Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

23 11 2008
trois canetons / three ducklings

Image by OliBac via Flickr

Do you ever worry you are repeating yourself? If you are a preacher, you should be glad! You should be ecstatic. You should be overjoyed, when you find you are repeating yourself (did I already say that?). When you repeat yourself people take note. Repetition is a powerful way to emphasize something in a talk. But I wonder if you every thought about the different ways you can repeat yourself:

Epanaphora occurs when one and the same word forms successive beginnings of phrases expressing like and different ideas, as follows: “To you must go the credit for this, to you are thanks due, to you will this act of yours bring glory.” In Antistrophe we repeat, not the first word in successive phrases… but the last as follows:… “Gaius Laelius was a selfmade man, a talented man, a learned man, to good men and good endeavour a friendly man; and so in the state he was the first man.” Interlacement is the union of both figures… “Who are they who have often broken treaties? The Carthaginians. Who are they who have waged war with severest cruelty? The Carthaginians. What are they who have marred the face of Italy? The Carthaginians. Who are they who now ask for pardon? The Carthaginians.” (from Rhetorica Ad Herennium, 1st Cent BCE)

Why not think about using one of these at a climactic point in your next talk?

Bruce Lowe

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