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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Synecdoche and Insanity

Some days begin rolling out of bed at 5 PM, throwing off ruffled sheets and in a deep, utteral voice growling words like "syyyyyyynecdochee," or as it's properly spelled "synecdoche."  In years past, when I wading through the width and depth of wordy bullshit that was the study of  an English grad student, it was one of those damn words that I would always come across, look up and forget. It wasn't always that easy to understand how the word was used in context either. My dears, a synedoche is, simply put,  a part that represents the whole. An element that symbolizes the entire. Common examples include a "pair of hands" referring to  a worker, "steel" referring to a gun, "boots on the ground" referring to soldiers, etc. In case you're wondering, the word should be pronounced like "connected city," not "signed douche."

 I very often hear people refer to others not by their minds, faces, or other redeeming features, but by their posteriors, poopers, backsides, booties, butts, asses, bombas, coolos, fannies, tookuses, tushies, cans, glutius maximi, well, I said I would keep this blog above board,so we'll cut the tangent here, only for me to ask you simpletons how often do you hear someone say "Hey, get your ass down here," or "hey, wake your butt up" or the like? This is a familiar synecdoche; indeed it is a rather stupid, common one. I haven't exactly figured out why we think the way we do as a species.

 Synechoches are also found when specific brand names are used to describe a whole category of items. Think Kleenex for any kind of tissue or imagine our less developed brothers and sisters in Texas and the Deep South referring to all carbonated, high fructose corn syrup beverages as "Cokes." Imagine going to a dusty diner somewhere in the Panhandle of Texas and and responding to the pink aproned waitresses' query by saying "I'd like a coke, please," to which she responds "Wut kaaaaaand?" Confused at first, but you reason correctly that she's asking "what kind?" as in what kind of Coke. Savagery, coke is the primary drink and should be the assumed choice. I think I've wasted enough time on this subject for now, so I'll leave you with two completely unrelated questions:
                                                       1 In America, schizophrenics are very often convinced that they're being followed or scrutinized by the C.I.A. This being the case, do British schizophrenics often imagine that they're being followed by MI-6 or MI-5?
                                                        2 A common trope to crime fiction and dramas is that regular beat cops hate internal affairs or professional accountability departments. Is this true? As best I can tell, cops think it should be their right  to give or not to give a  traffic ticket to whomever they please, but that seriously criminal cops deserve any harassment they get. What do you  know about this nonsense?


  1. That would be more alabama, less texas... it's in Alabama where the a's are i's and the i's are a's and you cannot tell what it is they are saying.... :P

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  3. I have no intelligent answer to either of your questions, but I do admit that they are damned good ones.

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