How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Zeugma is the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a common word, usually a verb.
She wore a pink hat and a beatific smile.
In the morning, happy she was, and in the evening and dark night too.
Time makes older adults wiser and younger adults less wise.
Walking up and down.
Zeugma uses ellipsis in omission of the second verb or noun. Thus rather than saying 'walking up and down' you should really say 'walking up and walking down.' Zeugma is thus a convenient abbreviation of language and appears often and unconsciously in speech as we are economical with words. It may also be used deliberately for conciseness or other effect.
Zeugma also uses parallelism in that there are multiple clauses in which the joining word applies.
The way things are linked together can be used to comic effect, such as 'He held a high rank and an old notepad.'
There are three types of verb zeugma, depending on whether the verb is at the start, middle or end of the sentence:
Verb zeugma is the most commonly described form and is often assumed to the only meaning of 'zeugma'.
Noun zeugma, or Diazeugma is where a noun governs two or more verbs. There are two types of diazeugma:
Other variants of zeugma include the opposite, of hypozeuxis, and syllepsis, where clauses are not parallel, neither in meaning nor in grammar.
Zeugma comes from the Greek word for 'yoke', implying the joining of words.