I have been reading "The Bridge Across Forever" for a few days. I read a sentence which did not make sense to me so I landed here to get some help on it.

The sentence was

Who is it? He asked the phone and shouted back.

But the phone was not alive so I think it should have been

Who is it? He asked on the phone and shouted back.

Source: "The Bridge Across Forever" Page no:143. It was written by Richard Bach.

  • I think this is an example of metonymy.
    – user230
    Sep 17 '14 at 7:23

The phone is used to represent "the person on the other side of the phone connection, that is is having a conversation with".

It is quite common to use objects to refer to the people associated with them. In communication, we very often describe that people talk to their screen, to their phone, when we realise that the actual conversation is (probably) taking place with a human who is connected to them by that phone or screen.

Even outside modern telecommunication, interaction with objects is very common, but we usually mean interaction with people associated with the objects:

John shouted at the car that cut him off the road.

John's shouts were most likely aimed at the driver of the car, not at the car.

  • Thank you so much. You made the sense. I was also thinking the same but now I am clear!!! Have a great time and I appreciated your help.
    – user62015
    Sep 17 '14 at 7:21

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