Zeugma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

by mort

Zeugma (from the Greek: ζεῦγμα, zeûgma, meaning “yoke”) is a figure of speech describing the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a single common verb or noun. A zeugma employs both ellipsis, the omission of words which are easily understood, and parallelism, the balance of several words or phrases. The result is a series of similar phrases joined or yoked together by a common and implied noun or verb. A syllepsis is a particular kind of zeugma, and there is a clear distinction between the two in classical treatises written on the subject. Henry Peacham praises the “delight of the ear” in the use of the zeugma in rhetoric, but stresses that “too many clauses” should be avoided. The zeugma is categorized according to the location and part of speech of the governing word.

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