Malaphors and Metanoias, Oh My Word!

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Malaphors, not to be confused with metaphors, also differ from metanoias not to be confused with melatonin. My, oh, mala and meta! So metal and so mental! If you are confused, stop the mala-meta madness. Discover how you can twist up your literary-prize worth web content with two unexpected yet definitive lit devices.

Malaphor in the Mixing

If you want to call a malaphor a metaphor and it’s driving you crazy, you aren’t the only writer with a red editor’s squiggle staring back at you. This literary device is a slippery eel caught in the claws of a night owl. Also known as an idiom blend, malaphors mix up malapropisms and metaphors. The resulting concoction is nothing short of grammatical miraculousness.

If you’re not the early bird, it’s better late than never to join this grammar conversation. After all, it’s not the last leg in life and you won’t miss the devil if you do. So play around with your idioms. Your guess is as good as mind to whether you can pull yourself together as a writer, though. Malaphors may help you get something out of your system so you can call it a day.

What Makes a Metanoia

Metanoia comes from the Ancient Greeks and means to change one’s mind. Psychologists use metanoia to refer to a psychotic breakdown and the psychological healing that occurs afterward. Many writers, however, make metanoia on the daily.

We just don’t realize it, and we don’t consider it a psychotic break when writing our content. Yet when we write two statements, one supporting or weakening the other, it’s a metanoia.

Metanoia in use:

“I wrote this blog post for you especially Dear Reader-Writer. When I wrote the post, I channeled your inner most desires and discovered you truly wanted to know the meaning of metanoia.”

It just has to be pointed out that Metanoia is connected with kairos, of the chronos coupling, to describe the sequence of time in nature. Because, wordsmiths need to know the metalanguage of words, amirite?

A short poem called an epigram by one Decimus Magnus Ausonius of Bordeaux refers to Metanoia. Ausonius penned, “I am a goddess to whom even Cicero himself did not give a name. I am the goddess who exacts punishment for what has and has not been done, so that people regret it. Hence my name is Metanoea.” *Which we of course spell in our own way.

So meta.

Stay Lit, Readers and Writers

Want more crazy literary devices you’ve literally never thought could ever exist in the English language? Spin your dial to the Grammar and Wordsmithing channel on the WriterAccess station.

 

“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!

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