SDs based on proximity.

A. Periphrasis (Circumlocution)

B. Euphemism

C. Hyperbole

D. Understatement (Litotes)

A. Periphrasis(circumlocution) is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words. (Periphrasis is of Greek origin [about, around + phrasis (φράσις) speech, expression], while circumlocution is Latin - both meaning a roundabout manner of speaking.)

Circumlocution and periphrasis mean describing a word with other words, for example: scissors = a thing you use to cut other things. Circumlocution is often helpful while learning a new language, when one does not know the word for a particular thing. In the constructed language Basic English this is used to decrease the size of the necessary vocabulary.

Circumlocution also means replacing a word with another (or others), often in order to sound more polite, to avoid repetitions or a controversial, to be ironic.

B. Euphemism.A euphemism is an expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling the listener than the word or phrase it replaces, or in the case of doublespeak to make it less troublesome for the speaker.

The word euphemism comes from the Greek word euphemos, meaning auspicious/good/fortunate speech/kind which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eu (ευ), good/well + pheme speech/speaking. The eupheme was originally a word or phrase used in place of a religious word or phrase that should not be spoken aloud.

When a phrase is used as a euphemism, it often becomes a metaphor whose literal meaning is dropped. Euphemisms may be used to hide unpleasant or disturbing ideas, even when the literal term for them is not necessarily offensive. This type of euphemism is used in public relations and politics, where it is sometimes disparagingly called doublespeak. Sometimes, utilising euphemisms is equated to politeness. There are also superstitious euphemisms, based (consciously or subconsciously) on the idea that words have the power to bring bad fortune and religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are sacred, or that some words are spiritually imperiling.

In some versions of English, toilet room, itself a euphemism, was replaced with bathroom and water closet, which were replaced (respectively) with restroom and W.C.

It can apply to naming of racial or ethnic groups as well, when proposed euphemisms become successively corrupted. For example:

negro → colored → black → African-American → People of Color

Many euphemisms fall into one or more of these categories:

Terms of foreign and/or technical origin ( perspire, urinate, security breach, mierda de toro, prophylactic, feces occur)

Abbreviations (SOB for son of a bitch, BS for bullshit)

Abstractions (it, the situation, go, left the company, do it)

Indirections (behind, unmentionables, privates, live together, go to the bathroom, sleep together)

Mispronunciation (freakin, shoot)

Litotes (not exactly thin for fat, not completely truthful for lied, not unlike cheating for cheating)

Changing nouns to modifiers (makes her look slutty for is a slut, right-wing element for right-wing, of Jewish persuasion for Jew)

Euphemisms may be formed in a number of ways. Periphrasis or circumlocution is one of the most common - to speak around a given word, implying it without saying it. Over time, circumlocutions become recognized as established euphemisms for particular words or ideas.

C. Hyperbole (exaggeration, overstatement) is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated or extravagant. Derived from the Greek (literally 'overshooting' or 'excess'). It may be used due to strong feelings or is used to create a strong impression and is not meant to be taken literally. It has the function of intensifying one certain property of the object described. It is often used in poetry and is a literary device.

I could eat a horse.

She is one hundred feet tall.

A.A. Potyebnya differentiates exaggeration from hyperbole: Hyperbole is the result of intoxication by emotion, which prevents a person from seeing things in their true dimensions...If the reader (listener) is not carried away by the emotion of the writer (speaker), hyperbole becomes a mere lie.

Like many SDs, hyperbole may loose its quality as a figure of speech through frequent repetition and become a unit of the language-as-a-system, reproduced in speech in its unaltered form, e.g.: a thousand pardons, immensely obliged, I've told you fifty times.

D. Understatement (Litotes) is the reverse of exaggeration. Actually, antonyms to hyperbole include meiosis, litotes, and understatement. The relations, or feelings, or qualities of the object are intentionally underrated, diminishing the importance of event, e.g.:"She has a brain the size of a pinhead." She looked at me with not much joy. I wasn't what you can call in a fever of impatience.

 



D. Irony | Syntactical EMs and SDs Based on the Arrangement Of Words in a Sentence

Stylistics and other linguistic disciplines | Stylistic neutrality and stylistic colouring | Stylistic function notion | Expressive means of a language | Stylistic devices | General view on Figures of Speech | Graphical means | Graphon | Graphical means | E. Epithet |

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