by Barbara Kay
In the process of conveying a general idea or a cue to an emotional response, we often seek instinctive recourse in a linguistic device called antonomasia. We’ll substitute an antonomastic placeholder like “Solomon” for a wise person or “Hitler” for an evil one, “Pearl Harbor” for an ineluctable casus belli, and so forth.
The words “Barbie doll” used to elicit the image of a ditzy blonde bimbo. No longer. Since Nov. 20, the 50th anniversary of this iconic doll and beloved plaything of little girls everywhere, 500 Barbies –including various Barbies wearing chadors and full burkas — have been on show at the Salone del Cinquecento in Florence, Italy.