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Encyclopedia > Ellipsis (figure of speech)

An ellipsis is a rhetorical figure of speech, the omission of a word or words required by strict grammatical rules but not by sense. The missing words are implied by the context. The aposiopesis is special form of rhetorical ellipsis. Rhetoric from Greek ρήτωρ, rhêtôr, orator) is the art or technique of persuasion, usually through the use of language. ... A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetorical figure or device, or elocution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. ... Aposiopesis (from Classical Greek, ἀποσιώπησις, becoming silent) is the term for the deliberate failure to finish a sentence or thought, giving the impression that the speaker is unwilling or unable to continue. ...


Typical examples of this are:

Pat embraces Meredith, and Meredith, Pat,
in which the second instance of the word embraces is implied rather than explicit.
And so to bed,
which appears on several occasions in the diary of Samuel Pepys, meaning and so I went to bed.
Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
from the opening of a poem by Robert Burns. Burns is asking:
Is there an honest man among us who hangs his head, and otherwise cringes, because of his Poverty?

It is also used when the same word, for example "there is" or "I am" is left out of a sentence many times. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Robert Burns Robert Burns, preeminent Scottish poet Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796) was a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became an important source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. ...


It is also used in film, when viewers are shown the beginning of the action and its end and are left to guess what happens in between.


 
 

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