Metonymy and the Steelers

| | Comments (4)

From Literary Theory:

"There is no literary 'literary' device--metonymy, synecdoche, litotes, shiasmus and so on--which is not quite intensively used in daily discourse" (Eagleton 5).

   I'll admit that I had to look up all the words in this sentence almost, but the one that appealed to me the most was "metonymy."  The definition of the word "metonymy" is "a trope which substitutes the name of an entity with something else that is closely associated with it" (Hamilton 41).  With Super Bowl XLIII fast approaching, and my hometown team partaking in the action, I cannot help but draw some parallels between what I have learned and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  To anyone watching the game on Febuary 1st, the "steel curtain" is a metonymic synonym for the "Steelers' defense."  The "Steeler fans" are known as the "Steeler nation."  The Steelers' quarterback, "Ben Rothlisberger," is sometimes called by his nickname "Big Ben."  The former Steeler player known as "The Bus" is Jerome Bettis.  And the late Steeler defensive end, multiple Super Bowl winner, and former Seton Hill board member (and the sole reason that I visited this small school) Dwight White was known by the metonymic synonym "Mad Dog."

To anyone interested in finding out more about the Super Bowl click here.

To go back to the course web page click here.


Derek Tickle said:

What a great example of metonymy! I have not heard of these literary words before this course either. I really was able to understand this term since you used football references. In reference to the daly discourse part of the quote I thought how amazing it is that when someone speaks elegantly then everyone thinks, "Wow! He or she much be smart." It is interesting how society views people based on their language and/or knowledge.

Katie Vann said:

I hope someday I can remember these literary terms that I keep seeing over and over again but I can never remember what they mean. Nice Steelers story, that was very creative.

Bethany Merryman said:

Although I am not a Steelers fan, I appreciate this teaching technique. It is so much easier to learn something when you can associate the topic with things you enjoy in your own life. Mine may be a little different but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Like Bethany I'm not much of a Steeler fan, or sports fan, period, but I thought this was a clever way to remember metonymy. It makes you think of all the other names we take for granted "the Steel City" for Pittsburgh or the "Big Apple" for New York, clever!

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.