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Figures of Speech

An entertaining book about figures of speech that illustrates the effectiveness of the different turns of phrase that are hidden within a language.

To ask a sentence if it has a zeugma is not like asking a rock if it has silicon. This is why figures of speech cannot be learned the same way as the periodic table of elements. Figures of speech are not about hypothetical structures in things, but real potentialities within language and within people. They make us confront ourselves with the intoxicating possibility that we can make language do for us almost anything, revealing its limitless plasticity and blurring the boundaries between literal and figurative language. In this book, Arthur Quinn and Barney R. Quinn provide brief definitions and illustrate them by listing examples: quotations from Shakespeare, the Bible and other eminent sources to show readers how to do with language what they have not done before. The purpose? Imitation.