres style, or the style of imaginative literature may be
called the richest register of communication: besides its own language
means which are not used in any other sphere of communication,
belles-lettres style makes ample use of other styles too, for in
numerous works of literary art we find elements of scientific, official
and other functional types of speech. Besides informative and persuasive
functions, also found in other functional styles, the belles-lettres
style has a unique task to impress the reader aesthetically. The form
becomes meaningful and carries additional information as you must have
seen from previous chapters. Boundless possibilities of expressing one’s
thoughts and feelings make the belles-lettres style a highly attractive
field of research for a linguist.
Speaking of belles-lettres style most scholars almost automatically
refer to it prose works, regarding poetry the domain of a special poetic
style. Viewed diachronically this opinion does not seem controversial,
for poems of previous centuries, indeed, adhered to a very specific
vocabulary and its ordering. But poetry of the twentieth century does
not show much difference from prose vocabulary, its subjects are no more
limited to several specific “poetic” fields but widely cover practically
all spheres of existence of contemporary man. So it is hardly relevant
to speak of a separate poetic style in reference to contemporary
Finishing this brief outline of functional styles observed in modern
English, it is necessary to stress, again, two points. The first one
concerns the dichotomy – written:: oral, which is not synonymous to the
dichotomy literary:: colloquial, the former opposition meaning the form
of presentation, the latter – the choice of language means. There are
colloquial messages in the written form (such as personal letters,
informal notes, diaries and journals) and vice versa: we have examples
of literary discourses in the oral form (as in a recital, lecture,
report, paper read at a conference etc.).
The second point deals with the flexibility of style boundaries: the
borders within which a style presumably functions are not rigid and
allow various degrees of overlapping and melting into each other. It is
not accidental that rather often we speak of intermediate cases such as
the popular scientific style which combines the features of scientific
and belles-lettres styles, or the style of new journalism which is a
combination of publicist, newspaper and belles-lettres styles etc.
Exercise I. Analyse the peculiarities of functional styles in the
1. Nothing could be more obvious, it seems to me, than that art should
be moral and that the first business of criticism, at least some of the
time, should be to judge works of literature (or painting or even music)
on grounds of the production’s moral worth. By “moral” I do not mean
some such timid evasion as “not too blatantly immoral”. It is not enough
to say, with the support of mountains of documentation from
sociologists, psychiatrists, and the New York City Police Department,
that television is a bad influence when it actively encourages pouring
gasoline on people and setting fire to them. On the contrary, television
– or any other more or less artistic medium – is good (as opposed to
pernicious or vacuous) only when it has a clear positive moral effect,
presenting valid models for imitation, eternal verities worth keeping in
mind, and a benevolent vision of the possible which can inspire and
incite human beings towards virtue, towards life affirmation as opposed
to destruction or indifference. This obviously does not mean that art
should hold up cheap or cornball models of behaviour, though even those
do more good in the short run than does, say, an attractive bad model
like the quick-witted cynic so endlessly celebrated in light-hearted
films about voluptuous women and international intrigue. In the long
run, of course, cornball morality leads to rebellion and the loss of
2. In tagmemics we make a crucial theoretical difference between the
grammatical hierarchy and the referential one. In a normal instance of
reporting a single event in time, the two are potentially isomorphic
with coterminous borders. But when simultaneous, must’be sequenced in
the report. In some cases, a chronological or logical sequence can in
English be partially or completely changed in presentational order (e.g.
told backwards); when this is done, the referential structure of the
tale is unaffected, but the grammatical structure of the telling is
radically altered. Grammatical order is necessarily linear (since words
come out of the mouth one at a time), but referential order is at least
Describing a static situation presents problems parallel to those of
presenting an event involving change or movement. Both static and
dynamic events are made linear in grammatical presentation even if the
items or events are, referentially speaking, simultaneous in space or
3. Techniques of comparison form a natural part of the literary critic’s
analytic and evaluative process: in discussing one work, critics
frequently have in mind, and almost as frequently appeal to, works in
the same or another language. Comparative literature systematically
extends this latter tendency, aiming to enhance awareness of the
qualities of one work by using the products of another linguistic
culture as an illuminating context; or studying some broad topic or
theme as it is realized (“transformed”) in the literatures of different
languages. It is worth insisting on comparative literature’s kinship
with criticism in general, for there is evidently a danger that its
exponents may seek to argue an unnatural distinctiveness in their
activities (this urge to establish a distinct identity is the source of
many unfruitfully abstract justifications of comparative literature);
and on the other hand a danger that its opponents may regard the
discipline as nothing more than demonstration of “affinities” and
“influences” among different literatures – an activity which is not
critical at all, belonging rather to the categorizing spirit of literary
4. Caging men as a means of dealing with the problem of crime is a
modern refinement of man’s ancient and limitless inhumanity, as well as
his vast capacity for self-delusion. Murderers and felons used to be
hanged, beheaded, flogged, tortured, broken on the rack, blinded, ridden
out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered, or arrayed in the stocks.
Nobody pretended that such penalties were anything other than punishment
and revenge. Before nineteenth-century American developments, dungeons
were mostly for the convenient custody of political prisoners, debtors,
and those awaiting trial. American progress with many another gim
“advance”, gave the world the penitentiary.
In 1787, Dr. Benjamin Rush read to a small gathering in the Philadelphia
home of Benjamin Franklin a paper in which he said that the right way to
treat offenders was to cause them to repent of their crimes. Ironically
taken up by gentle Quakers, Rush’s notion was that offenders should be
locked alone in cells, day and night, so that in such awful solitude
they would have nothing to do but to ponder their acts, repent, and
reform. To this day, the American liberal – progressive – idea persists
that there is some way to make people repent and reform. Psychiatry, if
not solitude will provide perfectability.
Three years after Rush proposed it, a single-cellular penitentiary was
established in the Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia. By the 1830s,
Pennsylvania had constructed two more state penitentiaries, that
followed the Philadelphia reform idea. Meanwhile, in New York, where
such reforms as the lock-step had been devised, the “Auburn system”
evolved from the Pennsylvania program. It provided for individual cells
and total silence, but added congregate employment in shops, fields, or
quarries during a long, hard working day. Repressive and undeviating
routine, unremitting labor, harsh subsistence conditions, and frequent
floggings complemented the monastic silence; so did striped uniforms and
the great wall around the already secure fortress. The auburn system
became the model for American penitentiaries in most of the states, and
the lofty notions of the Philadelphians soon were lost in the spirit
expressed by Elam Lynds, the first warden of Sing Sing (built in 1825):
“Reformation of the criminal could not possibly be effected until the
spirit of the criminal was broken.”
The nineteenth-century penitentiary produced more mental breakdowns,
suicides, and deaths than repentance. “I believe,” wrote Charles
Dickens, after visiting such an institution, “that very few men are
capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this
dreadful punishment, prolonged for years, inflicts upon the sufferers.”
Yet, the idea persisted that men could be reformed (now we say
“rehabilitated”) in such hellholes – a grotesque derivation from the
idea that man is not only perfectable but rational enough to determine
his behavior through self-interest.
A later underpinning of the nineteenth-century prison was its
profitability. The sale and intraprison use of prison-industry products
fitted right into the productivity ethic of a growing nation. Convicts,
moreover, could be and were in some states rented out like oxen to
upright businessmen. Taxpayers were happy, cheap labor was available,
and prison officials, busily developing their bureaucracies, saw their
institutions entrenched. The American prison system – a design to reform
criminals by caging humans – found a permanent place in American society
and flourished largely unchanged into the twentieth century. In 1871, a
Virginia court put the matter in perspective when it ruled that
prisoners were “slaves of the state”. (Wic.)
5. BUYERS BOX FOR PACKER $ 350 m prace tag is put on Waddington
A J350 million bidding war is set to erupt for Waddington, the packaging
group that last month admitted it had received a takeover approach from
its management team.
At least two venture capital firms are understood to be looking at
Leeds-based Waddington, which is expected to command a takeout of at
least F325 a share against Friday’s close ofF247. One of the potential
buyers is believed to be CinVen.
Waddington’s management team, led by chief executive Martin Buckley and
finance director Geoffrey Gibson, are preparing their own offer for
title company. They are being advised by NatWest Equity Partners, which
last week backed the management buyout of Noreros, the building
Waddington’s three non-executive directors, led by chairman John
Hollowood, are thought to have been alerted to the prospect of rival
City analysts said rival approaches were expected in the wake of
Waddington’s recent announcement, since the takeout price originally
mooted was far too low. (S.T.)
6. REVEALED: BRITAIN’S SECRET NUCLEAR PLANT
A SECRET nuclear fuel plant processing radioactive material a mile from
the centre of a British city has been revealed to have serious safety
Nuclear fuel more volatile than the uranium which caused the recent
radioactive leak at a Japanese facility is being secretly manufactured
in the Rolls-Royce plant in Derby.
