For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.
Z is for Zeugma and Zzzzzzz
I thought long and hard about the tricky letter ‘Z’ and then stumbled upon this rather lovely word.
Zeugma comes from the Greek for ‘bonding’ or ‘yoking’. It’s a literary device in which either a single verb is used to refer to two different objects for effect, or an adjective refers to two different nouns even though the adjective is really only appropriate for one of them. Complicated? It’s one of those terms where an example is probably the best explanation.
‘Or lose heart, or necklace, at a ball,’ The Rape of the Lock; Canto 2, Alexander Pope
‘Miss Bolo rose from the table considerably agitated, and went straight home, in a flood of tears and a sedan-chair.’ The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
‘You held your breath and the door for me.’ Head Over Feet, Alanis Morrisette
Using devices like this in your writing can add drama. However, do be careful not to confuse your reader. It really is one of those things that needs to be used skilfully.
And as for Zzzzzzz – well, it’s been a lot of blogging. I normally only post once or twice a week, so posting every day has been a challenge! But I’ve managed to do it, if sometimes by the skin of my teeth. And I’ve discovered lots of great blogs and great bloggers, fellow writers and others that blog about things that I would never have known about or thought to look for. But it has been tiring, and I have to admit it will be nice not to have that pressure – until next April anyway. So now I’m off for a little rest.