April 19, 2013

Quibble Questions = Q: Blogging from A to Z

The dreaded Q. Blogging from A to Z in one month is enough of a challenge without the pesky Q and Z to figure out.

As someone who loved Grisham's books before he was popular, I appreciate a great legal thriller. Which leads me to the literary device of the day.

v. 1. To evade the truth or importance of an issue by raising trivial distinctions and objections.
2. To find fault or criticize for petty reasons; cavil.
n. 1. A petty distinction or an irrelevant objection.

In literature, this plot device allows a character to manipulate the outcome by using the literal interpretation of an agreement instead of its intended meaning. 

According to Wikipedia, "one of the best known examples, William Shakespeare used a quibble in The Merchant of Venice. Portia saves Antonio in a court of law by pointing out that the agreement called for a pound of flesh, but no blood, and therefore Shylock can collect only if he sheds no blood."

Although most commonly used with legal agreements, it can be used for magically enforced agreements. 

How many times does the genie gain the upper hand by literally interpreting a wish?

All the parents out there can appreciate. Time after time, my teenager "evades the truth... by raising trivial distinctions and objections." Of course, I can't think of one example right now. *figures*

Stop by and enjoy some other Q posts here.

1 comment:

Jo Michaels said...

Like, you didn't ask me to rake that, you just asked me to rake the leaves. The backyard is pine straw.

Boom! They're off the hook.

LOL! I loved The Merchant of Venice. One of the best plays ever. Great literary device, Tia!