Idiomi, lecture 05, 12 13


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Idiomi, lecture 05, 12 13

  1. 1. Hyperbole and absurdityBoth hyperbole and absurdity indicate that an FEI cannot be interpreted compositionally.FEIs that describe literally impossible processes or attributes:all smiles = look happy and friendly, esp. when other people are not expecting you toa storm in a teacup = a lot of unnecessary anger about an unimportant matterbe neither here nor there = to be unimportantmove heaven and earth = do everything you can to achieve somethingshoot the breezetie oneself in knots = to become very confused or worried
  2. 2. Hyperbole and absurdityMany FEIs involve exaggeration and implausibilities rather than impossibilities:be coming out of one’s ears = have more of something than you want or needcost an arm and a leg = to be extremely expensivein floods of tearsin the blink of an eyenot enough room to swing a catnot for all the tea in China = nothing could persuade you to do somethingnot lift a fingerwouldn’t touch someone/something with a bargepole/ten-foot pole
  3. 3. TruismsTruisms state the obvious, and achieve their rhetorical effect through litotes or understatement.They are completely truthful but have to be interpreted in the light of what is implied in the vehicle of their metaphors.
  4. 4. TruismsThe following examples of truisms all contain negatives:cannot hear oneself thinkcut no icenot a bed of rosesnot be a spring chickennot be someone’s cup of teanot hold waternot the only pebble on the beachwon’t set the world on firebe no picnicbusiness is businessboys will be boys
  5. 5. IronyA very few FEIs are always used ironically. The mismatch between surface and intended meaning can be seen as a kind of metaphoricality:A fine/pretty kettle of fishCry all the way to the bankBig dealTake the cake/biscuitTell me aboit it!Need something like a hole in the head
  6. 6. IronyHowever, irony is more commonly constructed through the discoursal context. The following FEIs are often used ironically, with negative connotations or implications:a bright sparkhapp(il)y ever afterone’s heart bleedspearls of wisdomray of sunshinewhiter than white
  7. 7. Conceptual metaphorsPersonification, animal metaphors, etc. are part of the cultural and ideological framework of English and its metaphorical constructs.They lead into the area of conceptual metaphors, the deep metaphors embedded in the language. One example is the metaphor “Life is a gambling game”, and FEIs relating to card games and gambling include:a trump cardhave an ace up one’s sleevehold all the aces
  8. 8. Conceptual metaphorslay one’s cards on the tablelucky at cards, unlucky in lovenot be playing with a full deckplay one’s cards rightConceptual metaphors including “fire”: “anger is fire”, ‘love is fire”, and FEIs relating to these conceptual metaphors:burn the candle at both endscatch fire, on firecarry a torchspit fire
  9. 9. Conceptual metaphorsConceptual metaphors “life is a vehicle”, “situations are vehicles” can be seen in FEIs:abandon shipa sinking shipin the same boatrock the boat
  10. 10. Conceptual metaphorsConceptual metaphors involving clothing: “clothing is concealment”, “clothing is appearance”, “clothing is behavior”. FEOs relating to these conceptual metaphors:a wolf in sheep’s clothingold hatsomething fits like a glovehand in glove with something/someonehave a bee in one’s bonnetin one’s shoesin plain clothesoff the cuff