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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126-28 inter alia on "complexity"; David Simpson, Romanticism, Nationalism, and the Revolt Against Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 168-71, posits that Keats's rejection of Enlightenment system and method results in a traumatic loss of bearings, as well as in poetic inwardness and "indeterminacy"; Andrew Bennett reads Keats through the notion of solecism in Keats, Narrative, and Audience: The Posthumous Life of Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 2 ff.
Because of the quality of vocal writing and voice leading displayed throughout the piece, it is clear that Barber not only knew how to write well for singers, but could already intuit dramatic sentiment with minimal solecisms.
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But holds up / pretty good," with its low-diction solecism, rubs uncomfortably against the decidedly arcane word "oneiric," but this association of pain with the generative province of dreams is crucial to the poem's turn and final six lines:
Once more the BBC in their infinite pomposity refrained to admit any solecism and then further insulted our intelligence by stating they will be using him again during the closing ceremony.
Always ready to try anything with the Heston Blumenthal mark of genius attached, I was eager to have a slice, but first there was a little solecism I needed to sort out lest it left a bad taste in the mouth.
Both were fastidious around English: O'Nolan most obviously in the Catechism of Cliche and those many moments when Myles lengthily lambasts a solecism.
But whenever I brought up the problems with the elections, and the general chaos, intimidation, and thuggery that was coming to characterize all of Cambodian politics, my expat acquaintances responded as if I'd committed some terrible social solecism.
After laying bare the deficiencies of Wayland's reform, Sears charted the way forward with the curriculum by pointing to the past: "A liberally educated man who cannot read a sentence of Latin is a solecism in language.
Writing an etiquette guide for elitist publisher Debrett's, Morgan maintains 'gossiping gaggles' as a solecism but for once encourages 'aspersions on the works'.
As Cummings argues, in an age of religious conflict, when so much was at stake, "[l]inguistic solecism could hardly be distinguished from theological error" (10).