Paronomasia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paronomasia

 

a figure of speech in which paronyms are set in opposition to produce a comic effect or suggest a figurative meaning. Paronyms are words whose similarity in sound or partial coincidence in morphemic composition may cause errors in usage or, more frequently, give rise to puns. Examples of paronomasia are the Russian muzh po drova, zhena so dvora (“when the husband leaves to get the firewood, the wife gets to leave the house”) and the French apprendre n’est pas comprendre (“studying is not the same as learning”).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.