2. She wanted to have a lot of children, and she was glad that things were that way, that the Church approved. Then the little girl died. Nancy broke with Rome the day her baby died. It was a secret break, but no Catholic breaks with Rome casually. (J.O'H.)
3. "Evelyn Glasgow, get up out of that chair this minute." The girl looked up from her book. "What's the matter?"
"Your satin. The skirt'll be a mass of wrinkles in the back." (E. F.)
4. Except for a lack of youth, the guests had no common theme, they seemed strangers among strangers; indeed, each face, on entering, had straggled to conceal dismay at seeing others there. (T.C.)
5. She saw around her, clustered about the white tables, multitudes of violently red lips, powdered cheeks, cold, hard eyes, self-possessed arrogant faces, and insolent bosoms. (A.B.)
6. Dinah, a slim, fresh, pale eighteen, was pliant and yet fragile. (С. Н.)
7. The man looked a rather old forty-five, for he was already going grey. (K. P.)
8. The delicatessen owner was a spry and jolly fifty. (T. R.)
9. "It was easier to assume a character without having to tell too many lies and you brought a fresh eye and mind to the job." (P.)
10. "Some remarkable pictures in this room, gentlemen. A Holbein, two Van Dycks and if I am not mistaken, a Velasquez. I am interested in pictures." (Ch.)
11. You have nobody to blame but yourself. The saddest words of tongue or pen. (I.Sh.)
12. For several days he took an hour after his work to make inquiry taking with him some examples of his pen and inks. (Dr.)
13. There you are at your tricks again. The rest of them do earn their bread; you live on my charity. (E.Br.)
14. I crossed a high toll bridge and negotiated a no man's land and came to the place where the Stars and Stripes stood shoulder to shoulder with the Union Jack. (J. St.)
15. The praise was enthusiastic enough to have delighted any common writer who earns his living by his pen. (S.M.)
16. He made his way through the perfume and conversation. (I.Sh.)
17. His mind was alert and people asked him to dinner not for old times' sake, but because he was worth his salt. (S.M.)
18. Up the Square, from the corner of King Street, passed a woman in a new bonnet with pink strings, and a new blue dress that sloped at the shoulders and grew to a vast circumference at the hem. Through the silent sunlit solitude of the Square this bonnet and this dress floated northwards in search of romance. (A.B.)
19. Two men in uniforms were running heavily to the Administration building. As they ran, Christian saw them throw away their rifles. They were portly men who looked like advertisements for Munich beer, and running came hard to them. The first prisoner stopped and picked up one of the discarded rifles. He did not fire it, but carried it, as he chased the guards. He swung the rifle like a club, and one of the beer advertisements went down (I.Sh.)
As you must have seen from the brief outline and the examples of metaphor and metonymy, the first one operates on the linguistic basis (proceeding from the similarity of semantic components of a word), while the latter one rests solely on the extralinguistic, actually existing relations between the phenomena denoted by the words.
Our next concern is a cluster of SDs, which are united into a small group as they have much in common both in the mechanism of their formation and in their functioning. They are - pun (also referred to as paronomasia), zeugma, violation of phraseological units, semantically false chains, and nonsense of non-sequence. In the stylistic tradition of the English-speaking countries only the first two are widely discussed. The latter two, indeed, may be viewed as slight variations of the first ones for, basically, the foursome perform the same stylistic function in speech, and operate on the same linguistic mechanism: namely, one word-form is deliberately used in two meanings. The effect of these SDs is humorous. Contextual conditions leading to the simultaneous realization of two meanings and to the formation of pun may vary: it can be misinterpretation of one speaker's utterance by the other, which results in his remark dealing with a different meaning of the misinterpreted word or its homonym, as in the famous case from the Pickwick Papers When the fat boy, Mr. Wardle's servant, emerged from the corridor, very pale, he was asked by his master: "Have you been seeing any spirits?" "Or taking any?" - added Bob Alien. The first "spirits" refers to supernatural forces, the second one - to strong drinks.
Punning may be the result of the speaker's intended violation of the listener's expectation, as in the jocular quotation from B. Evans "There comes a period in every man's life, but she is just a semicolon in his." Here we expect the second half of the sentence to unfold the content, proceeding from "period" understood as "an interval of time", while the author has used the word in the meaning of "punctuation mark" which becomes clear from the "semicolon", following it.
Misinterpretation may be caused by the phonetic similarity of two homonyms, such as in the crucial case of O. Wilde's play The Importance of Being Ernest.
In very many cases polysemantic verbs that have a practically unlimited lexical valency and can be combined with nouns of most varying semantic groups, are deliberately used with two or more homogeneous members, which are not connected semantically, as in such examples from Ch. Dickens: "He took his hat and his leave", or "She went home, in a flood of tears and a sedan chair". These are cases of classical zeugma, highly characteristic of English prose.
When the number of homogeneous members, semantically disconnected, but attached to the same verb, increases, we deal with semantically false chains, which are thus a variation of zeugma. As a rule, it is the last member of the chain that falls out of the thematic group, defeating our expectancy and producing humorous effect. The following case from S. Leacock may serve an example: "A Governess wanted. Must possess knowledge of Romanian, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Music and Mining Engineering."
As you have seen from the examples of classical zeugma, the tiesbetween the verb on one hand and each of the dependent members, onthe other, are of different intensity and stability. In most cases one ofthem, together with the verb, forms a phraseological unit or a cliche, inwhich the verb loses some of its semantic independence and strength(Cf.: "to take one's leave" and "to take one's hat"). Zeugma restores theliteral original meaning of the word, which also occurs in violation ofphraseological units of different syntactical patterns, as in Galsworthy'sremark: "Little Jon was born with a silver spoon in his mouth which wasrather curly and large." The word "mouth", with its content, is completelylost in the phraseological unit which means "to have luck, to be bornlucky". Attaching to the unit the qualification of the mouth, the authorrevives the meaning of the word and offers a very fresh, original andexpressive description.
Sometimes the speaker (writer) interferes into the structure of the word attributing homonymous meanings to individual morphemes as in these jocular definitions from Esar's dictionary: professorship — a ship full of professors; relying - telling the same story again; beheld - to have somebody hold you, etc.
It is possible to say thus that punning can be realized on most levels of language hierarchy. Indeed, the described violation of word-structure takes place on the morphological level; zeugma and pun - on the lexical level; violation of phraseological units includes both lexical and syntactical levels; semantically false chains and one more SD of this group - nonsense of non-sequence - on the syntactical level.
Nonsense of non-sequence rests on the extension of syntactical valency and results in joining two semantically disconnected clauses into one sentence, as in: "Emperor Nero played the fiddle, so they burnt Rome." (E.) Two disconnected statements are forcibly linked together by cause / effect relations.
Exercise III. Analyse various cases of play on words, indicate which type is used, how it is created, what effect it adds to the utterance:
1. After a while and a cake he crept nervously to the door of the parlour. (A. T.)
2 There are two things I look for jn a man. A sympathetic character and full lips. (I.Sh.)
3. Dorothy, at my statement, had clapped her hand over her mouth to hold down laughter and chewing gum. (Jn.B.)
4. I believed all men were brothers; she thought all men were husbands. I gave the whole mess up. (Jn.B.)
5. In December, 1960, Naval Aviation News, a well-known special publication, explained why "a ship" is referred to as "she": Because there's always a bustle around her; because there's usually a gang of men with her; because she has waist and stays; because it takes a good man to handle her right; because she shows her topsides, hides her bottom and when coming into port, always heads for the buyos." (N.)