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.
Antonomasiais 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 do not 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 - Ì³ñ ìëîñíî; Mr. Backbite - Ì-ð Êëåâåíòàóí; Mr. Credulous - Ì-ð äîâ³ðëèâèé; Mr. Snake - Ì-ð Ãàä, etc. Or from F. Cooper: Lord Chatterino - Ëîðä áàëàáîë; John Jaw - Äæîí Áðåõ; Island Leap-High - Îñòð³â Âèñîêîïðèã³ÿ.
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 too.
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." (Ph. R.)
2. A stout middle-aged man, with enormous owl-eyed spectacles, was sitting on the edge of a great table. I turned to him.
"Do not ask me," said Mr. Owl Eyes washing his hands of the whole matter. (Sc.F.)
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; do not 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 do not 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 myth. "(O.W.)
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: do not 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, do not 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? (M.St.)
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 Something. (I.Sh.)
FOREWORD | Sound Instrumenting, Graphon. Graphical Means | EXERCISES | Morphemic Repetition. Extension of Morphemic Valency | EXERCISES | CHAPTER II. LEXICAL LEVEL | Literary Stratum of Words. Colloquial Words | ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL | EXERCISES | Metaphor. Metonymy. Synecdoche. Play on Words. Irony. Epithet. |