Highly enriched uranium fuel is processed at the factory for the
Ministry of Defence (MoD) – although this has never before been
disclosed and the local population has not been told because the work is
classified. They are only aware that the factory makes engines for
Trident nuclear submarines.
Leaked company documents reveal that there is a risk of a “criticality
accident” – the chain reaction which caused the nuclear disaster at a
fuel manufacturing plant in Tokaimura last month. It has also emerged
that after a safety exercise at the plant this year, inspectors
concluded that it was “unable to demonstrate adequate contamination
control arrangements”. There is still no public emergency plan in case
“I can’t believe that they make nuclear fuel in Derby and don’t have an
off-site public emergency plan,” said a nuclear safety expert who has
visited the plant. “Even in Plymouth where they [the MoD] load the
uranium fuel into the submarines, they have a publicised plan for the
In the Tokaimura disaster two weeks ago, clouds of deadly radiation
poured out from a nuclear fuel plant after a nuclear fission chain
reaction. Most nuclear plants in Britain use fuel containing about 3%
uranium 235, but in the Tokaimura incident it was about 20%, which was a
contributory factor for the chain reaction.
In Derby the fuel is potentially even more unstable, containing more
than 90% uranium 235. Rolls-Royce has always said that its marine power
division at Raynesway, Derby, makes propulsion systems for nuclear
submarines. It has never previously admitted processing the uranium
7. I hear America singing
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be
Blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or
Leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
Deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter
Singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the
Morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife
At work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day – at night the party of
Young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs. (W.W.)
Professor W.H. Leeman
79 Rigby Drive London
Dorset, Merseyside 10th March 1998
Contributed papers accepted for the Conference will be presented in oral
sessions or in poster sessions, each type of presentation being
considered of equal importance for the success of the conference. The
choice between the one or the other way of presentation will be made by
Programme Committee. The first is a ten-minute talk in a conventional
session, followed by a poster presentation in a poster area. In the
poster period (about two hours) authors will post visual material about
their work on a designated board and will be prepared to present details
and answer questions relating to their paper. The second mode of
presentation is the conventional format of twenty-minute talks without
poster periods. This will be used for some sessions, particularly those
for which public discussion is especially important or for which there
is a large well-defined audience.
Sincerely T. W. Thomas, Chairman.
9. My Lord, February 7th, 1755
I have been lately informed, by the proprietor of “The World”, that two
papers, in which my “Dictionary” is recommended to the public, were
written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished is an honour, which,
being very little accustomed to favours from the great, I know not well
how to receive or in what terms to acknowledge.
When, with some slight encouragement, I first visited your Lordship, I
was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your
address, and could not forbear to wish that I might boast myself “Le
vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre”, – that I might obtain that regard
for which I saw the world contending; but I found my attendance so
little encouraged that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to
continue it. When I had once addressed your Lordship in public, I had
exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar
can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to
have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Seven years, My Lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward
rooms or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been
pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to
complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of publication,
without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile
of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron
before. The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with love, and
found him a native of the rocks. Is not a patron, My Lord, one, who
looks with unconcern on a man straggling for life in water, and when he
has reached ground, encumbers him with help?
The notice you have been pleased to take of my labours, had>it been
early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and
cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary and cannot impart it; till I am
known and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity, not to
confess obligations when no benefit has been received; or to be
unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron,
which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any
favourer of learning, I shall now be disappointed though I should
conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have been long
wakened from that dream of hope in which I once boasted myself with so
Your Lordship’s most humble,
most obedient Servant
Liverpool, 17th July 19…
Messrs. M. Worthington & Co., Ltd., Oil Importers,
c/o Messrs. Williams & C.; Ship Agents,
17 Fenchurch Street,London, Е., С., England
Re: 9500 tons of Edible Oil under B/LNos.:
2732, 3734, 4657 m/t Gorky ar’d 16.07.
In connection with your request to start discharging the above cargo
first by pumping out bottom layer into barges and then to go on with
pumping the rest of the cargo into shore tanks I wish to point out the
As per clause of the Bill of Lading “Weight, quantity and quality
unknown to me” the carrier is not responsible for the quantity and
quality of the goods, but it is our duty to deliver the cargo in the
same good order and conditions as located. It means that we are to
deliver the cargo in accordance with the measurements taken after
loading and in conformity with the samples taken from each tank on
completion of loading.
Therefore if you insist upon such a fractional layer discharging of this
cargo, I would kindly ask you to send your representative to take joint
samples and measurements of each tank, on the understanding that
duplicate samples, jointly taken and sealed, will be kept aboard our
ship for further reference. The figures, obtained from these
measurements and analyses will enable you to give us clean receipts for
the cargo in question, after which we shall immediately start
discharging the cargo in full compliance with your instructions.
It is, of course, understood, that, inasmuch as such discharging is not
in strict compliance with established practice, you will bear all the
responsibility, as well as the expenses and / or consequences arising
therefrom, which please confirm.
Master of the m/t Gorky
11. Speech of Viscount Simon of the House of Lords:
The noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, made a speech of much
persuasiveness on the second reading raising this point, and today as is
natural and proper, he has again presented with his usual skill, and I
am sure with the greatest sincerity, many of the same considerations. I
certainly do not take the view that the argument in this matter is all
on the side. One could not possibly say that when one considers that
there is considerable academic opinion at the present time in favour of
this change and in view of the fact that there are other countries under
the British Flag where, I understand, there was a change in the law, to
a greater or less degree, in the direction which the noble and learned
Earl so earnestly recommends to the House. But just as I am very willing
to accept the view that the case for resisting the noble Earl’s
Amendment is not overwhelming, so I do not think it reasonable that the
view should be taken that the argument is practically and considerably
the other way. The real truth is that, in framing statuary provisions
about the law of defamation, we have to choose the sensible way between
two principles each of which is greatly to be admired but both of which
ran into some conflict. (July 28, 1952.)
12. ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Johnnie Walker, the DJ fined F 2,000 last week for possessing cocaine,
was suitably contrite as Radio 2 opened its arms to welcome him back to
work. “I’m extremely sorry for all the embarrassment I’ve caused my
family, friends and the BBC,” he said.
Embarrassment? My dear old chap, this is absolutely the best thing to
have happened to Radio 2’s image in years.
There has only been one other significant drags scandal involving a
Radio 2 presenter. One day in 1993, Alan Freeman accidentally took an
overdose of his arthritis pills. Luckily, there was no lasting damage
done to Freeman, but for Radio 2 it was touch and go.
Arthritis pills? This was not the image that the station had been
assiduously nurturing. For years, Radio 2 has been struggling to cast
off the impression that it thinks hip is something that you can have
replaced on the NHS at some point in your late seventies.
This struggle has not been a success. To many listeners, it is the
station to which people turn when they start taking an interest in golf,
Sanatogen and comfortable cardigans.
It is a reliable friend to lean on when you hear yourself say: “Radio 4
is all very well, but why does everything have to be so brash and
So for Radio 2 to have a chap on the staff who’s had a brush with
cocaine and wild living was a lucky bonus. For a short time, Radio 2
producers could turn up at nightclub doors without being sniggered at.
13. ME IMPERTURBE
Me imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all or mistress of all, aplomb in the midst of
Imbued as they, passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes
Less important than I thought,
Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the
Tennessee, or far north or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods or of any farm-life of
These States or of the coast, or the lakes of Kanada,
Me wherever my life is lived, О to be self-balanced for
To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents,
Rebuffs, as the trees and animals do. (W.W.)
14. TOBACCO CAN HELP STOP THE HAIR LOSS FROM CANCER DRUGS
TOBACCO plants could be the key to allowing chemotherapy patients to
keep their hair, writes Roger Dobson.
Biotechnologists have succeeded in getting the transgenic plants to grow
an antibody that neutralises the hair-loss effects of the toxic
chemicals used in cancer-fighting chemotherapy.
When a solution of the antibodies is rubbed into the hair and scalp
before anti-cancer treatment begins, it protects and preserves the hair
follicles from the aggressive toxins in the drug treatment. ( S. T.)
15. In most countries, foreign languages have traditionally been taught
for a small number of hours per week, but for several years on end.
Modern thought on this matter suggests that telescoping language courses
brings a number of unexpected advantages. Thus it seems that a course of
500 hours spread over five years is much less effective than the same
course spread over one year, while if it were concentrated into six
months it might produce outstanding results. One crucial factor here is
the reduction in opportunities for forgetting; however, quite apart from
the difficulty of making the time in school time-tables when some other
subject would inevitably have to be reduced, there is a limit to the
intensity of language teaching which individuals can tolerate over a
protracted period. It is clear that such a limit exists; it is not known
in detail how the limit varies for different individuals, nor for
different age-groups, and research into these factors is urgently
needed. At any rate, a larger total number of hours per week and a
tendency towards more frequent teaching periods are the two aspects of
intensity which are at present being tried out in many places, with
generally encouraging results. (P.St.)
