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View Diary: Origins of English: Some Rare Words (185 comments)

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  •  re: Hendiadys: this describes a figure of speech (8+ / 0-)
    in which two connotative words are linked by a conjunction to express a complex notion that would normally be conveyed by an adjective and a substantive working together. I’m hoping that one of the grammarians here will explain this one more fully and perhaps in non-grammarian vocabulary.
    I'm not an official grammarian, but it occured to me that an everyday example might be this: When my kids leave the grandbabies with me, they leave me an item known as a "pack-and-play." It's basically a cross between a smaller rectangular version of an old-fashioned play-pen and a small portable crib. It may be a brand-name, too, although I don't know if theirs is brand-name or generic. But in this case, grammatically speaking, the "two connotative words linked by a conjunction" would be "pack" -and- "play"- connoting what you do with the thing, expressing "the more complex notion" that would otherwise have to be said with a mouthful of "adjectives", as in "the foldable, portable, dually-useful-for-playtime-and naptime thing [the 'substantive' here]."

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