And now for something completely different, we call on those renowned rhetoricians John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and the unforgivably late Graham Chapman. Known to fans of British comedy as Monty Python, these six snarky scholars have contributed more to the field of language studies than--well, than Benny Hill, for instance.
Appearing in the not-so-new Brand New Monty Python Papperbok (Methuen, 1973/2007), the "Announcement" not only identifies over 30 figures of speech but deftly and accurately illustrates most of them as well.
To assist readers who may not be acquainted with such exotic figures as hypallage and zeugma, we have conscientiously annotated the Python team's disquisition with links to definitions and additional examples in our Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms.
Announcement for People Who Like Figures of Speech
Because of the Anagrams dispute it has been decided to devote the rest of this space to a page specially written for people who like figures of speech, for the not a few fans of litotes, and those with no small interest in meiosis, for the infinite millions of hyperbole-lovers, for those fond of hypallage, and the epithet's golden transfer, for those who fall willingly into the arms of the metaphor, those who give up the ghost, bury their heads in the sand and ride roughshod over the mixed metaphor, and even those of hyperbaton the friends.
It will be, too, for those who reprehend the malapropism; who love the wealth of metonymy; for all friends of rhetoric and syllepsis; and zeugmatists with smiling eyes and hearts. It will bring a large absence of unsatisfactory malevolence to periphrastic fans; a wig harm bello to spoonerists; and in no small measure a not less than splendid greeting to you circumlocutors.
The world adores prosopopeiasts, and the friendly faces of synechdotists, and can one not make those amorous of anacoluthon understand that if they are not satisfied by this, what is to happen to them?
It will attempt to really welcome all splitters of infinitives, all who are Romeo and Juliet to antonomasia, those who drink up similes like sparkling champagne, who lose nothing compared with comparison heads, self-evident axiomists, all pithy aphorists, apothegemists, maximiles, theorists, epigrammatists and even gnomists.
And as for the lovers of aposiopesis--!
It will wish bienvenu to all classical adherents of euphuism, all metathesistic birds, golden paronomasiasts covered in guilt, fallacious paralogists, tropists, anagogists, and anaphorists; to greet, welcome, embrace asyndeton buffs, while the lovers of ellipsis will be well-met and its followers embraced, as will be chronic worshipers of catachresis and supporters of anastrophe the world over.
For definitions and examples of 100 more figures of speech, pick up our Tool Kit for Rhetorical Analysis.