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Prosthesis

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Prosthesis

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Prosthesis is the addition of letter at the start of a word to create a new word.

Example

I shall beweep thy reprisoning.

He is enclouding the issue; I cannot understand.

I am un-enchanted and ex-chained.

Discussion

When we read or listen to others speak, our common lexicon makes it easy to understand what they are saying. However, when a new word is presented, we have to pause and pick it apart to try and work out what it means. This makes prosthesis an excellent device for focusing attention.

Sometimes prosthesis is used where a more correct word is available, for example 'unenchanted' rather than 'disenchanged'.

In writing, a hyphen may be used between the original word and the new addition in order to show the reader that this is a deliberate change and make it easier for them to read it.

Classification: Distortion, Attention

See also

Metaplasmus, Attention principle

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