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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in stylistics, a combination of lexically incompatible words that form a unique and meaningful whole (compare with oxymoron, a combination of words with contrasting and opposite meanings, such as in “a living corpse.”)

There are two types of catachresis: (1) that which comes into being naturally, through the development of the nominative means of a language, and which may be perceived at first as incorrect word usage (“white brownstone,” “to sail a steamship”); and (2) that which is created deliberately, for an intended effect (“black gold,” “when the crab whistles”). Catachresis can be either a verbal blunder (“let not the arms of the sharks of imperialism extend to us”), where the tropes are joined mechanically, or an illustration of great artistic skill:

But through the listless night the serpents of remorse

More shrewdly burn within me …

A. S. Pushkin

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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If we theorists acknowledge the possibilities of thinking catachrestically, of "thinking otherwise," we will be able not o nly to recognize the movement of the identities of people whose lives are affected by the often violent effects of the forces of globalization and postcolonialism, but also our own identities in that same movement.
has an hypostasis of its own apart from the hypostasis of the Logos;(63) and, second, the view that Christ's humanity is [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], for as a nature and substance it is not [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and could only be called so catachrestically, since it is proper to what is [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to be seen in a substance and hypostasis -- a definition which indeed is that of a accidents.(64).
For the theme catachrestically inscribed in the figure is the inescapable interdependence of patron and painter.