Thursday, July 28, 2011

Do you use tropes too?

They say you can learn something new every day! But they also say that there is nothing new under the sun either. I just discovered both truths in my recent discovery of ‘tropes’.
Now, like me, you probably have never heard of tropes before either, but also like me, you will probably also find that they are not new to you either; and in fact find that you probably use them all the time too! Yes, ‘tropes’ is just a trendy name for something that has always been around in our everyday speaking.
In truth, all a trope is, is:
(1) A figure of speech.
(2) A rhetorical device that produces a shift in the meanings of words--in contrast to a scheme, which changes only the shape of a phrase.
The word trope comes from the Greek word for, "a turn". And in fact has been around forever almost, and for the Roman rhetorician Quintilian (ca. 35AD), tropes were metaphors and metonyms, etc., and figures were such forms of discourse as rhetorical questions, digression, repetition, antithesis, and periphrasis (also referred to as schemes). He noted that the two kinds of usage were often confused (a state of affairs that has continued to this day)."
That said it, seems the word “Tropes” is having a comeback today as a trendy Buzzword
"The new word-that-must-be-used is 'trope,' meaning metaphor, example, literary device, picture--and maybe whatever else the writer wants it to mean.”
"The main meaning of 'trope' is 'figure of speech.' "But as I’ve noted before, the sense has been extended to something vaguer and less effective, like 'theme,' 'motif' or 'image.'
Now use of the word Trope may not be big in Australia, bit apparently it is a very popular buzzword in America at present, and I guess will also eventually find its way here too! In the meantime, what are some other new-/old Buzzwords making a comeback in your Circle?

Just for your amusement, if not enlightenment, below are a few examples of tropes in action (& their meanings): How many do you know or use?
Noun1.trope - language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
Figure of speech, image, figure
cakewalk - an easy accomplishment; "winning the tournament was a cakewalk for him"; "invading Iraq won't be a cakewalk"
blind alley - (figurative) a course of action that is unproductive and offers no hope of improvement; "all the clues led the police into blind alleys"; "so far every road that we've been down has turned out to be a blind alley"
megahit, smash hit, blockbuster - an unusually successful hit with widespread popularity and huge sales (especially a movie or play or recording or novel)
sleeper - an unexpected hit; "that movie was the sleeper of the summer"
home run, bell ringer, bull's eye, mark - something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal; "the new advertising campaign was a bell ringer"; "scored a bull's eye"; "hit the mark"; "the president's speech was a home run"
housecleaning - (figurative) the act of reforming by the removal of unwanted personnel or practices or conditions; "more housecleaning is in store at other accounting firms"; "many employees were discharged in a general housecleaning by the new owners"
goldbrick - anything that is supposed to be valuable but turns out to be worthless
lens - (metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood; "the writer is the lens through which history can be seen"
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
conceit - an elaborate poetic image or a far-fetched comparison of very dissimilar things
irony - a trope that involves incongruity between what is expected and what occurs
exaggeration, hyperbole - extravagant exaggeration
kenning - conventional metaphoric name for something, used especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry
metaphor - a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
metonymy - substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
oxymoron - conjoining contradictory terms (as in `deafening silence')
prosopopoeia, personification - representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature
simile - a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')
synecdoche - substituting a more inclusive term for a less inclusive one or vice versa
zeugma - use of a word to govern two or more words though appropriate to only one; "`Mr. Pickwick took his hat and his leave' is an example of zeugma"
domino effect - the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall)
flip side - a different aspect of something (especially the opposite aspect); "the flip side of your positive qualities sometimes get out of control"; "on the flip side of partnerships he talked about their competition"
period - the end or completion of something; "death put a period to his endeavors"; "a change soon put a period to my tranquility"
summer - the period of finest development, happiness, or beauty; "the golden summer of his life"
dawn - an opening time period; "it was the dawn of the Roman Empire"
evening - a later concluding time period; "it was the evening of the Roman Empire"
rainy day - a (future) time of financial need; "I am saving for a rainy day"

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