16. US FIRM QUITS BISCUIT RACE
THE US venture capital firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which bought
Hillsdown Holdings this year, has ruled out a bid for United Biscuits.
Hicks Muse, which owns the Peak Freans brand, was previously a hot
favourite in the City to bid for UB, whose products include McVitie’s,
Penguin, Jaffa Cakes, KP, Skips and Phileas Fogg.
UB, which is expected to command a price tag of about $l.2 billion,
admitted last week it had received an approach that might lead to an
However, Hicks Muse’s departure leaves just four serious bidders for
some or all of UB.
They are two venture capitalists – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and CVC
Capital Partners – as well as Nabisco, America’s leading biscuits firm,
and Danone, the French food group that owns Jacob’s cream crackers and
HP sauce. (S.T.)
17. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into
gravelly ground: My father, digging, I look down.
Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up twenty
years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
My God, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man. (S.H.)
18. PREPARING A BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan is essential to the start-up, growth and modification of
any business whether it be a small private farm or a large state farm or
an agricultural processing facility. The business plan specifically
defines the business. It identifies and clarifies goals and provides the
direction for their achievement.
A well developed plan will serve three primary functions. First, it will
act as a feasibility study. Writing the plan forces the business owner
or director to translate ideas into black and white allowing
substantiation and evaluation of the assumptions upon which the plan is
based. It helps to determine the need for, and proper allocation of
resources and, by allowing the owner to look for weak spots and
vulnerabilities, helps reduce the risk of unforeseen complications.
Second, the plan will serve as a management tool. It provides a guide
for implementation and standards against which to evaluate performance.
Properly utilised, it can help alert the owner/manager to potential
problems before they become detrimental, and potential opportunities
before they are missed.
Third, the plan is the tool for obtaining financing for the business.
Whether seeking bank financing, private domestic or foreign investors,
government financing or venture capital, a detailed, well-drafted plan
is necessary. (Wt.)
United States Department of Agriculture
Commercial Agriculture Development Project 2
Luctukiv Pereulok Maliv, Ukraine 25002 Tel/Fax: (380-02) 42-80-80
E-mail: [email protected]
March 2, 2000
Harry Mead, USAID
19 Rubyy Val St.254 Kyi’v, Ukraine
Dear Mr. Walters,
I have discussed the issue of using funds allocated for wages,
transportation, technical assistance, and other expenditures in the KNO
Project for larger capital purchases for the four cooperatives with you
and Ken Boyle and I am seeking formal approval to do this. I have also
discussed this idea with the boards of the four cooperatives and they
have agreed that this would be a better way to use the funds in the
Artsis is working on a deal with Monsanto for no-till planting
equipment. I agreed to make the down payment for that deal, which is
$10,000.00. We have been working on this for a long time (it seems like
forever) with CNFA and Monsanto. The payment has already been made to
I have already purchased seed treating equipment and two tractors for
Ivanov Coop. They got the equipment from bankrupt collectives and got a
very good deal on all of it. The seed treating equipment was still in
crates and was purchased from Germany two years ago for $27,000.00. We
got it all for $7,000.00. The Ivanov Coop will specialize in hailing,
storing and selling seed. They got the two tractors from a bankrupt
collective in Ivanovka for $3,000.00 and will provide a plowing service
for their members this year.
John Wales USDA/CADP Odessa
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What types of language communication do you know?
2. What are the main characteristics of oral speech?
3. Enumerate functional styles of contemporary English.
4. What do you know about the scientific style?
5. Characterize the official style.
6. Discuss the peculiarities of the newspaper style.
7. What are the main features of the publicist style?
8. What is the status of the belles-lettres style among other functional
9. What dichotomies between the types and the forms of language
communication do you know? Do they correlate?
10. Can you think of any intermediate styles, boasting of qualities of
two or even more “regular” styles?
* * *
Now, after you had learnt the intricacies of stylistic functioning of
language units of different linguistic levels, we can try and analyze
their convergence, which enhances and strengthens the given information
and – still more important – creates the new, additional meaning of the
Starting on the road of stylistic analysis you should keep in mind at
least three basic essentials:
1. Read the passage given for analysis to the end.
2. Be sure you understand not only its general content but every single
word and construction, too.
3. Paying due respect to linguistic intuition which is an indispensable
part of all linguistic work, be sure to look for the source of your
“feeling of the text” in the material reality of the latter.
SUPPLEMENT 1. SAMPLES OF STYLISTIC ANALYSIS
1. My dad had a small insurance agency in Newport. He had moved there
because his sister had married old Newport money and was a big wheel in
the Preservation Society. At fifteen I’m an orphan, and Vic moves in.
“From now on you’ll do as I tell you,” he says. It impressed me. Vic had
never really shown any muscle before. (N.T.)
The first person singular pronouns indicate that we deal either with the
entrusted narrative or with the personage’s uttered monologue.
The communicative situation is highly informal. The vocabulary includes
not only standard colloquial words and expressions such as “dad”, “to
show muscle” (which is based on metonymy), the intensifying “really”,
but also the substandard metaphor – “a big wheel”. The latter also
indicates the lack of respect of the speaker towards his aunt, which is
further sustained by his metonymical qualification of her husband (“old
The syntax, too, participates in conveying the atmosphere of colloquial
informality – sentences are predominantly short. Structures are either
simple or, even when consisting of two clauses, offer the least
complicated cases of subordination.
The change of tenses registers changes in the chronology of narrated
events. Especially conspicuous is the introduction of Present Indefinite
(Simple) Tense, which creates the effect of immediacy and nearness of
some particular moment, which, in its turn, signifies the importance of
this event, thus foregrounding it, bringing it into the limelight – and
making it the logical and emotional centre of the discourse.
2. He had heard everything the Boy said however – was waiting for the
right moment to wrap up his silence, roll it into a weapon and hit Matty
over the head with it. He did so now. (W.G1.)
In this short extract from W. Golding’s Darkness Visible the appearance
of a person who was an unnoticed witness to a conversation is described.
The unexpectedness of his emergence is identified with the blow in the
sustained metaphor which consists of three individual verb metaphors
showing stages of an aggressive action.
The abrupt change of sentence length and structure contributes to the
expressiveness of the passage.
3. And out of the quiet it came to Abramovici that the battle was over,
it had left him alive; it had been a battle – a battle! You know where
people go out and push little buttons and pull little triggers and
figure out targets and aim with the intention to kill, to tear your
guts, to blow out у our brains, to put great ragged holes in the body
you’ve been taking care of and feeding and washing all youi life, holes
out of which your blood comes pouring, more blood than you ever could
wash off, hold back, stop with all the bandages in the world! (St.H.)
Here we deal with the change “of the type of narration: from the
author’s narrative, starting the paragraph, to represented inner speech
of the character. The transition tells on the vocabulary which becomes
more colloquial (cf. ”guts”) and more emotional (cf. the hyperbole “all
the bandages in the world”); on the syntax brimming with parallelisms;
on tne punctuation passing on to the emphatic points of exclamation and
dashes; on the morphology. “Naive” periphrases are used to describe the
act of firing and its deadly effect Third person pronouns give way to
the second person (“you”, “your”) embracing both communicants – the
personage (author) and the reader, establishing close links between
them, involving the reader into the feelings and sentiments of the
Very important is repetition. Besides syntactical repetition
(parallelism) mentioned above, pay attention to the repetition of
“battle”, because it is this word which on one hand, actually marks the
shift from one type of narration to another (the first “battle” bringing
in the author’s voice, the last two – that of Abramovici). On the other
hand, the repetition creates continuity and cohesion and allows the two
voices merge, making the transition smooth and almost imperceptible.
4. “This is Willie Stark, gents. From up home at Mason City. Me and
Willie was in school together. Yeah, and Willie, he was a bookworm, and
he was teacher’s pet. Wuzn’t you, Willie?” And Alex nudged the teacher’s
pet in the ribs. (R.W.)
Alex’s little speech gives a fair characteristic of the speaker. The
substandard “gents”, colloquial “me”, irregularities of grammar (“me and
Willie was”), pronunciation (graphon “wuzn’t”), syntax (“Willie, he
was”), abundance of set phrases (“he was a bookworm”, “he was a
teacher’s pet”, “from up home”) – all this shows the low educational and
cultural level of the speaker.
It is very important that such a man introduces the beginning politician
to his future voters and followers. In this way R. P. Warren stresses
the gap between the aspiring and ambitious, but very common and
run-of-the-mill young man starting on his political career, and the
false and ruthless experienced politician in the end of this road.
