Zeugma

I keep forgetting this wonderful word exists. I first saw it through Word Of the Day on Yourdictionary.com, but I found it again in Edward Gorey’s Amphigorey Again.

Zeugma is a figure of speech describing the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a single common verb or noun. For example, when my friend Adam said, “I want to crack a beer open or over Pony’s head,” he was using a zeugma to express himself. And knowing Pony, he probably deserved it.

More examples:

you held your breath and the door for me.

Alanis Morissette, Head over Feet

“… and covered themselves with dust and glory.” – Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

“You can leave in a taxi. If you can’t get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff.” – Groucho Marx, from Duck Soup

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