#03 Don’t shoot everything: The ideas of “synecdoche” and “haiku”

SYNECDOCHE:  (/sɪˈnɛkdəkiː/sih-NEK-də-kee;[1] from Greek συνεκδοχή, synekdoche, lit. "simultaneous understanding")[2] is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.[3] A synecdoche is a class of metonymy, often by means of either mentioning a part for the whole or conversely the whole for one of its parts. Examples from common English expressions include "bread and butter" (for "livelihood"), "suits" (for "businessmen"), "boots" (for "soldiers") (pars pro toto), and "America" (for "the United States of America") (totum pro parte).[4]

The use of government buildings to refer to their occupant(s) is metonymy and sometimes also synecdoche. "The Pentagon" for the United States Department of Defense can be considered synecdoche, as the building can be considered part of the department. Likewise, using "Number 10" to mean "the Office of the Prime Minister" (of the United Kingdom) is synecdoche.

 “Dressing (2015)” is a reasonable example of synecdoche. I wouldn’t call this a “picture of legs” even though it is. It was a sort of portrait of this woman getting dressed and putting on makeup… and rather than show a wide shot of the action, this detail summed up a feeling about the process, and the slight angle on the frame added to the dynamic. Point being: you don’t always have to show everything to say or describe that thing in images.

“Dressing (2015)” is a reasonable example of synecdoche. I wouldn’t call this a “picture of legs” even though it is. It was a sort of portrait of this woman getting dressed and putting on makeup… and rather than show a wide shot of the action, this detail summed up a feeling about the process, and the slight angle on the frame added to the dynamic. Point being: you don’t always have to show everything to say or describe that thing in images.

https://www.neomodern.com/blog/2017/8/20/synecdoche

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh


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