Note the author’s ironic attitude towards the young Stark which is seen
from the periphrastic nomination of the protagonist (“teacher’s pet”) in
the author’s final remark.
5. From that day on, thundering trains loomed in his dreams – hurtling,
sleek, black monsters whose stack pipes belched gobs of serpentine
smoke, whose seething fireboxes coughed out clouds of pink sparks, whose
pushing pistons sprayed jets of hissing steam – panting trains that
roared yammeringly over farflung, gleaming rails only to come to limp
and convulsive halts – long, fearful trains that were hauled brutally
forward by red-eyed locomotives that you loved watching as they (and you
trembling) crashed past (and you longing to run but finding your feet
strangely glued to the ground). (Wr.)
This paragraph from Richard Wright is a description into which the
character’s voice is gradually introduced first through the second
person pronoun “you”, later also graphically and syntactically – through
the so-called embedded sentences, which explicitly describe the
The paragraph is dominated by the sustained metaphor “trains” =
“monsters”. Each clause of this long (the length of this one sentence,
constituting a whole paragraph, is over 90 words) structure contains its
own verb-metaphors “belched”, “coughed out”, “sprayed”, etc.,
metaphorical epithets contributing to the image of the monster
-“thundering”, “hurtling”, “seething”, “pushing”, “hissing”, etc. Their
participial form also helps to convey the effect of dynamic motion. The
latter is inseparable from the deafening noise, and besides “roared”,
“thundering”, “hissing”, there is onomatopoeic “yammeringly”.
The paragraph abounds in epithets – single (e.g. “serpentine smoke”),
pairs (e.g. “farflung, gleaming rails”), strings (“hurtling, sleek,
black monsters”), expressed not only by the traditional adjectives and
participles but also by qualitative adverbs (“brutally”, “yammeringly”).
Many epithets, as it was mentioned before, are metaphorical, included
into the formation of the sustained metaphor. The latter, besides the
developed central image of the monstrous train, consists of at least two
minor ones – “red-eyed locomotives”, “limp and convulsive halts”.
The syntax of the sentence-paragraph shows several groups of parallel
constructions, reinforced by various types of repetitions
(morphological- of the -ing-suffix, caused by the use of eleven
participles; anaphoric -of “whose”; thematic – of the word “train”). All
the parallelisms and repetitions create a definitely perceived rhythm of
the passage which adds to the general effect of dynamic motion.
Taken together, the abundance of verbs and verbals denoting fast and
noisy action, having a negative connotation, of onomatopoeic words, of
repetitions – all of these phonetic, morphological, lexical and
syntactical means create a threatening and formidable image, which both
frightens and fascinates the protagonist.
SUPPLEMENT 2. EXTRACTS FOR COMPREHENSIVE STYLISTIC ANALYSIS
1. As various aids to recovery were removed from him and he began to
speak more, it was observed that his relationship to language was
unusual. He mouthed. Not only did he clench his fists with the effort of
speaking, he squinted. It seemed that a word was an object, a material
object, round and smooth sometimes, a golf-ball of a thing that he could
just about manage to get through his mouth, though it deformed his face
in the passage. Some words were jagged and these became awful passages
of pain and struggle that made the other children laugh. Patience and
silence seemed the greater part of his nature. Bit by bit he learnt to
control the anguish of speaking until the golf-balls and jagged stones,
the toads and jewels passed through his mouth with not much more than
the normal effort. (W.G1.)
2. As the women unfolded the convolutions of their stories together he
felt more and more like a kitten tangling up in a ball of wool it had
never intended to unravel in the first place; or a sultan faced with not
one but two Scheherezades, both intent on impacting a thousand stories
into the single night. (An.C.)
3. “Is anything wrong?” asked the tall well-muscled manager with
menacing inscrutability, arriving to ensure that nothing in his
restaurant ever would go amiss. A second contender for the world karate
championship glided noiselessly up alongside in formidable allegiance.
4. As Prew listened the mobile face before him melted to a
battle-blackened skull as though a flamethrower had passed over it,
kissed it lightly, and moved on. The skull talked on to him about his
5. Scobie turned up James Street past the Secretariat. With its long
balconies it has always reminded him of a hospital. For fifteen years he
had watched the arrival of a succession of patients; periodically, at
the end of eighteen months certain patients were sent home, yellow and
nervy and others took their place – Colonial Secretaries, Secretaries of
Agriculture, Treasurers and Directors of Public Works. He watched their
temperature charts every one – the first outbreak of unreasonable
temper, the drink too many, the sudden attack for principle after a year
of acquiescence. The black clerks carried their bedside manner like
doctors down the corridors; cheerful and respectful they put up with any
insult. The patient was always right. (Gr.Gr.)
6. Her voice. It was as if he became a prisoner of her voice, her
cavernous, sombre voice, a voice made for shouting about the tempest,
her voice of a celestial fishwife. Musical as it strangely was, yet not
a voice for singing with; it comprised discords, her scale contained
twelve tones. Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and
random aspirates. Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as
a siren’s. (An.C.)
7. In a very few minutes an ambulance came, the team was told all the
nothing that was known about the child and he was driven away, the
ambulance bell ringing, unnecessarily. (W.G1.)
8. This area took Matty and absorbed him. He received pocket money. He
slept in a long attic. He ate well. He wore a thick dark-grey suit and
grey overalls. He carried things. He became the Boy. (W.G1.)
9. We have all seen those swinging gates which, when their swing is
considerable, go to and fro without locking. When the swing has
declined, however, the latch suddenly drops to its place, the gate is
held and after a short rattle the motion is all over. We have to explain
an effect something like that. When the two atoms meet, the repulsions
of their electron shells usually cause them to recoil; but if the motion
is small and the atoms spend a longer time in each other’s
neighbourhood, there is time for something to happen in the internal
arrangements of both atoms, like the drop of the latch-gate into its
socket, and the atoms are held. (W.Br.)
10. We marched on, fifteen miles a day, till we came to the maze of
canals and streams which lead the Euphrates into the Babylonian
cornfields. The bridges are built high for the floods of winter.
Sometimes the ricefields spread their tassled lakes, off which the
morning sun would glance to blind us. Then one noon, when the glare had
shifted, we saw ahead the great black walls of Babylon, stretched on the
low horizon against the heavy sky. Not that its walls were near; it was
their height that let us see them. When at last we passed between the
wheatfields yellowing for the second harvest, which fringed the moat,
and stood below, it was like being under mountain cliffs. One could see
the bricks and bitumen; yet it seemed impossible this could be the work
of human hands. Seventy-five feet stand the walls of Babylon; more than
thirty thick; and each side of the square they form measure fifteen
miles. We saw no sign of the royal army; there was room for it all to
encamp within, some twenty thousand foot and fifty thousand horse.
The walls have a hundred gates of solid bronze. We went in by the Royal
Way, lined with banners and standards, with Magi holding fire-altars,
ith trumpeters and praise-singers, with satraps and commanders. Further
on was the army; the walls of Babylon enclose a whole countryside. All
its parks can grow grain in case of siege; it is watered from the
Euphrates. An impregnable city.
The King entered in his chariot. He made a fine figure, overtopping by
half a head his charioteer, shining in white and purple. The Babylonians
roared their acclamation, as he drove off with a tram of lords and
satraps to show himself to the army. (M.R.)
11. You know, a lot of trouble has been caused by memoirs. Indiscreet
revelations, that sort of thing. People who have been close as an oyster
all their lives seem positively to relish causing trouble when they
themselves will be comfortably dead. It gives them a kind of malicious
12. “Call Elizabeth Cluppins,” said Sergeant Buzfuz. The nearest usher
called for Elizabeth Tuppins, another one, at a little distance of,
demanded Elizabeth Jupkins; and a third rushed in a breathless state
into Ring Street and screamed for Elizabeth Muffins till he was hoarse.
13. “You’re the last person I wanted to see. The sight of you dries up
all my plans and hopes. I wish I were back at war still, because it’s
easier to fight you than to live with you. War’s a pleasure do you hear
me? -War’s a pleasure compared to what faces us now: trying to build up
a peacetime with you in the middle of it.”
“I’m not going to be a part of any peacetime of yours. I’m going a long
way from here and make my own world that’s fit for a man to live in.
Where a man can be free, and have a chance, and do what he wants to do
in his own way,” Henry said.
“Henry, let’s try again.”
“Try what? Living here? Speaking polite down to all the old men like
you? Standing like sheep at the street corner until – the red light
turns to green? Being a good boy and a good sheep, like all the stinking
ideas you get out of your books? Oh, no! I’ll make a world, and I’ll
show you.” (Th.W.)
