Synecdoche: Drawing the Part for the Whole

Notes on the metaphorical varieties of synecdoche and metonymy

Using part of something to refer to the larger whole is called Synecdoche

We refer to a collection of businessmen as suits.
For politicians who run a national government we use the physical places they meet like Parliament, or Number 10, or the White House.
To tell someone we like their car we say that's a nice set of wheels.
We might ask for a hand carrying in the groceries, when we really need a whole human to come help out.

We pick physical symbols like bits of clothing, buildings, limbs, or locations to give us a tangible reference point for a less tangible group of people or an idea.

Synecdoche is especially important in creating Visual Explanations and Visual Metaphors, as it allows us to reference non-physical concepts in visible, physical symbols we can draw.

It's an offshoot of Metonymy - when we refer to one concept using a different but related symbol.

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