Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,3 (A), University of Hamburg (FB Anglistics), course: Seminar II, 13 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Effective communication is a key process in everyday life. Not only do we need to communicate about business and public affairs but also about ourselves and the things which concern us personally. In each case, it is highly interesting to analyse how we try to convey the information we want to get across: Naturally enough, we make use of conventional language but we are also creative and constantly invent new words, phrases and formulations. This, according to Andreas Blank, is due to the fact that: 'Linguistic ( and even nonlinguistic) communication can be seen as a process whereby people try to maximize their communicative success by minimalizing their linguistic effort' (1993, p. 6). Metonymy is a response to both demands and the nature of metonymy will be investigated in some depth in the following overview. For his purpose, it is necessary to compare traditional and cognitive approaches to metonymic theory and also to clearly distinguish the linguistic device of metonymy to one that can be considered as being rather similar- metaphor. It will be shown, however, that there are important differences between the two, which account for their specific linguistic usage and behaviour.