14. I began to think how little I had saved, how long a time it took to
save at all, how short a time I might have at my age to live, and how
she would be left to the rough mercies of the world. (D.)
15. She was sitting down with the “Good Earth” in front of her. She put
it aside the moment she made her decision, got up and went to the closet
where perched on things that looked like huge wooden collar-buttons. She
took two hats, tried on both of them, and went back to the closet and
took out a third, which she kept on. Gloves, purse, cigarette
extinguished, and she was ready to go. (J.O’H.)
16. “How long have you known him? What’s he like?” “Since Christmas.
He’s from Seattle and he spent Christmas with friends of mine in
Greenwich is how I happened to meet him. I sat next to him at dinner the
night after Christmas, and he was the quiet type, 1 thought. He looked
to be the quiet type. So I found out what he did and I began talking
about gastroenterostomies and stuff and he just sat there and nodded all
the time I was talking. You know, when I was going to be a nurse a year
before last. Finally I said something to him. I asked him if by any
chance he was listening to what 1 was saying, or bored, or what? “No,
not bored,” he said. “Just cockeyed.” And he was. Cockeyed. It seems so
long ago and so hard to believe we were ever strangers like that, but
that’s how I met him, or my first conversation with him. Actually he’s
very good. His family have loads of money from the lumber business and
I’ve never seen anything like the way he spends money. But only when it
doesn’t interfere with his work at P. and S. He has a Packard that he
keeps in Greenwich and hardly ever uses except when he comes to see me.
He was a marvellous basket-ball player at Dartmouth and two weeks ago
when he came up to our house he hadn’t had a golf stick in his hands
since last summer and he went out and shot an eighty-seven. He’s very
homely, but he has this dry sense of humor that at first you don’t quite
know whether he’s even listening to you, but the things he says.
Sometimes I think – oh, not really, but a stranger overhearing him might
suggest sending him to an alienist.” (J.O’H.)
17. My appointment with the Charters Electrical Company wasn’t until
afternoon, so I spent the morning wandering round the town. There was a
lot of dirty snow and slush about, and the sky was grey and sagging with
another load of the stuff, but the morning was fine enough for a walk.
Gretley in daylight provided no surprise It was one of those English
towns that seem to have been built simply to make money for people who
don’t even condescend to live in them. (P.)
18. This constant succession of glasses produced considerable effect
upon Mr. Pickwick; his countenance beamed with the most sunny smiles,
laughter played around his lips, and good-humoured merriment twinkled in
his eyes. Yielding by degrees to the influence of the exciting liquid
rendered more so by the heat, Mr. Pickwick expressed a strong desire to
recollect a song which he had heard in his infancy, and the attempt
proving abortive, sought to stimulate his memory with more glasses of
punch, which appeared to have quite a contrary effect; for, from
forgetting the words of the song, he began to forget how to articulate
any words at all; and finally, after rising to his legs to address the
company in an eloquent speech, he fell into the barrow, and fast asleep,
19. Mr. Topper turned from the tree and wormed himself into the
automobile. And the observer, had he been endowed with cattish curiosity
would have noted by the laborings of Topper’s body that he had not long
been familiar with the driving seat of an automobile. Once in, he
relaxed, then, collecting his scattered members, arranged his feet and
hands as Mark had patiently instructed him. (Th.S.)
20. It was a marvellous day in late August, and Wimsey’s soul purred
within him as he pushed the car along. The road from Kirkcudbright to
Newton-Stuart is of a varied loveliness hard to surpass, and with the
sky full of bright sun and rolling cloud-banks, hedges filled with
flowers, a well-made road, a lively engine and a prospect of a good
corpse at the end of it, Lord Peter’s cup of happiness was full. He was
a man who loved simple pleasures.
He passed through Gatehouse, waving a cheerful hand to the proprietor of
Antworth Hotel, climbed up beneath the grim blackness of Cardoness
Castle, drank in for the thousandth time the strange Japanese beauty of
Mossyard Farm, set like a red jewel under its tufted trees on the blue
sea’s rim, and the Italian loveliness of Kirkdale, with its fringe of
thin and twisted trees and the blue coast gleaming across the way.
21. The two transports had sneaked up from the South in the first
graying flush of dawn, their cumbersome mass cutting smoothly through
the water whose still greater mass bore them silently, themselves as
gray as the dawn which camouflaged them. Now, in the fresh early morning
of a lovely tropic day they lay quietly at anchor in the channel, nearer
to the one island than to the other which was only a cloud on the
horizon. To their crews, this was a routine mission and one they knew
well: that of delivering fresh reinforcement troops. But to the men who
comprised the cargo of infantry this trip was neither routine nor known
and was composed of a mixture of dense anxiety and tense excitement.
22. I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and
their neighbourhoods. For instance, there is a brown-stone in the East
Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New
York apartment. It was one room crowded with attic furniture, a sofa and
fat chairs upholstered in that itchy, particular red velvet that one
associates with hot days on a train. The walls were stucco, and a color
rather like tobacco-spit. Everywhere, in the bathroom too, there v/ere
prints of Roman rains freckled, brown with age. The single window looked
out on the fire escape. Even so, my spirits heightened whenever I felt
in my pocket the key to this apartment; with all its gloom, it was still
a place of my own, the first, and my books were there, and jars of
pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer
I wanted to be. (T.C.)
23. On the fateful morning of his fortieth birthday, in a room full of
butterflies, the zamindar Mirza Saeed Akhtar watched over his sleeping
wife, and felt his heart fill up to the bursting-point with love. He had
awoken early for once, rising before dawn with a bad dream souring his
mouth, his recurring dream of the end of the world, in which the
catastrophe was invariably his fault. He had been reading Nietzsche the
night before – “the pitiless end of that small, overextended species
called Man” – and had fallen asleep with the book resting face downwards
on his chest. Waking to the rustle of butterfly wings in the cool,
shadowy bedroom, he was angry with himself for being so foolish in his
choice of bedside reading matter. He was, however, wide awake now.
Getting up quietly, he slipped his feet into chappals and strolled idly
along the verandas of the great mansion, still in darkness on account of
their lowered blinds, and the butterflies bobbed like courtiers at his
back. In the far distance, someone was playing a flute. Mirza Saeed drew
up the chick blinds and fastened their cords. The gardens were deep in
mist, through which the butterfly clouds were swirling, one mist
intersecting another. This remote region had always been renowned for
its lepidoptera, for these miraculous squadrons that filled the air by
day and night, butterflies with the gift of chameleons, whose wings
changed colour as they settled on vermilion (lowers, ochre curtains,
obsidian goblets or amber finger-rings. In the amindar’s mansion, and
also in the nearby village, the miracle of the butterflies had become so
familiar as to seem mundane, but in fact they had only returned nineteen
years ago, as the servant women would recall. They had been the familiar
spirits, or so the legend ran, of a local saint, the holy woman known
only as Bibiji, who had lived to the age of two hundred and forty-two
and whose grave, until its location was forgotten, had the property of
curing impotence and warts. Since the death of Bibiji one hundred and
twenty years ago the butterflies had vanished into the same realm of the
legendary as Bibiji herself, so that when they came back exactly one
hundred and one years after their departure it looked, at first, like an
omen of some imminent, wonderful thing. After Bibiji’s death – it should
quickly be said – the village had continued to prosper, the potato crops
remained plentiful, but there had been a gap in many hearts, even though
the villagers of the present had no memory of the time of the old saint.
So the return of the butterflies lifted many spirits, but when the
expected wonders failed to materialize the locals sank back, little by
little, into the insufficiency of the day-today. The name of the
zamindar’s mansion, Peristan, may have had its origins in the magical
creatures’ fairy wings, and the village’s name, Titlipur, certainly did.
But names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds,
their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth’s marvels,
beneath the dust of habit. The human inhabitants of Titlipur, and its
butterfly hordes, moved amongst one another with a kind of mutual
disdain. The villagers and the zamindar’s family had long ago abandoned
the attempt to exclude the butterflies from their homes, so that now
whenever a trunk was opened, a batch of wings would fly out of it like
Pandora’s imps, changing colour as they rose; there were butterflies
under the closed lids of the thunderboxes in the toilets of Peristan,
and inside every wardrobe… (S.R.)
24. They were dusty and Rawlins was unshaven and they smelled of horses
and sweat and woodsmoke. Some men sitting in chairs at the back of the
store looked up when they entered and then went on talking.
They stood at the meatcase. The woman came from the counter and walked
behind the case and took down an apron and pulled a chain that turned on
the overhead lightbulb.
You do look like some kind of desperado, John Grady said.
You dont look like no choir director, said Rawlins.
The woman tied the apron behind her and turned to regard them above the
white enameled top of the meatcase. What’ll you boys have? she said.
