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Saturday, April 30, 2011


Zeugma: Using a single verb or a single adjective to refer to two unrelated nouns; one with which the adjective or verb makes logical sense and one with which it is a stretch or completely illogical. For example, His foot stepped down, snapping a twig and his attention. Another example: A diva of the highest order, she ate red caviar and rubies.

An Example from Literature: Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

Miss Bolo rose from the table considerably agitated, and went straight home, in a flood of tears and a sedan-chair.

My Try: Hortel Merriweather reached into the mailbox and retrieved the pink envelope. No return address she noted. Gently she released the flap from its seal and removed the folded sheet from inside. It read:

Dear Ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy,
An urgent matter pertaining to one of your members has recently come to my attention and my cause. Evidence was uncovered revealing that Mrs. Lou Ellen Sallywhite Whitmore's family lineage is not at all what she has reported on her official documents. She must be required to re-apply at once, supplying accurate information.

Records of the Tuscaloosa Riverbranch Memorial Hospital, formerly, Tuscaloosa General Medical Center show that Lou Ellen Sallywhite was mistakenly misidentified and sent home with the wrong family and destiny. You will also want include Charlie Duggan in your investigation of this matter, as he has intimate knowledge of this case.

Netty Duggan

Hortel no sooner folded the letter than she was on the phone with the presidents of Junior League, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Garden Club. Gossip boiled.

And Netty, well, she stared out the window riding down Interstate 40, her inheritance claimed.
And so it is done. I don't know that I like this ending. Netty got the truth and gave Lou Ellen the payback she'd always desired to, but quite possibly she ruined her chances of ever going home. Can you think of a better ending? If not, try out your zeugma on me.
(This blog post is brought to you as a part of the April A to Z Challenge.)

Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you write with me.


Lauracea said...

Oh I remember zeugmas from Literature. Trouble is I forgot them (as I did with most of my education!). How's this: the experience wore holes in my confidence and my jeans.
He kicked the habit and then the bucket. Netty's the rightful heir? One in the eye for Lou Ellen.

shelly said...

I liked your ending.

Darlene said...

I don't remember ever learning about zeugmas! Recieving an inheritance is a good way to end. (Sorry I found you so late, and don't know the rest of the story!)

Maggie said...

I never knew that had a name. Super cool! Now I'll start noticing and using them all the time. :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Congrats Lucy on co0mpleting the challenge and the support you have given me,
Your last word was wonderful.

William Kendall said...

This is the first time I've heard of a zeugma....

Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

Josh Hoyt said...

I like the now won't you write with me. Congrats and great story.

Norma Beishir said...

I didn't even start it because I figured I'd bail out halfway through. My hat's off to you, Lucy!

Brianna said...

Go Netty! I feel a tiny bit sad for Lou Ellen, but I feel closure like Netty must feel. I think this is a great ending, but I'd love to know what Netty does next. Now that she's shut the door to her past, what does the future have in store? If you do write that book, be sure to let me know ;)

This was an amazing challenge for you Lucy. I loved every bit of it. I learned several new terms and re-familiarized myself with others. Including examples from literature showed us the term in action and having a story of your own showed us how to implement the techniques. Just an excellent job all around! You grabbed my attention at letter A and kept it all the way through to the end. It was a fun journey with Netty.

Congratulations on finishing as strong as you started! I look forward to following your blog regularly.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this word :)

Congrats on finishing the A-Z. I'm so glad I met you even though it was near the end of the challenge. Well done you :)

All8 said...

Wow, A-Z writing theme. Congratulations on achieving your goal.

Thanks for the visiting my wee little blog. I'll be back.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Lucy, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

My attempt:
Malcolm was furious. His idiot henchman had botched the job and his pride.

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