6. When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
"His sins were scarlet, but his books were read." (H. B.)
7. Most women up London nowadays seem to furnish their rooms with nothing but orchids, foreigners and French novels. (O.W.)
8. I'm full of poetry now. Rot and poetry. Rotten poetry. (H )
9. "Bren, I'm not planning anything. I haven't planned a thing in three years... I'm - I'm not a planner. I'm a liver."
"I'm a pancreas," she said. "I'm a —" and she kissed the absurd game away. (Ph. R.)
10. "Someone at the door," he said, blinking.
"Some four, I should say by the sound," said Fili. (A. T.)
11. He may be poor and shabby, but beneath those ragged trousers beats a heart of gold. (E.)
12. Babbitt respected bigness in anything: in mountains, jewels, muscles, wealth or words. (S.L.)
13. Men, pals, red plush seats, white marble tables, waiters in white aprons. Miss Moss walked through them all. (M.)
14. My mother was wearing her best grey dress and gold brooch and a faint pink flush under each cheek bone. (W.G1.)
15. Hooper laughed and said to Brody, "Do you mind if I give Ellen something?"
"What do you mean?" Brody said. He thought to himself, give her what? A kiss? A box of chocolates? A punch in the nose?
"A present. It's nothing, really." (P.B.)
16. "There is only one brand of tobacco allowed here - "Three nuns". None today, none tomorrow, and none the day after." (Br. B.)
17. "Good morning," said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining and the grass was very green. (A.T.)
18. Some writer once said: "How many times you can call yourself a Man depends on how many languages you know." (M.St.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
What lexical meanings of a word can you name? Which of them, in most cases, is the most important one?
2. What SDs are based on the use of the logical (denotational) meaning of a word?
3. What is a contextual meaning? How is it used in a SD?
4. What is the difference between the original and the hackneyed SDs?
5. What is a metaphor? What are its semantic, morphological, syntactical, structural, functional peculiarities?
6. What is a metonymy? Give a detailed description of the device.
7. What is included into the group of SDs known as "play on words"? Which ones of them are the most frequently used? What levels of language hierarchy are involved into their formation?
8. Describe the difference between pun and zeugma, zeugma and a semantically false chain, semantically false chain and nonsense of non-sequence.
9. What meanings of a word participate in the violation of a phraseological unit?
10. What is the basic effect achieved by the play on words?
11. Find examples of each of the discussed stylistic devices in your home reading.
12. Try and find peculiarities in the individual use of various SDs by different authors known to you from your courses of literature, interpretation of the text, home reading.
In all previously discussed lexical SDs we dealt with various transformations of the logical (denotational) meaning of words, which participated in the creation of metaphors, metonymies, puns, zeugmas, etc. Each of the SDs added expressiveness and originality to the nomination of the object. Evaluation of the named concept was often present too, but it was an optional characteristic, not inherent in any of these SDs. Their subjectivity relies on the new and fresh look at the object mentioned, which shows the latter from a new and unexpected side. In irony, which is our next item of consideration, subjectivity lies in the evaluation of the phenomenon named. The essence of this SD consists in the foregrounding not of the logical but of the evaluative meaning. The context is arranged so that the qualifying word in irony reverses the direction of the evaluation, and the word positively charged is understood as a negative qualification and (much-much rarer) vice versa. Irony thus is a stylistic device in which the contextual evaluative meaning of a word is directly opposite to its dictionary meaning, So, like all other SDs, irony does not exist outside the context, which varies from the minimal - a word combination, as in J. Steinbeck's "She turned with the sweet smile of an alligator," - to the context of a whole book, as in Ch: Dickens, where one of the remarks of Mr. Micawber, known for his complex, highly bookish and elaborate style of speaking about the most trivial things, is introduced by the author's words "...Mr. Micawber said in his usual plain manner".
In both examples the words "sweet" and "plain" reverse their positive meaning into the negative one due to the context, micro- in the first, macro- in the second case.
In the stylistic device of irony it is always possible to indicate the exact word whose contextual meaning diametrically opposes its dictionary meaning. This is why this type of irony is called verbal irony. There are very many cases, though, which we regard as irony, intuitively feeling the reversal of the evaluation, but unable to put our finger on the exact word in whose meaning we can trace the contradiction between the said and the implied. The effect of irony in such cases is created by a number of statements, by the whole of the text. This type of irony is called sustained, and it is formed by the contradiction of the speaker's (writer's) considerations and the generally accepted moral and ethical codes. Many examples of sustained irony are supplied by D. Defoe, J. Swift or by such XX-ieth c. writers as S. Lewis, K. Vonnegut, E. Waugh and others.
Exercise IV. In the following excerpts you will find mainly examples of verbal irony. Explain what conditions made the realization of the opposite evaluation possible. Pay attention to the part of speech which is used in irony, also its syntactical function:
1. The book was entitled Murder at Milbury Manor and was a whodunit of the more abstruse type, in which everything turns on whether a certain character, by catching the three-forty-three train at Hilbury and changing into the four-sixteen at Milbury, could have reached Silbury by five-twenty-seven, which would have given him just time to disguise himself and be sticking knives into people at Bilbury by six-thirty-eight. (P.G.W.)
2. When the, war broke out she took down the signed photograph of the Kaiser and, with some solemnity, hung it in the men-servants' lavatory; it was her one combative action. (E.W.)
3. "I had a plot, a scheme, a little quiet piece of enjoyment afoot, of which the very cream and essence was that this old man and grandchild should be as poor as frozen rats," and Mr. Brass revealed the whole story, making himself out to be rather a saintlike holy character. (D.)
4. The lift held two people and rose slowly, groaning with diffidence. (I.M.)
5. England has been in a dreadful state for some weeks. Lord Coodle would go out. Sir Thomas Doodle wouldn't come in, and there being nobody in Great Britain (to speak of) except Coodle and Doodle, there has been no Government (D.)
6. From her earliest infancy Gertrude was brought up by her aunt. Her aunt had carefully instructed her to Christian principles. She had also taught her Mohammedanism, to make sure. (L.)
7. She's a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud and if she has washed her hair since Coolidge's second term, I'll eat my spare tire, rim and all. (R.Ch.)
8. With all the expressiveness of a stone Welsh stared at him another twenty seconds apparently hoping to see him gag. (R.Ch.)
9. "Well. It's shaping up into a lovely evening, isn't it?" "Great," he said.
"And if I may say so, you're doing everything to make it harder, you little sweet." (D. P.)
10. Mr. Vholes is a very respectable man. He has not a large business, but he is a very respectable man. He is allowed, by the greater attorneys to be a most respectable man. He never misses a chance in his practice which is a mark of respectability, he never takes any pleasure, which is another mark of respectability, he is reserved and serious which is another mark of respectability. His digestion is impaired which is highly respectable. (D.)
11. Several months ago a magazine named Playboy which concentrates editorially on girls, books, girls, art, girls, music, fashion, girls and girls, published an article about old-time science-fiction. (M.St.)
12. Apart from splits based on politics, racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds and specific personality differences, we're just one cohesive team. (D.U.)