They bought baloney and cheese and a loaf of bread and a jar of
mayonnaise. They bought a box of crackers and a dozen tins of vienna
sausage. They bought a dozen packets of koolaid and a slab end of bacon
and some tins of beans and they bought a five pound bag of cornmeal and
a bottle of hotsauce. The woman wrapped the meat and cheese separate and
she wet a pencil with her tongue and totted up the purchases and then
put everything together in a number four grocery bag.
Where you boys from? she said.
From up around San Angelo.
You all ride them horses down here?
Well I’ll declare, she said.
When they woke in the morning they were in plain view of a small adobe
house. A woman had come out of the house and slung a pan of dishwater
into the yard. She looked at them and went back in again. They’d hung
their saddles over a fence to dry and while they were getting them a man
came out and stood watching them. They saddled the horses and led them
out to the road and mounted up and turned south.
Wonder what all they’re doin back home? Rawlins said.
John Grady leaned and spat. Well, he said, probably they’re havin the
biggest time in the world. Probably struck oil. I’d say they’re in town
about now pickin out their new cars and all.
Shit, said Rawlins.
You ever get ill at ease? said Rawlins.
I dont know. About anything. Just ill at ease.
Sometimes. If you’re someplace you aint supposed to be I guess you’d be
ill at ease. Should be anyways.
Well suppose you were ill at ease and didnt know why. Would that mean
that you might be someplace you wasnt supposed to be and didnt know it?
What the hell’s wrong with you?
I dont know. Nothin. I believe I’ll sing.
He did. He sang: Will you miss me, will you miss me. Will you miss me
when I’m gone
You know that Del Rio radio station? he said.
Yeah, I know it.
I’ve heard it told that at night you can take a fencewire in your teeth
and pick it up. Dont even need a radio.
You believe that?
I dont know.
You ever tried it?
Yeah. One time.
They rode on. Rawlins sang. What the hell is a flowery boundary tree? he
You got me, cousin.
They passed under a high limestone bluff where a creek ran down and they
crossed a broad gravel wash. Upstream were potholes from the recent
rains where a pair of herons stood footed to their long shadows. One
rose and flew, one stood. An hour later they crossed the Pecos River,
putting the horses into the ford, the water swift and clear and partly
salt running over the limestone bedrock and the horses studying the
water before them and placing their feet with great care on the broad
traprock plates and eyeing the shapes of trailing moss in the rips below
the ford where they flared and twisted electric green in the morning
light. Rawlins leaned from the saddle and wet his hand in the river and
tasted it. It’s gypwater, he said. (C.M.)
25. He leaned his elbows on the porch ledge and stood looking down
through the screens at the familiar scene of the barracks square laid
out below with the tiers of porches dark in the faces of the three-story
concrete barracks fronting on the square. He was feeling a half-sheepish
affection for his vantage point that he was leaving.
Below him under the blows of the February Hawaiian sun the quadrangle
gasped defencelessly, like an exhausted fighter. Through the heat haze
the thin midmorning film of the parched red dust came up a muted
orchestra of sounds: the clanking of steel-wheeled carts bouncing over
brick, the slappings of oiled leather sling-straps, the shuffling beat
of shoesoles, the hoarse expletive of irritated noncoms. (J.)
26. Around noon the last shivering wedding guest arrived at the
farmhouse: then for all the miles around nothing moved on the
gale-haunted moors – neither carriage, wagon, nor human figure. The road
wound emptily over the low hills. The gray day turned still colder, and
invisible clouds of air began to stir slowly in great icy swaths, as if
signalling some convulsive change beyond the sky. From across the downs
came the boom of surf against the island cliffs. Within an hour the sea
wind rose to a steady moan, and then within the next hour rose still
more to become a screaming ocean of air.
Ribbons of shouted laughter and music – wild waltzes and reels streamed
thinly from the house, but all the wedding sounds were engulfed, drowned
and then lost in the steady roar of the gale. Finally, at three o’clock,
spits of snow became a steady swirl of white that obscured the landscape
more thoroughly than any fog that had ever rolled in from the sea.
27. There was an area east of the Isle of Dogs in London which was an
unusual mixture even for those surroundings. Among the walled-off
rectangles of water, the warehouses, railway lines and travelling
cranes, were two streets of mean houses with two pubs and two shops
among them. The bulks of tramp steamers hung over the houses where there
had been as many languages spoken as families that lived there. But just
now not much was being said, for the whole area had been evacuated
officially and even a ship that was hit and set on fire had few
spectators near it. There was a kind of tent in the sky over London,
which was composed of the faint white beams of searchlights, with
barrage balloons dotted here and there. The barrage balloons were all
that the searchlights discovered in the sky, and the bombs came down, it
seemed, mysteriously out of emptiness. They fell round the great fire.
The men at the edge of the fire could only watch it burn, out of
control. The drone of the bombers was dying away. The five-mile-high
tent of chalky lights had disappeared, been struck all at once, but the
light of the great fire was bright as ever, brighter perhaps. Now the
pink aura of it had spread. Saffron and ochre turned to blood-colour.
The shivering of the white heart of the fire had quickened beyond the
capacity of the eye to analyse it into an outrageous glare. High above
the glare and visible now for the first time between two pillars of
lighted smoke was the steely and untouched round of the full moon – the
lover’s, hunter’s, poet’s moon; and now – an ancient and severe goddess
credited with a new function and a new title – the bomber’s moon. She
was Artemis of the bombers, more pitiless than ever before. (W.G1.)
28. There is no month in the whole year, in which nature wears a more
beautiful appearance than in the month of August; Spring has many
beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month: but the charms of this
time of year are enhanced by their contrast with the winter season.
August has no such advantage. It comes when we remember nothing but
clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers – when the
recollection of snow, and ice. and bleak winds, has faded from our minds
as completely as they have disappeared from the earth – and yet what a
pleasant time it is. Orchards and cornfields ring with the hum of
labour; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow
their branches to the ground; and the corn, piled in graceful sheaves,
or waving in every light breath that sweeps above it, as if it wooed the
sickle, tinges the landscape with a golden hue. A mellow softness
appears to hang over the whole earth; the influence of the season seems
to extend itself to the very wagon, whose slow motion across the
wellreaped field is perceptible only to the eye, but strikes with no
harsh sound upon the ear. (D.)
29. They say you never hear the one that hits you. That is true of
bullets because if you hear them they are already past. I heard the last
shell that hit this hotel. Heard it start from the battery, then come
with a whistling incoming roar like a subway train, to crash against a
cornice and shower the room with broken glass and plaster. And while the
glass still tinkled down and you listened for the next one to start, you
realized that now finally you were back in Madrid.
Madrid is quiet now. Aragon is the active front. There is little
fighting around Madrid except mining and countermining, trench raiding,
trench mortar strafing and sniping in the stalemate of constant siege
warfare going on in Carabanchel, Usera and University City. The cities
are shelled very little. Some days there is no shelling and the weather
is beautiful and the streets crowded. Shops full of clothing, jewelry
stores, camera shops, picture dealers, antiquarians are all open and
cafes and bars are crowded. Beer is scarce and whisky is almost
unobtainable. The store windows are full of Spanish imitations of all
cordials, whiskys, vermouths. These are not recommended for internal use
though I am employing something called Milords Ecosses Whisky on my face
after shaving. It swarts a little but feels very hygienic. I believe it
would be a possible cure for athlete’s foot, but one must be very
careful not to spill it on one’s clothes because it eats wool.
The crowds are cheerful and the sandbagged-fronted cinemas are crowded
every afternoon. The nearer one gets to the front, the more cheerful and
optimistic the people are. At the front itself optimism reaches such a
point that, very much against my good judgement, I was induced to go
swimming in a small river forming No Man’s Land on the Guenca. The river
was a fast flowing stream, very chilly and completely dominated by the
Fascist positions, which made me even chiller. I became so chilly at the
idea of swimming in the river at all under the circumstances that when I
actually entered the water it felt rather pleasant. But it felt even
pleasanter to get out of the water and behind a tree. At this moment a
Government officer, who was a member of the optimistic swimming parry
shot a watersnake with his pistol, hitting it on the third shot. This
brought a reprimand from another not so completely optimistic officer
member who asked what he wanted to do with that shooting, get the
machineguns turned on us? We shot no more snakes that day but I saw
three trout in the stream which would weigh over four pound apiece.
Heavy old deep-sided ones that rolled up to take the grasshoppers I
threw them, making swirls in the water as deep as though you had dropped
a paving stone into the stream. All along the stream where no road ever
led until the war you could see trout, small ones in the shallows and
the bigger kind in the pools and in the shadows of the bank. It is a
river worth fighting for, but just a little cold for swimming.
At this moment a shell has just alighted on a house up the street from
the hotel where I am typing this. A little boy is crying in the street.
