Zeugma is a fun little device that occurs when a word is used in multiple contexts simultaneously – i.e., to mean two (or sometimes more) things at once as it applies separately to the other words in its purview. Mostly used for humorous brevity, it naturally requires that the word have some homonymous or polysemic properties.
Billy ranfrom the slog and for mayor.
The minstrel playsthe flute almost as well as he does the fool.
I punched the slogwithfury, indignation, and my fist.
Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of consecutive sentences or clauses (basically the converse of anaphora). Like its counterpart, it is mostly used for emphasis through poetic redundancy.
The slogis the worst, its face is the worst, and its mere existence is the worst.
Stop writing, and you lose. Stop editing, and they lose. Humor the slog, and we all lose.
I’d slay the slogwith pleasure, then dump its remains with pleasure, so I could finally write – with pleasure!
Antimeria is one of my favorite rhetoric devices. It is the application of a word outside of its lexical category – e.g., using an adjective as a noun or a noun as a verb (in this case also autologically called ‘verbing’!). Even with the words repurposed ad hoc, the missing semantics are filled in by context and their meaning is easily understood.
When particular uses become common enough, polysemes are born.
The slog is giving me a case of the sads.
I can’t computer very much with the slog gnawing at my brain.
Thanks to the slog, I feel like I’m stupiding all over the place.
Where a synecdoche is a specific type of metonym, a merism is a specific type of synecdoche in which a phrase refers to something by the name of a few of its components (usually two in contrast). Like other metonyms, their usage most often comprises pre-established terms (such as saying “high and low” or “near and far” to mean “everywhere“), rather than existing in unique cases.
The slog can corrode you, mind and body. [Referring to the ‘whole of a person’ to mean completely]
Don’t let the slog waste your blood, sweat, and tears. [Referring to products of ‘bodily exertion’ to mean hard work]
Being the worst is the slog‘s bread and butter. [Referring to ‘basic needs’ (by way of food) as a function of their acquisition to mean manner of supporting oneself]
Tautology is a multifaceted concept. In most cases, it refers to something contextually uninformative. This can be as simple as a redundant word or phrase (“He burnt his hand in hot fire.”, “Julie the bachelorette arrived last, without a husband.”), but in what I’d call its most interesting form, a tautology is an entire assertion that is rendered intrinsically meaningless strictly because it is inherently true.
With so many ways to convey information in language, there is just something I find almost artfully ridiculous in the construction of a syntactically and semantically sound statement which nevertheless effectively communicates nothing under any interpretation.
The stupid things that the slog does are all stupid.
Aside from being an uglier word to say than look at, a synecdoche is a specific type of metonym where something is referred to by either a component of itself or, conversely, a broader category to which it belongs. When I call myself a writer, I’m naming one aspect of the process to say that I’m a storyteller.
I need to find a way to put the slog in irons. [Referring to shackles by their material]
Seeking to escape the slog, we entreated the Church to grant us asylum. [Referring to specific people by the organization they belong to, and that organization by the building it works in]
Anadiplosis is the repetition of a clause or sentence’s final word(s) at the beginning of the clause or sentence that follows it. Often strung together to emphasize a linear progression (think Yoda’s mantra, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”). With a little reflexivity, it can also set up chiasmus or antimetabole.
I hate the slog; the slog is awful. Awful things are no good – good things are much better.
He entered the house, and the house had many rooms, but the rooms were full of boxes, the boxes were stuffed with notes, the notes contained a warning, and that warning read “Beware the slog.”