Monday, November 7, 2005

Catachresis

From Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day service:

catachresis \kat-uh-KREE-sis\ noun
*1 : use of the wrong word for the context
2 : use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech

Example sentence:
The paper printed a correction for the previous day's catachresis: dubbing a local artist-philanthropist a "socialist" when they meant "socialite."
And here's an example from an opinion column in a local newspaper:
Prohibition proved a tremendous dud; many of the same people who hailed it spent a great deal of time and effort flaunting it.
That should be flouting, not flaunting.

comments: 1

Stefan Hagemann said...

What a coincidence. We've just been discussing Milton's use of "Blind Mouths" in "Lycidas," so I had to learn to pronounce catachresis.