A Militiaman has picked him and is comforting him. There is no one
killed in our street and the people who started to run slowed down and
grin nervously. The one who never started to run at all looks at the
others in a very superior way, and the town we are living in now is
called Madrid. (H.)
30. And then he remembered that he did not love Gloria. He could not
love a common thief. She was a common thief, too. You could see that in
her face. There was something in her face, some unconventional thing
along with the rest of her beauty, her mouth and eyes and nose
-somewhere around the eyes, perhaps, or was it the mouth? – she did not
have the conventional look. Emily, yes, Emily had it. He could look at
Emily dispassionately, impersonally, as though he did not know her –
objectively? wasn’t it called? He could look at her and see how much she
looked like dozens of girls who had been born and brought up as she had
been. You saw them at the theatres, at the best cabarets and
speakeasies, at the good clubs on Long Island – and then you saw the
same girls, the same women, dressed the same, differing only in the
accent of their speech, at clubs in other cities, at horse shows and
football games and dances, at Junior League conventions. Emily, he
decided after eighteen years of marriage, was a type. And he knew why
she was a type, or he knew the thing that made the difference in the
look of a girl like Gloria. Gloria led a certain kind of life, a sordid
life; drinking and sleeping with men and God knows what all, and had
seen more of “life” than Emily ever possibly would see. Whereas Emily
had been brought up a certain way, always accustomed to money and the
good ways of spending it. In other words, all her life Emily had been
looking at nice things, nice houses, cars, pictures, grounds, clothes,
people. Things that were easy to look at, and people that were easy to
look at: with healthy complexions and good teeth, people who had had
pasturized milk to drink and proper food all their lives from the time
they were infants; people who lived in houses that were kept clean, and
painted when paint was needed, who took care of their minds, were taken
care of: and they got the look that Emily and girls-women like her had.
Whereas Gloria -well, take for instance the people she was with the
night he saw her two nights ago, the first night he went out with her.
The man that liked to eat, for instance. Where did he come from? He
might have come from the Ghetto. Ligget happened to know that there were
places in the slums where eighty families would use the same outside
toilet. A little thing, but imagine what it must look like! Imagine
having spent your formative years living like, well, somewhat the way
you lived in the Army. Imagine what effect that would have on your mind.
And of course a thing like that didn’t only affect your mind: it showed
in your face, absolutely. Not that it was so obvious in Gloria’s case.
She had good teeth and a good complexion and a healthy body but there
was something wrong somewhere. She had not gone to the very best
schools, for instance. A little thing perhaps, but important. Her family
– he didn’t know anything about them; just that she lived with her
mother and her mother’s brother. Maybe she was a bastard. That was
possible. She could be a bastard. That can happen in this country. Maybe
her mother was never married. Sure, that could happen in this country.
He never heard of it except among poor people and Gloria’s family were
not poor. But why couldn’t it happen in this country? The first time he
and Emily ever stayed together they took a chance on having children,
and in those days people didn’t know as much about not getting caught as
they do today. Gloria was even older than Ruth so maybe her mother had
done just what Emily had done, with no luck. Maybe Gloria’s father was
killed in a railroad accident or something, intending to marry Gloria’s
mother, but on the night he first stayed with her, maybe on his way home
he was killed by an automobile or a hold-up man, or something. It could
happen. There was a fellow in New Haven that was very mysterious about
his family. His mother was on the stage, and nothing was ever said about
his father. Liggett wished now that he had known the fellow better. Now
he couldn’t remember the fellow’s name, but some of the fellows in
Liggett’s crowd had wondered about this What’s-His-Name. He drew for the
“Record”. An artist. Well, bastards were always talented people. Some of
the most famous men in history were bastards. Not bastards in any
derogatory sense of the word, but love children. (How awful to be a love
child. It’d be better to be a bastard. If I were a bastard I’d rather be
called a bastard than a love child.) Now Gloria, she drew or painted.
She was interested in art. And she certainly knew a lot of funny people.
She knew that bunch of kids from New Haven, young Billy and those kids.
But anybody could meet them, and anybody could meet Gloria. God damn it!
That was the worst of it! Anybody could meet Gloria. He thought that all
through dinner, looking at his wife, his two daughters, seeing in their
faces the thing he had been thinking about: a proper upbringing and
looking at nice things and what it does to your face. He saw them, and
he thought of Gloria, and that anybody could meet Gloria, and anybody,
somebody she picked up in a speakeasy somewhere, probably was with her
now, this minute. “I don’t think I’ll wait for dessert,” he said.
31. But by the time he had said that, Matty was rapt, gazing at the
glass on the three other walls. It was all mirror, even the backs of the
doors, and it was not just plain mirrors, it distorted so that Matty saw
himself half a dozen times, pulled out sideways and squashed down from
above; and Mr. Hanrahan was the shape of a sofa.
“Ha,” said Mr. Hanrahan. “You’re admiring my bits of glass I see. Isn’t
that a good idea for a daily mortification of sinful pride? Mrs.
Hanrahan! Where are you?”
Mrs. Hanrahan appeared as if materialized, for what with the window and
the mirrors a door opening here or there was little more than a watery
conflux of light. She was thinner than Matty, shorter than Mr. Hanrahan
and had an air of having been used up. “What is it, Mr. Hanrahan?” “Here
he is, I’ve found him!” “Oh the poor man with his mended face!”
“I’ll teach them, the awesome frivolity of it, wanting a man about the
place! Girls! Come here, the lot of you!”
Then there was a watery conflux in various parts of the wall, some
darkness and here and there a dazzle of light.
“My seven girls,” cried Mr. Hanrahan, counting them busily. “You wanted
a man about the place, did you? Too many females were there? Not a young
man for a mile! I’ll teach you! Here’s the new man about the place! Take
a good look at him!”
The girls had formed into a semicircle. There were the twins Francesca
and Teresa, hardly out of the cradle, but pretty. Matty instinctively
held his hand so that they should not be frightened by his left side
which they could see. There was Bridget, rather taller and pretty and
peering short-sightedly, and there was Bernadette who was taller and
prettier and wholly nubile, and there was Cecilia who was shorter and
just as pretty and nubiler if anything, and there was Gabriel Jane,
turner-of-heads-in-the-street, and there was the firstborn, dressed for
a barbecue, Mary Michael: and whoever looked on Mary Michael was lost.
32. Never had there been so full an assembly, for mysteriously united in
spite of all their differences, they had taken arms against a common
peril. Like cattle when a dog comes into the field, they stood head to
head and shoulder to shoulder, prepared to ran upon and trample the
invader to death. They had come, too, no doubt, to get some notion of
what sort of presents they would ultimately be expected to give; for
though the question of wedding gifts was usually graduated in this way –
“What are you givin’? Nicholas is givin’ spoons!” – so very much
depended on the bridegroom. If he were sleek, well-brushed,
prosperous-looking, it was more necessary to give him nice things; he
would expect them. In the end each gave exactly what was right and
proper, by a species of family adjustement arrived at as prices are
arrived at on the Stock
Exchange – the exact niceties being regulated at Timothy’s commodious,
red-brick residence in Bayswater, overlooking the Park, where dwelt
Aunts Ann, Juley and Hester.
The uneasiness of the Forsyte family has been justified by the simple
mention of the hat. How impossible and wrong would it have been for any
family, with the regard for appearances which should ever characterize
the great upper-middle class to feel otherwise than uneasy!
The author of the uneasiness stood talking to June by the further door;
his curly hair had a rumpled appearance as though he found what was
going on around him unusual. He had an air, too, of having a joke all to
George, speaking aside to his brother Eustace, said: “looks as if he
might make a bolt of it – the dashing Buccaneer!” This “very
singular-looking man”, as Mrs. Small afterwards called him, was of
medium height and strong build with a pale, brown face, a dust coloured
moustache, very prominent cheekbones, and hollow cheeks. His forehead
sloped back towards the crown of his head, and bulged out in bumps over
the eyes, like forehead seen in the lion-house at the Zoo. He had
cherry-coloured eyes, disconcertingly inattentive at times. Old Jolyon’s
coachman, after driving June and Bosinney to the theatre, had remarked
to the bulter:
“I dunno what to make of ‘im. Looks to me for all the world like an –
And every now and then a Forsyte would come up, sidle round, and take a
look at him. June stood in front, fending off this idle curiosity – a
little bit of a thing, as somebody once said, “all hair and spirit”,
with fearless blue eyes, a firm jaw, and a bright colour, whose face and
body seemed too slender for her crown of red-gold hair.
