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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Anadiplosis December 11, Figures of Speech

An Anadiplosis discovering it has
trodden on an unwary anapest

Anadiplosis: From the Greek, anidiploun, "to double back," it sounds like the name of one of the larger and stupider dinosaurs, but as anyone can tell you, it's the rhetorical repetition of a word or phrase at the end of one sentence at the beginning of the next.  I come across this sort of thing all the time, reading my tenth graders' essays: "This report is about Shakespeare.  Shakespeare wrote a play called Julius Caesar."  Julius Caesar is about Brutus.  Brutus is the one who killed Caesar.  Caesar was killed by Brutus and some other people.  The other people who killed Caesar were..."  And like that.
This isn't anadiplosis, though, because though it's got gobs of repetition, it ain't rhetorical.  Rhetorical means the writer's doing it on purpose, for an effect, and not just being lazy.  A better example, not much better, is when Yoda says, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you."  Mostly I'm afraid of running into someone that talks like Yoda.  An even better example of anadiplosis, is Whitman's, "When I give, I give myself," or Byron's, "The mountains look on Marathon, and Marathon looks on the sea."

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