Thy name is

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"______, thy name is ______" is a snowclone used to indicate the completeness with which something or somebody (indicated by the second part) embodies a particular quality (indicated by the first part), usually a negative one.

A snowclone is a cliché and phrasal template that can be used and recognized in multiple variants. The term was coined as a neologism in 2004, derived from journalistic clichés that referred to the number of Eskimo words for snow.

Contents

History

In most instances, the usage is an allusion to the Shakespearean play Hamlet (I, ii, 146). In this work, the title character is chastised by his uncle (and new stepfather), Claudius, for grieving his father so much, calling it unmanly. In his resultant soliloquy, Hamlet denounces his mother's swift remarriage with the statement, "Frailty, thy name is woman." [1] He thus describes all of womankind as frail and weak in character. [2] The phrase is recognized as one of the "memorable expressions" from the play to become "proverbial". [3]

<i>Hamlet</i> tragedy by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother.

In the book Idiom Structure in English by Adam Makkai, the author asserts that the phrase is included among English idioms that are expressed in a "standard format" and whose usage "signals to the hearer that he is using an authority in underscoring his own opinion." [4] Researchers Andrew Littlejohn and Sandhya Rao Mehta acknowledged that the famous quote rendered not only a discursive use, but a constructional one as well, [5] noting that "the structure itself can be used a salient, but neutral equation formula...'noun thy name is noun.'" [5]

Repetition is the simple repeating of a word, within a short space of words, with no particular placement of the words to secure emphasis. It is a multilinguistic written or spoken device, frequently used in English and several other languages, such as Hindi and Chinese, and so rarely termed a figure of speech.

In linguistics, a grammatical construction is any syntactic string of words ranging from sentences over phrasal structures to certain complex lexemes, such as phrasal verbs.

Examples

Law

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting from the Court's decision in King v. Burwell, upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, repeatedly used the construction to criticize the Court's majority opinion, stating: "Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!"; "Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!"; and "Contrivance, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!" (25 June 2015) [6]

Antonin Scalia American judge

Antonin Gregory Scalia was an American lawyer, jurist, government official, and academic who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016. He was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's conservative wing. For catalyzing an originalist and textualist movement in American law, he has been described as one of the most influential jurists of the twentieth century. Scalia was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act U.S. federal statute nicknamed "Obamacare"

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nicknamed Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 amendment, it represents the U.S. healthcare system's most significant regulatory overhaul and expansion of coverage since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

Quoted

Amos Bronson Alcott famously said of William Ellery Channing in 1871, "Whim, thy name is Channing." He was referring to Channing's Transcendentalist poetry style. [7]

Amos Bronson Alcott American teacher and writer

Amos Bronson Alcott was an American teacher, writer, philosopher, and reformer. As an educator, Alcott pioneered new ways of interacting with young students, focusing on a conversational style, and avoided traditional punishment. He hoped to perfect the human spirit and, to that end, advocated a vegan diet before the term was coined. He was also an abolitionist and an advocate for women's rights.

William Ellery Channing US-American Unitarian clergyman (1780-1842)

William Ellery Channing was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century and, along with Andrews Norton (1786–1853), one of Unitarianism's leading theologians. Channing was known for his articulate and impassioned sermons and public speeches, and as a prominent thinker in the liberal theology of the day. His religion and thought were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists although he never countenanced their views, which he saw as extreme. He espoused, especially in his "Baltimore Sermon" of May 5, 1819, given at the ordination of the theologian and educator Jared Sparks (1789–1866) as the first minister of the newly organized First Independent Church of Baltimore, the principles and tenets of the developing philosophy and theology of Unitarianism, leading to the organization in 1825 of the first Unitarian denomination in America and the later developments and mergers between Unitarians and Universalists, resulting finally in the Unitarian Universalist Association of America in 1961.

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction, to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time. The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.

Literature

Anne Sexton American poet

Anne Sexton was an American poet known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and intimate details from her private life, including relationships with her husband and children, whom it was later revealed she physically and sexually assaulted.

<i>The Count of Monte Cristo</i> novel by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père) completed in 1844. It is one of the author's more popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it was expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. Another important work by Dumas, written before his work with Maquet, was the short novel Georges; this novel is of particular interest to scholars because Dumas reused many of the ideas and plot devices later in The Count of Monte Cristo.

James Joyce Irish writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, his published letters and occasional journalism.

Music

Television

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Jimmy Olsen DC comic book universe character

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"To be, or not to be" is the opening phrase of a soliloquy uttered by Prince Hamlet in the so-called "nunnery scene" of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. In the speech, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide, bemoaning the pain and unfairness of life but acknowledging that the alternative might be worse. The opening line is one of the most widely known and quoted lines in modern English, and the soliloquy has been referenced in innumerable works of theatre, literature and music.

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References

Footnotes

  1. (2006). "Frailty, thy name is woman!" ENotes.com (accessed 13 October 2006)
  2. Martin, Gary (2006). "Frailty, thy name is woman" Phrases.org.uk (accessed 13 October 2006)
  3. Lederer 2010, p. 89
  4. Makkai 1972, p. 177
  5. 1 2 Littlejohn et. al. 2012, pp. 167-168
  6. King v. Burwell , 576U.S. (U.S.25 June 2015).
  7. Buell 1973, p. 240.
  8. Richard Sakai (director) (2014). "Zena's Honeymoon". Taxi: Die Finale Season[The Final Season] (DVD) (in German and English). Germany: Paramount Home Media Distribution / Paramount Home Entertainment (Germany).
  9. Green, Seth (12 September 2005). "Krusty's Political Philosophy". The Huffington Post.
  10. Language Studies Stretching the Boundaries. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Pub. 2012. ISBN   978-1443843867.
  11. "Supergirl Recap: Dawn of Just Us Nice People". Vulture.

Works cited