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Hypocatastasis

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Hypocatastasis

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Hypocatastasis is a direct and implied comparison.

Example

Fool! Idiot!! Moron!!!

Discussion

In analogy, a comparison says 'like', in metaphor it says 'is'. In hypocatastasis there is no verb: the comparison is implied. This gives a sequence of intensification:

  • Analogy: You are acting like a dog.
  • Metaphor: You are a dog.
  • Hypocatastasis: Dog!

Arguably, many words in themselves display hypocatastasis. The words 'cretin', 'imbecile' and so on have a medical history with separate clinical descriptions of how each is less than normal. Thus doctors may historically have discussed whether a patient is a cretin or an imbecile.

Hypocatastatis is often delivered as an outburst where the verb that would make it an analogy or metaphor is omitted.

Classification: Comparison, Emotion, Meaning, Omission

See also

Metaphor

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