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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Rhetoric Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0632  Friday, 16 March 2001

From:           Graham Bradshaw <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Mar 2001 02:38:23 +0900
Subject: 12.0617 Re: Rhetoric Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0617 Re: Rhetoric Question

>My remaining question: Is there some cant or slang meaning to "making
>time"? Back in the 50's and 60's, "making" was a cant term for "having
>sex with" with an implication of seduction. Is this another rhetorical
>device, wherein "time" is swapped for "girls" or some such? I dislike
>calling it metonymy, but I am shamefully weak on the subject of
>rhetorical terms and don't know another.

Don's nice question reminds me of the observation by the great Marx
(i.e. Groucho, not Karl or Chico, etc.) that "The trouble with happiness
is, it can't buy money." Compare the opening paragraphs of "Mansfield
Park" (satirizing those who marry for money, not love) with that novel's
later version of family life (=death, for Austen) in Portsmouth, after a
marriage for love, not money: just what should count, as the earned, or
unearned, irony? (Or, in SHAKSPERian terms, who is the Merchant of
Venice, the Christian or the Jew?)

The idea, or rather metaphor, of spending, or alternatively wasting,
time is interesting in itself, because the metaphor certainly isn't
trans-cultural and may be distinctively Western: it only makes sense
when time is regarded as a commodity, that can then be spent, or wasted.
Time "is" or "as" money, etc. As Peter de Vries observed, long ago, we
speak of passing time, but it passes without us. Yet we (Westerners)
also speak of "making" time, money, love, war, or "sense". I suspect
that to pursue such metaphorical chain reactions would involve
abandoning older (Jakobson to Lodge) distinctions between metaphor and
metonymy, and listening to what cognitive linguists like Mark Turner
have to say.  But, and this is a real snag for Eng.Litters, any such
effort would involve real, rather than wishful (or "cant or slang")
thinking? Brrr!!
 

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