Monday, March 6, 2017

#INKRIPPLES Tropes

Quote for the week: Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. Yehuda Berg


Well, #InkRipples for March has another new word for me. Tropes. Are you familiar with the word, or am I just illiterate? So, if I planned to write about tropes, I had to find out what in the world they were. Thanks to the fabulous Internet, I now have an idea.

Here's what I found from Wikipedia. A literary trope is the use of figurative language. It can be a word, phrase, or even an image. The word can be used to describe commonly recurring literary and rhetoric devices, motifs, or clich├ęs in creative works. (Now you know, if you didn't.)

TYPES:

  • Allegory – A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse. For example: "The ship of state has sailed through rougher storms than the tempest of these lobbyists."
  • Antanaclasis – is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.
  • Irony – creating a trope through implying the opposite of the standard meaning, such as describing a bad situation as "good times".
  • Metaphor – an explanation of an object or idea through juxtaposition of disparate things with a similar characteristic, such as describing a courageous person as having a "heart of a lion".
  • Metonymy – a trope through proximity or correspondence. For example, referring to actions of the U.S. President as "actions of the White House".
  • Synecdoche – related to metonymy and metaphor, creates a play on words by referring to something with a related concept: for example, referring to the whole with the name of a part, such as "hired hands" for workers; a part with the name of the whole, such as "the law" for police officers; the general with the specific, such as "bread" for food; the specific with the general, such as "cat" for a lion; or an object with the material it is made from, such as "bricks and mortar" for a building.
  • Kenneth Burke has called metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony the "four master tropes".[



    EXAMPLES:

  • hyperbole
  • irony
  • litotes
  • metaphor
  • metonymy
  • oxymoron
  • synecdoche
  • For a longer list, see Figure of speech: Tropes

    Examples:

    In screen writing: The "ticking clock."

    In music: The chord progression known as the  "12-Bar" is a trope of Blues, Rock, and Country Music.

    In literature: The trope of atonement or redemption is common.

    There are many, many more, but I think I've got the general idea. I wonder how many tropes I've written without even knowing it.

    Do you have any tropes in your writing?


    #InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule, just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai, and Mary.

    The topic for April is Revision. I'm quite familiar with that word. So why not join and have fun?
    I also have some news coming soon. Stay tuned.

    Happy Reading and Writing.

    18 comments:

    1. Sometimes tropes sneak in as they are common story threads that need to be pulled once in a while, but I try to avoid them.

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      1. Ah, so you know about them, Pat. It seems best to avoid them most times and be original.

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    2. I've always hated the word "trope," and I have no idea why. LOL

      Looking forward to April's post because I love revising!

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      1. It is an unusual word, Kelly, at least to me. Yay, for revising.

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    3. So many tropes. Hard to avoid them.

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      1. There sure are, Alex. I didn't realize it until I looked them up.

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    4. I've been negligent this past month on #InkRipples. Just had to take a break, and now I've missed it on the first Monday. Oh well, "Better late than never." Is that a Trope?

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      1. It probably is, c lee. I don't always post on Monday, but this week it worked out. Any time is good.

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    5. I find there is always room for improvement! I enjoy blog post like these to remind me to update my editing checklist.

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      1. You're so right, LM. We need those reminders sometimes.

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    6. The word tropes sounded familiar- but I couldn't put my finger on the meaning. Thanks for explaining and refreshing my mind. I do use them in my writing. :)
      ~Jess

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      1. You're welcome, Jess. I think we all use them from time to time and they're just right for our work. Have a great week.

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    7. I think we can't help it, right? The ticking clock one is especially popular...there are so many ways to do it where it seems original.

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      1. Right, Stephanie, and I think they're great, when, like you say, we add our own special touch to them.

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    8. This was an interesting post. I've read and heard the word "trope" and had only a general sense of the word. One great thing about the company of writers on line is how you learn new things about writing all the time.

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      1. You're absolutely right, Elizabeth. I learn something new every day, and that's great. I did not know this word, even though I use it. Who would have thought?

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    9. I think everything can be classified as a trope, since nothing is truly original anymore. What once wasn't a cliche now is one. *sigh* Tropes are hard to escape.

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      1. Good point, Chrys. So we put our own little twist to the trope, rather than trying to escape them.

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