solecism


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solecism

a. the nonstandard use of a grammatical construction
b. any mistake, incongruity, or absurdity

Solecism

 

in poetics, an incorrect turn of speech used as a stylistic element; a figure of speech generally used to create a “low” style. As with other figures of speech, there are different types of solecisms. These are solecism formed by addition (pleonasm), by omission (ellipsis), and by substitution. The last type is divided into morphological solecism, or enallage, as in “of taking a walk there can be no question” or “citizen, don’t let’s,” and syntactical solecism, or anacoluthon, as in “I order that a warning be given that he should calm his madness, and that there is a limit to everything.”

In linguistics, solecism is an incorrect choice of a grammatical form for a syntactic structure. An example is the incorrect colloquial Russian use of skol’ko vremia (“what time is it?”) instead of the correct skol’ko vremeni. Here the nominative form of vremia (“time”) is incorrectly used after skol’ko (“how much”) instead of the grammatically correct genitive (vremeni). Another example is the French Quoiqu’il est tard (incorrect use of indicative for subjunctive) instead of the correct Quoiqu’il soit tard.

Solecisms may result from the influence of dialectical speech. They may also be caused by violation of the rules for agreement of parts of a sentence. An example of this is “Anyone who needs care in a sanatorium, it is necessary to provide it” instead of “. . . will be provided with it.” Solecisms may also result from violation of the rules for agreement of main and subordinate clauses, as in “I am ashamed, as an honorable officer” (A. S. Griboedov).

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Aristotle seems to have had both a narrower notion of `pure Greek', an offence against which constitutes a solecism, and a broad notion of `Hellenism' or good Greek' (contrast s.
HMS" stands for "His (or Her) Majesty's Ship" and to refer to a British warship as "the HMS" is as gross a solecism as referring to "the Hoi Polloi.
At the same time, this judicious informality and accessibility can on occasion lead to solecism.
The following solecism ran in this column in May 2000; were you paying attention?
It is full of junk history, such as the rustic ideal of the country cottage, which he appears not to realize is an entirely modern idea; or the tiresome solecism, that everyone likes 'Georgian' architecture, but that 'speculative development' is necessarily bad.
Brodsky himself gives an accurate translation, retaining rhyme and meter, but his choice of words is not always felicitous and sometimes borders on solecism.
As is typical, though, the company shrugged this solecism aside and planned a new season that will keep the Broadway strand of repertoire alive with a production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
The popular solecism `dystopia,' or bad place, ought therefore to be resisted [.
Are we dealing here with solecism or delightful idiosyncrasy?
For in both Greek and Roman grammar the phenomenon of one preposition being used instead of another is well known, and although it is regularly mentioned among the causes of solecism, many instances from respected and authoritative older writers are quoted only to be explained by the rule of hand |(three uncovertible words in Greek Character)', or |praepositio pro praepositione'.
Well, if you'll pardon the solecism, there's always you and me, John.