Anaphora*, anyone?

I woke up this morning to snow and canceled schools and an email from a teacher friend lamenting an incorrect definition for metaphors she found on a writing site.

I agree with her that writing sites should be careful about the grammar in the tips section. And then my mind switched back to a blog post I read last fall on Query Tracker about rhetorical devices in writing. I remember reading it and finally having names for some of the style choices I make and read in books I love.

In school we learn/teach about the most common of these. We discuss simile and metaphor, alliteration, conjunctions, and commas in lists. But I had never heard of anadiplosis, anaphora, or asyndeton which I use all the time. How about epizeuxis? Or polysyndeton? Or zeugma?

Don’t let these fancy names scare you! I’m sure you’ve read them at one time or another. You might have even wondered whether the author was breaking the rules of grammar.

Take a look at this blog post on Query Tracker. (If you write, you might like to follow them. They have many interesting and helpful posts.) I especially love that all of the examples are from The Hunger Games!

If this whets your appetite for more figures of speech, check out the link to the whole dictionary.

Happy reading!


*Anaphora: The repetition of a word or a phrase at the beginning of three or more sentences.