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English Stylistics Class 2014. Periphrasis, Euphemism, Hyperbole, Understatement

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Let us remember what new stylistic devices we have learned this week. Namely, these are periphrasis, euphemism, hyperbole, understatement.

Periphrasis - is a stylistic device that consists in the renaming of an object by a phrase that brings out some particular feature of it. Longer-phrase is used instead of a shorter one. Periphrasis are divided into:
1. Logical - based on inherent properties of a thing.

instruments of destruction (pistols),the most pardonable of human weaknesses (love).

2. Figurative - based on imagery: metaphor, metonymy.
e. g. To tie a knot - to get married; in disgrace of fortune - bad luck.

There are traditional periphrases which are not stylistic devices, they are synonymic expressions:
The giver of rings, the victor lord, the leader of hosts (king),
the play of swords (battle), a shield-bearer (warrior), 
the cap and gown (student), the fair sex (women), my better half (my wife).

Euphemism - is a word or a phrase used to replace an unpleasant or tabooed word or expression. The most common: to die=to pass away, to be no more, to depart, to join the majority, to be gone; to kick the bucket, to give up the ghost, to go west.


Hyperbole - is a deliberate overstatement or exaggeration of a phenomenon or an object.

Examples of hyperbole:

Understatement - the exaggeration of smallness. You make an understatement when you say a lot less than you could, "We didn't do so well",when your team loses 56 to 0. That's quite an understatement.

And I have a little test for you, to check whether it's all clear.

1) He Who Must Not Be Named

2) We didn’t speak because there were ears all around us

3) You killed my family. And I don't like that kind of thing.

4) Remains

5) I’d move mountains for her

A. Periphrasis

B. Hyperbole

C. Euphemism

D. Metonymy

E. Understatement



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