Bisociation, Anthimeria, and Syllepsis

Precise and wonderful words about language in an article titled “How Advertisers Trick Your Brain by Turning Adjectives into Nouns” by James Harbeck in an e-zine called The Week.  The words are more accessible than they appear. From the article:

“What is bisociation? It’s an idea given a name by Arthur Koestler in The Act of Creation: You have two things operating on two different planes or according to two different scripts, and at the point where the two meet, you jump from one to the other. According to Koestler, it’s central to creativity. Puns are a classic case of bisociation: The humor comes from jumping from one meaning to the other. Metaphors bisociate between two things on the basis of resemblance and often give striking insights and images…”

A link to this article appeared in AWADmail Issue 922, the weekly collection of readers’ responses and comments to the on-line A Word A Day newsletter. It’s free, and it provides great food for thought for writers.

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