A term used in the discussion of rhetorics.

It means rhetoric gone wrong. The use of non-standard words, grammar, spelling, or anything else having to do with words.

Putting letters in the rong plase, using a lingua franca (or lingua ignota, for that matter), a line that doesn't fit into the meter of a poem, messing up your HTML, or even a mispronounced word. Any of this can be considered barbarism.

If you do any of this for aesthetic reasons, it's called a Metaplasm.

Bar"ba*rism (?), n. [L. barbarismus, Gr.; cf. F. barbarisme.]

1.

An uncivilized state or condition; rudeness of manners; ignorance of arts, learning, and literature; barbarousness.

Prescott.

2.

A barbarous, cruel, or brutal action; an outrage.

A heinous barbarism . . . against the honor of marriage. Milton.

3.

An offense against purity of style or language; any form of speech contrary to the pure idioms of a particular language. See Solecism.

The Greeks were the first that branded a foreign term in any of their writers with the odious name of barbarism. G. Campbell.

 

© Webster 1913.

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