Thursday, October 20, 2016

Back to Synecdoche

"Tell your partner how you got your name," the facilitator said. "Is there a story or significance behind it?"

I looked at my colleague. "Well," I told him, "my mom wanted to name me Marcy, but my dad grew up in upstate New York."

He frowned. I continued.

"Back then, the state psychiatric hospital was in a town called Marcy. So when he was a kid, "going to Marcy" was the equivalent of going crazy."

He nodded. I shrugged.

"And that's why my name is Tracey, not Marcy." What is that figure of speech called where the specific stands for the general? I thought. Marcy is totally an example of that.

"Where was your mom from?" he asked me.

"She grew up in Maryland, but she was born in..." I did a little double take to myself. "Schenectady!"

He looked confused. "She wasn't there long enough to know about Marcy," I told him, but my mind was elsewhere.

Schenectady, synecdoche?

I think I might be able to remember that!

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