Metonymy & Synecdoche and Modes of Composition

Greek for “change of name”
 A figure of speech in which an object is
not called by its own name, but a word
closely associated with it
 Its rhetorical purpose is to add irony, wit,
and embellishments to the text as it refers
to an object indirectly
“He loves the bottle” – A man does not
necessarily love the glass bottle, but the
content in it, alcohol.
“The suits on Wall Street walked off with
most of our savings” – the suits represent
the businessmen of Wall Street
“Plastic” represents credit cards or
“The pen is mightier than the sword”
Words are superior to combat. “Pen” is
used to represent words, and “Sword” is
used to represent battle/violence.
Greek for “accepting a part as
responsible for the whole, or vice versa.”
 A figure a speech in which a PART of an
object describes the whole, or the whole
describes a part of something.
 Rhetorically, it can be used to emphasize
certain characteristics of characters, or
to quickly identify something
Using the word “Wheels” when talking
about a vehicle. Wheels are only a PART
of the vehicle, but it is understood that
the whole car is being referenced
A rancher says he has “200 head of
 It is understood that “head” refers to the
whole animal.
“Give me a hand with building this
 You do not really want only the person’s
hand to help you; you want their whole
body. It is understood that the PART of
the body, the hand, represents the
whole body.
Synecdoche is also being used when
one substitutes a WHOLE for a part.
 For example, in the Olympics, when it is
said that the US has won a gold medal,
what is really meant is that a small part
(an individual or a team) has won a
medal. In this case, the WHOLE (of the
US) is used to represent the PART (the
individual or group) who won.