18. Indian summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle, she comes and goes as she pleases so that one is never sure whether she will come at all nor for how long she will stay. (Gr.M.)
19. You're like the East, Dinny. One loves it at first sight or not at all and one never knows it any better. (G.)
20. He felt like an old book: spine defective, covers dull, slight foxing, fly missing, rather shaken copy. (J.Br.)
21. Susan at her piano lesson, playing that thing of Scarlatti's. The sort of music, it struck him, that would happen if the bubbles in a magnum of champagne were to rush up rhythmically and as they reached the surface, burst into sound as dry and tangy as the wine from whose depth they had arisen. The simile pleased him so much. (A.H.)
22. There was no moon, a clear dark, like some velvety garment, was wrapped around the trees, whose thinned branches, resembling plumes, stirred in the still, warm air. (G.)
23. There are in every large chicken-yard a number of old and indignant hens who resemble Mrs. Bogart and when they are served at Sunday noon dinner, as fricasseed chicken with thick dumplings, they keep up the resemblance. (S.L.)
24. H.G.Wells r.eminded her of the rice paddies in her native California. Acres and acres of shiny water but never more than two inches deep. (A.H.)
25. On the wall hung an amateur oil painting of what appeared to be a blind man's conception of fourteen whistling swan landing simultaneously in the Atlantic during a half-gale. (Jn.B.)
26. Today she had begun by watching the flood. The water would crouch and heave at a big boulder fallen off the bluff-side and the red-and-white foam would fly. It reminded her of the blood-streaked foam every heave would fling out of the nostrils of a windbroke horse. (R.W.)
27. I'm not nearly hot enough to draw a word-picture that would do justice to that extraordinarily hefty crash. Try to imagine the Albert Hall falling on the Crystal Palace and you will have got the rough idea. (P.G.W.)
28. Her startled glance descended like a beam of light, and settled for a moment on the man's face. He was fortyish and rather fat, with a moustache that made her think of the yolk of an egg, and a nose that spread itself. His face had an injected redness. (W.D.)
29. Huddled in her grey fur against the sofa cushions she had a strange resemblance to a captive owl bunched in its soft feathers against the wires of a cage. The supple erectness of her body was gone, as though she had been broken by cruel exercise, as though there were no longer any reason for being beautiful, and supple, and erect. (G.)
30. Someone might have observed in him a peculiar resemblance to those plaster reproductions of the gargoyles of Notre Dame which may be seen in the shop windows of artists' colourmen. (E.W.)
31. Walser felt the strangest sensation, as if these eyes of the trapeze gymnast were a pair of sets of Chinese boxes, as if each one opened into a world into a world, an infinite plurality of worlds, and these unguessable guests exercised the strongest possible attraction, so that he felt himself trembling as if he, too, stood on an unknown threshold. (An.C.)
32. All was elegant, even sumptuous, finished with a heavy rather queasy luxury that always seemed to have grime under its fingernails, the luxury peculiar to this country. (An.C.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
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 "литота" 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 wouldn't say "no" to a cup of tea. (K.M.) 10. I wouldn't say "no" to going to the movies. (E.W.)
11. "I don't 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.)
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What is a litotes?
2. What is there in common between litotes and understatement?
3. Describe most frequently used structures of litotes.
Periphrasis is a very peculiar stylistic device which basically consists of using a roundabout form of expression instead of a simpler one, i.e. of using a more or less complicated syntactical structure instead of a word. Depending on the mechanism of this substitution, periphrases are classified into figurative (metonymic and metaphoric), and logical. The first group is made, in fact, of phrase-metonymies and phrase-metaphors, as you may well see from the following example: "The hospital was crowded with the surgically interesting products of the fighting in Africa" (I.Sh.) where the extended metonymy stands for "the wounded".
Logical periphrases are phrases synonymic with the words which were substituted by periphrases: "Mr. Du Pont was dressed in the conventional disguise with which Brooks Brothers cover the shame of American millionaires." (M.St.) "The conventional disguise" stands here for "the suit" and "the shame of American millionaires" — for "the paunch (the belly)". Because the direct nomination of the not too elegant feature of appearance was substituted by a roundabout description this periphrasis may be also considered euphemistic, as it offers a more polite qualification instead of a coarser one.
The main function of periphrases is to convey a purely individual perception of the described object. To achieve it the generally accepted nomination of the object is replaced by the description of one of its features or qualities, which seems to the author most important for the characteristic of the object, and which thus becomes foregrounded.
The often repeated periphrases become trite and serve as universally accepted periphrastic synonyms: "the gentle / soft / weak sex" (women); "my better half (my spouse); "minions of Law" (police), etc.
Exercise V. Analyse the given periphrases from the viewpoint of their semantic type, structure, function and originality:
1. Gargantuan soldier named Dahoud picked Ploy by the head and scrutinized this convulsion of dungarees and despair whose feet thrashed a yard above the deck. (Th.P.)
2. His face was red, the back of his neck overflowed his collar and there had recently been published a second edition of his chin. (P.G.W.)
3. His huge leather chairs were kind to the femurs. (R.W.)
4. "But Pickwick, gentlemen, Pickwick, this ruthless destroyer of . this domestic oasis in the desert of Goswell street!" (D.)