Thought of the Day - Metalepsis

Metalepsis (from Greek Μετάληψις) is a figure of speech in which one thing is referenced by something else which is only remotely associated with it. Often the association works through a different figure of speech, or through a chain of cause and effect. Often metalepsis refers to the combination of several figures of speech into an http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifaltogether new one. Those base figures of speech can be literary references, resulting in a sophisticated form of allusion. (from the , bless 'em)


I came across the idea of metalepsis in a book called Branded Nation - The marketing of Megachurch, College Inc. and Museum World. Brands depend on metalepsis - the assignment of elaborate stories that imply the brand represents something other than what it actually is. For example Steinlager beer represents New Zealandness (patently ridiculous - Steinlager is a niche beer).

"For the nature of metalepsis is that it is an intermediate step, as it were, to that which is metaphorically expressed, signifying nothing in itself, but affording a passage to something. It is a trope that we give the impression of being acquainted with rather than one that we actually ever need." Quintilian

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