A rhetorical stylistic device is called Zeugma. The Zeugma originally described that the verb of a sentence is related to several objects. In the widest sense, however, the fact that a sentence part of the sentence refers to various words, word sequences or other sentences is called for. The stuffma is a form of the syllepse and a stylistic word-saving (cf. Brachylogie).
The term goes back to the Greek (ζεῦγμα) and can be translated with the yoke or the merging. The majority is, incidentally, referred to as evidence. The translation refers to what is at stake: a word that refers to several words of a sentence [whereby originally the verb and according to modern understanding is meant any sentence part]. Let’s look at an example.
The lake can not take pity on the Landvogt.
The above example is taken from the drama Willhelm Tell, which is the last drama of Friedrich Schiller. The text, which has been highlighted in color as well as in square brackets, is not found in the original. Here it is the verb, which refers to both the lake and the landvogt. In the second part, however, the verb can not be named and must be supplemented by the reader independently.
Through this artifice, the theorem becomes scarce, which is why the “Zeugma” is to be understood as the form of brachyology. Furthermore, the second part is grammatically incorrect, since the vagrant is missing the corresponding verb. Thus, a grammar exists, since one sentence part refers to several words. Another example.
The eyes of the Lord look upon the righteous
and his ears [see] their crying.
In this example, in the second part, the crucial verb is missing. Thus the vision of the eyes is transmitted to the ears. So we have to do with a stuffma. Through the combination of different sensory impressions (seeing ears), but also with a synaesthesia. The effect of the evidence is, in both examples, shortened. However, the style figure can also have a comic effect.
My name is Walther and I welcome you very warmly.
In this example, the word is used in two ways. Once, to enter your own name and also to welcome a person. However, the word here is actually only once in the text and must be supplemented for the second part by the reader. This unusual connection has a comic effect. Let us look at a final example.
this case, the word is used in two different meanings. In the real sense it only fits to one of the two phrases. Either we go out, make an enterprise, perhaps we will celebrate, or we will go out of something and accept something. The stuffma thus does not fit in the same way to all parts of the sentence, but is – as the reader is thinking – of a new or entirely different meaning.
Note: Zeugmata are thus rhetorical figures of the word-saving, whereby a certain sentence part can refer to several words, parts of the sentence or sentences. The stuffma is used for shortness and occasionally for convenience, or serves as a surprise to the recipient (reader, listener), since partial is combined quite unusually as well as pointedly.
Further examples of the Zeugma (clicks on!)
Zeugma as a brachylogy
Brachylogy is a form of the utterance, which tries to achieve the maximum of meaning with as few words as possible. This means very little is said with little signs. Brachylogy is typical of the dramatic dialogue as well as the lyricism.
This includes all the stylistic figures that make the narrative shortened in some way. In doing so, either unimportant words are underlined, the essentials are spared, or the circumstance is understood, as in the case of witness words, that a word type refers to several words in the sentence.
Rhetorical means of brachyology
Ellipse: Always describes the fact that a sentence is incomplete. Thus, in the widest sense, it is grammatically unfinished. Nevertheless, ellipses are to be understood for the receiver, even if the missing one must be guessed. Thus, attestations are also ellipses.
Syllepse: Means that in a sentence a sentence part is used several times and is referred to different elements of the sentence. Thus the term is nowadays used synonymously to Zeugma.
Zeugma: Originally meant that the verb of a sentence was to be related to several terms of the sentence. In the modern sense, however, the concept is interpreted as having all the characteristics of the syllepse.
Aposiopese: The essential statement of a sentence is concealed and must be guessed by the recipient. (Ex: “If I get you in the fingers …”)
Apokoinu: Is also a rhetorical stylistic means of word-saving. There is a double relation of a sentence or word to something previous, as well as the following. (Example: “What his arrow reaches, as that is his prey, which is creeping and fleeting.” ~ The middle part, “that is its prey”, refers to the enclosing parts of the text.)
Effect and function of the stuff
Of course, it is not always easy to attribute a unique effect to a stylistic device. Very often it is not so, or it is played with the typical effect. Nevertheless, we would like to give some hints, but we would like to point them out in any case.
Overview: Features, effect and function of the stylist
The Zeugma always describes the fact that one sentence is related to several other words or sentences. Very often, this is a verb, although now all such omissions as well as additional connections are referred to as attestations. Once this was the basic separation from the syllepse.
Such shortcuts are often used when the text is to sound according to colloquial language. This applies to all forms of word omission – jumping thoughts and aborted sentences are characteristic of the language of everyday life.
However, the Zeugma often has a comic or ironic undertone. Especially when unusual phrases are combined, whereby the recipient of the statement is surprised, even if some connections tend to appear insane.
The basis of such evidence is very often a polysemic verb. A polysem is a word which stands for various meanings or concepts. A similar word for polysemy would therefore be ambiguity.