Anaphora, Epistrophe, and Symploce

Three rhetorical terms that describe a type of repetition are anaphora, epistrophe, and symploce. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or sequence of words at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences. Martin Luther King Jr. made frequent use of anaphora. In the “I Have a Dream” speech (August 1963), he began a … Read more

A Willing Suspension of Disbelief

The origin of this expression lies in literary criticism. The term represents a contract between reader and writer. In recent years, however, the phrase has escaped from literary criticism and is used in a variety of contexts that have little to do with the original meaning. A web search brings up numerous examples in which … Read more

Euerergetism, Paraprosdokian, and Organleptic

These three words have nothing to do with each other. They’re just interesting. Euerergetism The first time I encountered euerergetism may have been in an article about Boris Johnson before he was Britain’s prime minister. While Mayor of London, Johnson declared that Britain needed “a greater sense of eurergetism.” A classical scholar, he was familiar … Read more

Another “Kryptonite” Issue: who vs whom

Many of the AP Stylebook users who responded to the Grammar Day Twitter question (AP Quiz Top Two Anathemas ) complained about the usage of who and whom. For all practical purposes, the pronoun form whom is ready to go the way of ye, an old form of the pronoun you. Ideally, speakers who do … Read more