Rhetorical Devices: Commoratio

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Device: Commoratio

Origin: From the Latin meaning to delay or dwell on a point.

In plain English: Repetition of the same idea using different words.


  • Repetition of the idea hammers the point home forcefully.


  • Whereas anaphoraepistropheepanalepsis and antimetabole repeat the same word or words (in different ways) for emphasis, commoratio repeats the same idea using different words or phrases.
  • Commoratio is very similar to the Greek ἐπιμονή (epimone), meaning to remain on a point. The difference is that in epimone, the idea is repeated using the same words.


“On many days, the dampness of the air pervades al life, all living. Matches refuse to strike. The towel, hung to dry, grows wetter by the hour. The newspaper, with its headlines about integration, wilts in your hand and falls limply into the coffee and the egg. Envelopes seal themselves. Postage stamps mate with one another as shamelessly as grasshoppers.”

—  E. B. White, The Ring of Time


This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to see its maker! This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff! Bereft of life! It rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an ex-parrot!”

— Monty Python, The Dead Parrot Sketch


“Brave Sir Robin ran away,
Bravely ran away, away.
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, Brave Sir Robin turned about,
Undoubtedly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the brave! Sir Robin!”

— Monty Python, Monty Python and the Holy Grail


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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4 Responses to Rhetorical Devices: Commoratio

  1. Pingback: Stan Grant’s Speech on Racism in Australia | Manner of Speaking

  2. rsmease says:

    Awesome use of the parrot-sketch to illustration this. Much appreciated!

  3. Pingback: Rhetorical Devices: Commoratio | About presentations | Scoop.it

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