Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#168060 05/04/07 08:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
brachylogy (bra-KIL-uh-jee) noun

> Conciseness of diction or an instance of such.

[From Medieval Latin brachylogia, from Greek brakhulogi, brakhu-,
brachy- (short) + -logy, from logos (word).]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

> "The term for the omission of words that are intended to be 'understood'
by the reader is ellipsis. Its extreme or irregular form has a name in
Greek rhetoric: brachylogy, relying on the listener to supply the missing
words, much as I relied on the reader to put a verb in the sentence
fragment 'A profound question, that.'"


William Safire; Microwave of the Future; The New York Times; Oct 7, 1990.

I would really appreciate it if one of the experts could make the
parts marked with > understandable/ visible to me.


I profoundly cannot make sense from these words even after looking them up.


Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 72
journeyman
Offline
journeyman
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 72
Part one: Conciseness of diction = Very short speech.

2: The guy is giving an example of a very short omission(the ellipsis part) and the extreme omission: brachylogy, the word of the day.


I exist! I am a pedant! I have a foreboding signature!
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
BS, for a less concise treatment, read this on elliptical construction.

then there is the related punctuation symbol, ellipsis.

edit: according to Silva Rhetoricæ, the Rhetorical term brachylogia is more specifically, "The absence of conjunctions between single words."

but we've seen these sort of inconsistencies before with rhetorical terms.


Last edited by tsuwm; 05/04/07 01:50 PM.
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,027
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,027
I would really appreciate it if one of the experts could make the
parts marked with > understandable/ visible to me.

The difficulty (of making it visible) is due to the fact that the word refers to the absence (omission) of something unspecified.

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Well--I could not find a definition of brachylogy that makes it any different from ellipsis, to me. But this one did at least clarify for me that it is not confined to speaking only:

1. brevity in word use: brevity in speech or writing, or an instance of this

2. shortened form of term: a shortened form of an expression, used in informal speech

(emphasis added)
EncartaŽ World English Dictionary


Both of them mean that something is left out, and that the reader/listener will usually* be able to understand what was meant.

Dictionary.com gives some good (to me) examples of ellipsis in its def. number 1:
1. Grammar. a. the omission from a sentence or other construction of one or more words that would complete or clarify the construction, as the omission of who are, while I am, or while we are from I like to interview people sitting down.
b. the omission of one or more items from a construction in order to avoid repeating the identical or equivalent items that are in a preceding or following construction, as the omission of been to Paris from the second clause of I've been to Paris, but they haven't.

(emphasis added)
Dictionary.com

*I originally had the word still, there, but after seeing Dictionary.com's examples, changed it to usually. Their "I like to interview people sitting down." could be:
a.) I like to interview people who are sitting down.;
b.) I like to interview people while I am sitting down.; OR
c.) I like to interview people while we are sitting down.

Last edited by Jackie; 05/04/07 03:56 PM.
Jackie #168066 05/04/07 04:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 557
M
addict
Offline
addict
M
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 557
To go back to the original example: "A profound question, that". Adding words doesn't make it a sentence one would normally say - "A profound question is that". I would also say there is a shade of meaning (or at least attitude) different from "That is a profound question."

Myridon #168068 05/04/07 05:38 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 456
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 456
Quote:
...Adding words doesn't make it a sentence one would normally say - "A profound question is that"...


"So certain are you?"

-Yoda

Aramis #168069 05/04/07 06:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Originally Posted By: Aramis

"So certain are you?"

-Yoda


Quoth Aramis, anastrophically.

Myridon #168071 05/04/07 06:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
Yes, I'm pretty sure by now I know what is meant. Thanks you all. I printed the Elliptical Construction page for weekend special home class.

>..> The difficulty (of making it visible) is due to the fact that the word refers to the absence (omission) of something unspecified.<..< Ha. :~)

Thanks Myridon. I think in the confusion of all those heaped up difficult words I lost track of the visiualizing example.
The example is quite clear.


BranShea #168072 05/04/07 06:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
tsk, tsk



-joe (it pays to use onelook, Anu) friday


Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,910
Posts228,617
Members9,164
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Teejheni, vrk1951, Doctor, Silverfox, Red_Canoe
9,164 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 159 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
wofahulicodoc 10,066
LukeJavan8 9,879
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5