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Part 4


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Epizeuxis
Epizeuxis, epizeuxis, epizeuxis! My favorite new word, also called palilogia, refers to nothing more than the repetition of words: “To my fifteen-year-old daughter, everything is ‘boring, boring, boring!’”
Hendiadys
A conjunctive rather than a coordinate phrase: “I made it nice and hot, just the way you like it.”
Hyperbaton
Excursion from natural word order in various ways: “Theirs was a glory unsurpassed”; “It is a sad story but true.”
Hysteron-proteron
A reversal of logical order of elements in a phrase: “Sudden thunder and lightning drove them to shelter.”
Litotes
This is the strategy of understatement often employed to provide subtle emphasis, frequently for ironic effect or to underline a passionate opinion: “The assassin was not unacquainted with danger.”
Meiosis
A dismissive epithet, such as treehugger, or a humorously dismissive understatement (also known as tapinosis), such as the Monty Python and the Holy Grail gem “It’s just a flesh wound!”
Metanoia
The qualification of a statement to either diminish or strengthen its tone, as in “She was disturbed — make that appalled — by the spectacle.” Traditionally, nay is often a keyword that sets up the shift, but no replaces it in modern usage except in facetious or whimsical writing: “You are the fairest flower in the garden — nay, in the entire meadow.”
Paronomasia
Punning wordplay, including any of many types, including homophonic or homographic puns, both of which are included in this example: “You can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish. Unless of course, you play bass.”
Pleonasm
Redundancy for emphasis: “We heard it with our own ears.”
Polyptoton
Repetition of two or more forms of a word; also known as paregmenon: “You try to forget, and in the forgetting, you are yourself forgotten.”