Zeugmoids (and zeugma)

Postings on this blog on zeugmoids, plus some postings on Language Log and this blog on zeugma


11/17/10: Zeugmoids:

“If you could shoot off a warhead the way you shoot off your mouth, maybe you’d have a chance.”: This has two structurally parallel occurrences of shoot off, but in two different senses — the first involving literal shooting, the second in an idiom … This isn’t exactly zeugma, since no expression-token is being used in more than one sense … Instead, we have two identical expression-tokens, each representing a different expression-type. It might easily take a moment for the hearer to cope with the switch from one meaning to another. The effect comes about through the phonological identity of the two expression-token — “If you could shoot off a warhead the way you talk a good game,…” conveys roughly the same content, with the parallelism, but without the phonological identity or the momentary processing difficulty — so it’s reminiscent of zeugma.

I offer the term zeugmoid for such examples.

12/5/10: Dialect in the comics:
a zeugmoid play on the verb pronounce: “He was pronounced dead at the scene. He will be buried in Mississippi, where he will be pronounced “day-ed”.”

12/29/10: Data points: zeugma 12/29/10:
“Until I got a little older, a little wiser, and a little brother.”: A play on two senses of GET, ‘become’ (in the first two conjuncts) and ‘acquire’ (in the third), plus a zeugmoid on two uses of LITTLE, as a degree modifier (in the first two conjuncts) and an adjective (in the third).

3/23/11: Getting a phone sex zeugmoid:
An elaborate VP zeugmoid, with get used in four different ways, the last two in sexual idioms

6/5/13: Have an X, have a Y:
zeugmoid chain “Have a pot roast / Have a headache / Have a baby”

1/4/18: A zeugmoid in high office:
“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

10/20/18: What room am I in?:
“I am in the lobby of the hotel and in Room 666.”

11/8/18: A commercial zeugmoid:
“If you hate changing your cat’s litter, then change your cat’s litter.”

zeugma on Language Log

AZ, 7/10/05: Still more Declaration of Independence:
condition on factorable coordination:

Factor Constancy: the factor must have the same semantics in combination with each of the conjuncts.

violated in zeugmatic examples like “He PUT OUT his cigar and the cat.” (Flanders & Swann)

ML, 6/22/18: Cartoon zeugma of the month:
an example of what Wikipedia calls “Type 2 Zeugma” or “semantic syllepsis”: “take a seat and an Ativan”
plus an example from Pope: “Dost sometimes Counsel take — and sometimes tea”, with an inventory of previous LLog examples:

WTF grammar“, 3/8/2005
More WTF coordinations“, 3/11/2005
Still more WTF coordinations“, 4/11/2005
A recipe for WTF coordination“, 6/21/2005
WTF coordination in the bullpen“, 4/7/2006
A racy WTF coordination“, 5/10/2006
Syllepsis, aka WTF coordination“, 4/14/2007
Mistakes were made“, 3/18/2009
Syllepsis gone wild“, 11/11/2009
Syllepsis of the month“, 11/11/2012
Zeugma of the week“, 3/28/2015
Religions ranked by Google“, 7/24/2015
Ask Language Log: Is this a sentence?“, 2/26/22016
‘and himself jail’“, 4/19/2018

zeugma on this blog

6/25/10: Cartoons for the weekend:
deliberately joking zeugma: “I’ll work for food but not Daddy Warbucks.”

7/11/10: On the zeugma watch:
coordinating a literal and a figurative sense of transitive drop (in the passive): “trousers and dignity are dropped each year”

7/22/10: Verbatim recall:
zeugma example recollected as “lowering their trousers and their dignity”

11/19/10: Data points: zeugma 11/19/10:
“Of all my relations, I like sex the best and Eric the least.”

6/28/11: Zeugma: crack:
“The only crack we prosecute is cocaine and not pants.”

9/19/11: software  development:
number zeugma: “there are a lot of software that claims itself …”

5/7/12: Zeugmatic McDonald’s:
in anaphora: “I don’t want to be chicken. I want to eat it.”

5/20/13: Three penultimate moments:
Flanders & Swann: “she made no reply,/ Up her mind, and a dash for the door.” (and other zeugmas in this song)

11/15/15: Annals of zeugma:
“Drexel gets paid and away scot-free.”

12/3/15: Olneyville New York System:
“in a quandary, … a Jeep Wrangler and a pair of soiled boxer shorts”

5/18/16: VPE way over the line:
in ellipsis: “He wasn’t a count. It’s possible he doesn’t even know how to ___.”

6/25/16: Leaving, in tears and a portmanteau:
famous zeugma example: “Miss Bolo… went straight home, in a flood of tears and a sedan-chair.”

5/22/17: A failure of parallelism, sort of:
“child- and gang-rapes”

8/6/17: Words as weapons, images as ideas:
“Can vegetables, fruit, and the Kaiser too”

11/25/18: What do you have?:
versatility of the verb have as a source of playful zeugmas and zeugmoids

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