Rhetorical Devices: Anadiplosis

This post is part of a series on rhetoric and rhetorical devices. For other posts in the series, please click this link.

Device: Anadiplosis

Origin: From the Greek ἀναδίπλωσις (anathiplosis), meaning “doubling” or “folding”.

In plain English: Beginning a sentence or clause by repeating the last word or words of the previous sentence or clause.

Effect:

  • Repetition of the words adds rhythm and cadence.
  • The repeated words are emphasized.
  • Anadiplosis often builds in intensity to a climax.

Notes:

  • Anadiplosis can be used to demonstrate the relationship between things or events.
  • It is often used to show cause and effect.
  • Anadiplosis is particularly effective when used in a triple; i.e., first concept – first set of repeated words – second concept – second set of repeated words – third concept.
  • It is not necessary for the repeated words to be exactly beside each other; other words can be interjected provided that the elements of the anadiplosis are not too far apart.
  • Minor words in the anadiplosis can change; cf. “a slave; the slave” and “a gladiator; the gladiator” in the quote by Joaquin Phoenix below.

Examples:

“Without a healthy economy, we can’t have a healthy society. And without a healthy society, the economy won’t stay healthy for long.”

— Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party Address, 10 October 1980

———

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

— Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

———

“The General who became a slave; the slave who became a gladiator; the gladiator who defied an Emperor. Striking story!”

— Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator (2000)

———

“Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution.”

— George W. Bush, Address to Congress, 20 September 2001

———

“And they garnered two percent market shareTwo percent market share. iPod had 62 percent market share and the rest had 36.”

— Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007 Keynote Address

———

Finally, here is a series of commercials from DIRECTV, each one an anadiplosis.

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About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Rhetoric and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Rhetorical Devices: Anadiplosis

  1. Pingback: Rhetorical Devices: Anastrophe | Manner of Speaking

  2. Pingback: Analysis of a Speech by Monica Lewinsky | Manner of Speaking

  3. Audrey Collins says:

    I searched for this title and discovered this. Great read.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications « Facilitative Leadership & Facilitator Training

  5. markjowen says:

    Excellent post. I’ve learnt a lot. (And I love that commercial!)

    Like

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