Identify the figure of speech used in the following sentence: He ran a curious eye over the sport section in the newspaper.
a) Metonymy b) Synecdoche c) Transferred epithet d) Hyperbole
Hint: Metonymy is the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct, synecdoche is used when a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, the transferred epithet is when an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another, and hyperbole is an exaggerated statement.
Complete answer: Let’s deconstruct the sentence and understand exactly what it means: The sentence suggests that the subject ran a curious eye over the newspaper. It uses the word ‘curious’ to describe an eye. So, we have found the peculiarity.
Now, we know the meaning of the sentence. Let’s look at the available options:
a) metonymy - Metonymy is the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant, for example, suit for the business executive, or the turf for horse racing. In the given sentence, nothing is being substituted by anything. It is not the required answer. So, this is an incorrect option. b) synecdoche - Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in England lost by six wickets (meaning ‘ the English cricket team’). This figure of speech is used in everyday life without much heed being paid to it. However, it is not the required answer, as there is no direct comparison. So, this is an incorrect option. c) transferred epithet - Transferred epithet is when an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another. An epithet is a word or phrase which describes the main quality of someone or something. In the given sentence, the adjective ‘curious’ which should describe the ‘sports section’ has been transferred to the noun ‘eye’ for poetic effect. This is the required answer.So, the correct answer is “Option c”. d) hyperbole - Hyperbole is exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. There are no exaggerated statements in the given question. So, this is an incorrect option.
Note: Try to identify a tell in the sentence that will point to a certain figure of speech. It will help you to identify exactly what figure of speech it is. Then, choose the correct option accordingly.