1. What is a simile and what is a simple comparison?
2. What semantic poles of a simile do you know?
3. Which of the link words have you met most often?
4. What is the foundation of the simile?
5. What is the key of the simile?
6. What is a trite simile? Give examples.
7. What is an epic simile?
8. What is a disguised simile?
9. What are the main functions of a simile?
10. Find examples of similes in your reading. State their type, structure and functions.
Litotes is a two-component structure in which two negations are joined to give a positive evaluation. Thus "not unkindly" actually means "kindly", though the positive effect is weakened and some lack of the speaker's confidence in his statement is implied. The first component of a litotes is always the negative particle "not", while the second, always negative in semantics, varies in form from a negatively affixed word (as above) to a negative phrase.
Litotes is especially expressive when the semantic centre of the whole - structure is stylistically or / and emotionally coloured, as in the case of the following occasional creations: "Her face was not unhandsome" (A.H.) or "Her face was not unpretty". (K.K.)
The function of litotes has much in common with that of understatement - both weaken the effect of the utterance. The uniqueness of litotes lies in its specific "double negative" structure and in its weakening only the positive evaluation. The Russian term "ëèòîòà" corresponds only to the English "understatement" as it has no structural or semantic limitations.
Exercise IV. Analyse the structure, the semantics and the functions oflitotes:
1. "To be a good actress, she must always work for the truth in what she's playing," the man said in a voice not empty of self-love. (N.M.)
2. "Yeah, what the hell," Anne said and looking at me, gave that not unsour smile. (R.W.)
3. It was not unnatural if Gilbert felt a certain embarrassment. (E. W.)
4. The idea was not totally erroneous. The thought did not displease me. (I.M.)
5. I was quiet, but not uncommunicative; reserved, but not reclusive; energetic at times, but seldom enthusiastic. (Jn.B.)
6. He had all the confidence in the world, and not without reason. (J.O'H.)
7. Kirsten said not without dignity: "Too much talking is unwise." (Ch.)
8. "No, I've had a profession and then a firm to cherish," said Ravenstreet, not without bitterness. (P.)
9. I felt I would not say "no" to a cup of tea. (K.M.) 10. I would not say "no" to going to the movies. (E.W.)
11. "I do not think you've been too miserable, my dear." (P.)
12. Still two weeks of success is definitely not nothing and phone calls were coming in from agents for a week. (Ph.R.)
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