I love discovering that a word exists to describe a part of speech that I use, but didn't know had a name.

Today, I learned the word metonymy.

From Using English:
Metonymy is a word or phrase that is used to represent something it is closely associated with: Wall Street represents the American financial world, much of which is located in Wall Street.

Wikipedia offers the following examples of metonymy:

  • "A dish" for an entree.
  • "The press" for the news media.
  • "Hollywood" for the American film industry.
  • "The Crown" for the monarchy.
  • "The pen is mightier than the sword"; pen is a metonym for rhetorical persuasion and sword is a metonym for violent coercion.

More metonymy found on the web:

  • "Ottawa" or "Parliament Hill" for the Canadian government
  • "Washington" for the American federal government
  • "Capitol Hill" for the U.S. Congress
  • "The White House" refers to the Administrative branch of the U.S. government (president and staff) who reside in the White House
  • "Nixon bombed Hanoi" where Nixon does not mean the president personally, but the armed forces that he controlled
  • "Sweat" for hard labour
  • "The kettle boils" where it is not the kettle itself but the water inside that is boiling


Now here is a challenge for you, my devoted blog readers: I would like to find a word to describe the following sentences, in which repetition is used for emphasis, dramatic effect, or a sense of foreboding:

  • "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts."
  • "I need help, I repeat, I need help."
  • "That's what I said, sir. That's what I said."
  • "Beware the Ides of March, Caesar. Beware the Ides of March."

Thank you for any suggestions!


Just D said…
It becomes obvious that you haven't many readers who are skilled in the art of grammar.

I include myself in that group and apologize profusely for not being able to provide you with an answer to your burning question.

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