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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY FIFTEENSynecdoche as Design Device

Some Background

Synecdoche (Se-NEK-doh-KEY), one of the four master tropes, is a figure of reduction that substitutes the part for the whole or the whole for the part. It acts as a kind of verbal shorthand: The sportscaster reports, “The Dodgers need a strong arm in center”—arm, in this instance, the most significant part of the outfielder, substitutes for the whole person. A newspaper headline announces, “America is collapsing and buckling.” Well, not exactly. Its bridges are collapsing and its highways are buckling. America substitutes the whole for its parts—bridges and highways. Synecdoche can produce an eye-catching headline. It can also produce memorable lyric lines and hit song titles.

The Left-Brain ...

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