Mark Liberman noted (as did Neal Whitman on his Literal-Minded blog) a case of syllepsis in an Atlantic piece by Conor Friedersdorf: "What conservative Washington Post readers got, when they traded in Dave Weigel for [Jennifer] Rubin, was a lot more hackery and a lot less informed about the presidential election." But Weigel offered up a nice syllepsis of his own on Twitter today:
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 11, 2012
Using syllepsis to put a wry twist on a headline involving a sexual scandal reminds me of another such example I posted about in 2006 ("A racy WTF coordination"). After a Kentucky schoolteacher got fired when it was revealed that she once appeared in an adult movie, her plea for forgiveness led to this headline on Fark.com: "Teacher who starred in porn movie a decade ago wants forgiveness, it harder, faster, OH GOD YES."
- "get more hackery and ___ less informed"
- "let his guard down and ___ (his) pants ___"
- "want forgiveness and ___ it harder, faster"
When repetition occurs with no ellipsis, as in "She blew my nose and then she blew my mind" from The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," then syllepsis and zeugma don't quite apply. Arnold Zwicky suggests using the term zeugmoid in such cases. For more, see my Word Routes column on the Visual Thesaurus, "In Praise of the Rolling Stones and Their Zeugmoids."