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 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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