Hendi’adis, n. a using of two nouns in place of an adjective and a noun.
Word in the Wild: Ludwig’s assertion that Laila never used hendiadis in her speeches was a presumption and an embarrassment.
Okay, so that sample sentence doesn’t do a lot to help explain what hendiadis means, does it? But it does contain an example of this figure of speech. Instead of describing Ludwig’s mistake as an embarrassing presumption, I described it as a presumption and an embarrassment, and that’s all there is to using hendiadis.
An especially famous example of this figure of speech can be found in Shakespeare’s Macbeth when Macbeth says “It is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing.” He could have said “full of furious sound” but by using this figure of speech his words are more dramatic.
Note: Though it’s spelled hendiadis in my Vest-Pocket Dictionary, this word is typically spelled hendiadys.
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