A tall woman, with a beautiful figure, which some member of the family
had once compared to a heathen goddess, stood looking at these with a
shadowy smile. Her hands, gloved in French grey, were crossed one over
the other, her grave, charming face held to one side, and the eyes of
all men near were fastened on it. Her figure swayed, so balanced that
the very air seemed to set it moving. There was warmth, but little
colour, in her cheeks; her large, dark eyes were soft. But it was at her
lips – asking a question, giving an answer, with that shadowy smile –
that men looked; they were sensitive lips, sensuous and sweet, and
through them seemed to come warmth and perfume of a flower.
The engaged couple thus scrutinized were unconscious of this passive
33. Tom told them of another famous escaped slavewoman. “She named
Harriet Tubman. Ain’t no tellin’ how many times she come back South an’
led out different whole bunches o’ folks like us to freedom up Nawth on
sump’n dey’s callin’ de “Unnergroun’ Rairoad”. Fac’, she done it so much
dey claims by now white folks got out forty thousand dollars’ worth o’
rewards to’ her, alive or dead.”
“Lawd have mercy, wouldn’t o’ thought white folks pay dat much to catch
no nigger in de worl’! ” said Sister Sarah.
He told them that in a far-distant state called California, two white
men were said to have been building a sawmill when they discovered an
unbelievable wealth of gold in the ground, and thousands of people were
said to be rushing in in wagons, on mules, even afoot to reach the place
where it was claimed that gold could be dug up by the shovelful.
He said finally that in the North great debates on the subject of
slavery were being held between two white men named Stephen Douglas and
“Which one ’em for de niggers?” asked Gran’ mammy Kizzy. “Well, soun’
like de Massa Lincoln, leas’ways de bes’ I can tell,” said Tom.
“Well, praise de Lawd an’ give ‘im stren’th” said Kizzy.
Sucking his teeth, Chicken George got up patting his ample belly and
turned to Tom. “Looka here, boy, why’n’t you’n me stretch our legs, walk
off some dat meal?”
“Yassuh, Pappy,” Tom almost stammered, scarcely able to conceal his
amazement and trying to act casual.
The women, who were no less startled, exchanged quizzical, significant
glances when Chicken George and Tom set off together down the road.
Sister Sarah exclaimed softly, “Lawd, y’all realize dat boy done growed
nigh as his daddy!” James and Lewis stared after their father and older
brother nearly sick with envy, but they knew better than to invite
themselves along. But the two younger girls, L’il Kizzy and Mary,
couldn’t resist leaping up and happily starting to hop-skip along eight
or ten steps behind them.
Without even looking back at them, Chicken George ordered, “Git on back
younder an’ he’p y’all’s mammy wid dem dishes.”
“Aw, Pappy,” they whined in unison.
“Git, done to!’ you.”
Half turning around, his eyes loving his little sisters, Tom chided them
gently, “Ain’t y’all hear Pappy? We see you later on.”
With the girls’ complaining sounds behind them, they walked on in
silence for a little way and Chicken George spoke almost gruffly. “Looka
here, reckon you know I ain’t meant no harm jes’teasin’ you a l’il at
“Aw, nawsuh,” Tom said, privately astounded at what amounted to an
apology from his father. “I knowed you was jes’ teasin’.”
Grunting, Chicken George said, “What say we head on down an’ look in on
dem chickens? See what keepin’ dat nocount L’il George down dere so
long. All I knows, he mighta cooked an’ et up some dem chickens fo’ his
Thankagivin’ by now.”
Tom laughed. “L’il George mean well. Pappy. He jes’ a l’il slow. Hе done
tol’ me he jes’ don’ love dem birds like you does.” Tom paused, then
decided to venture his accompanying thought. “I ‘speck nobody in de
worl’ loves dem birds like you does.”
But Chicken George agreed readily enough. “Nobody in dis family,
anyways. I done tried ’em all ‘ceptin ‘you. Seem like all de res’ my
boys willin’ to spend dey lives draggin’ from one end ofafiel’ to de
other, lookin’ up a mule’ butt’.” He considered for a moment. “Yo’
blacksmithin’, wouldn’t ‘zackly call dat no high livin’ neither –
nothin’ like gamecoclin’ – but leas’ ways it’s a man’s work.”
Tom wondered if his father ever seriously respected anything excepting
fighting chickens. He felt deeply grateful that somehow he had escaped
into the solid, stable trade of blacksmithing. But he expressed his
thoughts in an oblique way. “Don’t see nothin’ wrong wid farmin’, Pappy.
If some folks wasn’t farming, ‘speck nobody wouldn’t be eatin’. I jes’
took to blacksmithin’ same as you wid gamecoclin’, ’cause I loves it,
an’ de Lawd gimme a knack fo’ it. Jes’ ever’body don’ love de same
“Well, leas’ you an’ me got sense to make money doin’ what we likes,”
said Chicken George. (Al.H.)
34. It was a flaking three-storey house in the ancient part of the city,
a century old if it was a day, but like all houses it had been given a
thin fireproof plastic sheath many years ago, and this preservative
shell seemed to be the only thing holding it in the sky.
“Here we are.”
The engine slammed to a stop. Beatty, Stoneman and Black ran up the
sidewalk, suddenly odious and fat in the plump fireproof slickers.
They crashed the front door and grabbed at a woman, though she was not
running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving
from side to side, her eyes fixed upon a nothingness in the wall as if
they had struck her a terrible blow upon the head. Her tongue was moving
in her mouth, and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember something.
Next thing they were up in musty blackness, swinging silver hatchets at
doors that were, after all, unlocked, tumbling through like boys all
rollic and shout. “Hey!” A fountain of books sprang down upon Montag as
he climbed shuddering up the sheer stair-well. How inconvenient! Always
before it had been like snuffing a candle. The police went first and
adhesive-taped the victim’s mouth and bandaged him off into their
glittering beetle cars, so when you arrived you found an empty house.
You weren’t hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And since
things really couldn’t be hurt, since things felt nothing, and things
don’t scream and cry out, there was nothing to tease your conscience
later. You were simply cleaning up. Janitorial work, essentially.
Everything to its proper place. Quick with the kerosene! Who’s got a
But now, tonight, someone had slipped. This woman was spoiling the
ritual. The men were making too much noise, laughing, joking to cover
her terrible accusing silence below. She made the empty rooms roar with
accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their
nostrils as they plunged about. It was neither cricket nor correct.
Montag felt an immense irritation. She shouldn’t be here, on top of
Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book
alighted, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings
fluttering. In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like
a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush
and fervour, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in
his mind for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel, “Time
has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine.” He dropped the book.
Immediately, another fell into his arms.
“Montag, up here!”
Montag’s hand closed like a mouth, crashed the book with wild devotion,
with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. The men above were
hurling shovelfuls of magazines into the dusty air. They fell like
slaughtered birds and the woman stood below, like a small girl, among
Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a
brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling
finger, had turned thief. Now, it plunged the book back under his arm,
pressed it tight to sweating armpit, rushed out empty, with a magician’s
flourish! Look here! Innocent! Look!
He gazed, shaken, at that white hand. He held it way out, as if he were
far-sighted. He held it close, as if he were blind.
He jerked about.
“Don’t stand there, idiot!”
The books lay like great mounds of fishes left to dry. The men danced
and slipped and fell over them. Titles glittered their golden eyes
They pumped the cold fluid from the numbered 451 tanks strapped to their
shoulders. They coated each book, they pumped rooms full of it.
They hurried downstairs, Montag staggered after them in the kerosene
“Come on, woman!”
The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and
cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes
“You can’t ever have my books,” she said.
“You know the law,” said Beatty. “Where’s your common sense? None of
those books agree with each other. You’ve been locked up here for years
with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it. The people in
those books never lived. Come on now!”
She shook her head.
“The whole house is going up,” said Beatty.
The men walked clumsily to the door. They glanced back at Montag, who
stood near the woman.
“You’re not leaving her here?” he protested.
“She won’t come.”
“Force her, then!”
Beatty raised his hand in which was concealed the igniter. “We’re due
back at the house. Besides, these fanatics always try suicide; the
Montag placed his hand on the woman’s elbow. “You can come with me.”
“No,” she said. “Thank you, anyway.”
“I’m counting to ten,” said Beatty. “One. Two.”
“Please,” said Montag.
“Go on,” said the woman.
“Here.” Montag pulled at the woman.
The woman replied quietly. “I want to stay here.”
“You can stop counting,” she said. She opened the fingers of one hand
slightly and in the palm of the hand was a single slender object.
An ordinary kitchen match.
The sight of it rushed the men out and down away from the house. Captain
Beatty, keeping his dignity, backed slowly through the front door, his
pink face burnt and shiny from a thousand fires and night excitements.
God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never by
day! Is it because the fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a
better show? The pink face of Beatty now showed the faintest panic in
the door. The woman’s hand twitched on the single matchstick. The fumes
of kerosene bloomed up about her. Montag felt the hidden book pound like
a heart against his chest. (R.Br.)
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