Word of the DaySunday, May 26, 2013
\TOH-pohs, -pos\ , noun;
a convention or motif, especially in a literary work; a rhetorical convention.
Each topos carries an implied meaning that is more significant than a precisely observed place could provide
-- Stephen Siddall, Landscape and Literature, 2009
How could the most universally legitimate political ideology of our time fail to become a topos in postwar fiction?
-- Homi K. Bhabha, Nation and Narration, 1990
Topos entered English in the 1930s directly from the Greek word meaning "place." It has always referred to a literary motif.
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