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#210134 - 03/27/13 03:12 PM Re: Can't think of the right word. [Re: KathleenRose]  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
I think it's a kind of synecdoche; that is, a metaphor or figure of speech by which the whole is put for a part (or vice-versa) - in this case, everyone for just a few.

or..

"Why doesn't anyone ever recognize Clark Kent?" (old TV/movie trope)

#210149 - 03/28/13 08:28 PM Re: Can't think of the right word. [Re: tsuwm]  
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Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand
Rhubarb Commando  Offline
old hand

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,075
Lancaster, UK
Yes, synechdote was my first thought - but I wonder if metonymy isn't nearer? Using the name of an object or attribute to signify something greater - e.g. "the Crown" when you are speking of the sovereign. "The Greek Navy could muster nearly 200 sail" meaning they had getting on for 200 ships. etc. etc.


I'm immortal until proven otherwise
#210522 - 04/19/13 06:25 PM Re: Can't think of the right word. [Re: KathleenRose]  
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JEM Offline
stranger
JEM  Offline
stranger

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Is there a word for a word which is an example of itself? For example, "is" is; "something" is something; "Mispelled" is misspelled.

#210523 - 04/19/13 07:47 PM Re: Can't think of the right word. [Re: JEM]  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
the worthless word for the day is: autological

[fr. Gk autos, self + logos, word]
self-descriptive, self-referential
used to refer to words such as polysyllabic,
English, pronounceable, common, olde, noun, word
(compare heterological)

"If it seems questionable to include hyphenated
words, we can use two terms invented specially for
this paradox: autological (="self-descriptive"),
and heterological (= "non-self-descriptive")."
- Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979)

"The question is: Is the word "heterological" auto-
logical or heterological? If it's autological, then
it's heterological. If it's heterological, then it's
autological. Ha! Ha!"
- Cathcart & Klein,
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar (2007)

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