We see everywhere — in books, movies, music, and even commercials.
Advertisers use to craft catchy slogans that entice us to buy. Musicians use it to create songs that get stuck in our heads. Politicians use it to persuade nations.
How can you use to spice up your and make it memorable?
I’ll show you how.
But first, we need to start with the basics. So let’s define then jump into some examples.
What is ?
You might remember this from your childhood:
“Sally sells seashells by the seashore.”
But strengthen your by: is used for more than just childhood tongue twisters. If used correctly, it’ll
- Emphasizing your message
- Boosting memorability
- Linking ideas or topics together
But I should issue a warning.
There’s a fine line between and .
For , take the following paragraph:
He raced to the grocery store. He went inside but realized he forgot his wallet. He raced back home to grab it. Once he found it, he raced to the car again and drove back to the grocery store.
“Raced” is repeated, but it doesn’t strengthen the sentences. Instead, it sounds like the author couldn’t think of better choices.
What follows, then, is too many filler words that confuse the and lose their attention.
Now compare that redundant paragraph to this :
It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
Do you see how compelling that is?
It’s the opening to Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
Dickens’ draws his readers in and encourages them to keep turning the page.
Can it do the same for you and your audience?
Let’s show you how to replicate this with more examples.
10 Types of with Examples
is an umbrella that includes more specific types of stylistic tools, like , epistrophe, diacope, and others.
And here’s a hint:
Each type of serves a unique purpose. The one you choose depends on what you’re trying to convey.
So let’s talk about that next.
Anaphora is the of words at the beginning of .
It’s common in music, poems, and children’s books that have a rhyming .
For , Nico and Vinz’s song “Am I Wrong?” features this anaphora:
So am I wrong for thinking that we could be something for real?
Now am I wrong for trying to reach the things that I can’t see?
Listen to how catchy this line sounds below:
Anaphora can also be used in speeches to motivate people. Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ included this :
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
See what I mean?
not only emphasized Dr. King’s point, but it made it more memorable and quotable.
Epizeuxis is the of a or in immediate succession.
Winston Churchill used epizeuxis in his address to Harrow School:
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.
How’s that for a commencement ?
Churchill was known for his inspiring speeches that were packed full of powerful words and rhetorical devices.
But while are common in speeches, they don’t stop there. Writers have used for ages.
For , in King Lear, William Shakespeare wrote:
And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never!
In the scene above, King Lear is grieving the death of his daughter. The use of epizeuxis is a perfect choice for this scene because it strengthens the emotion.
Epistrophe, also called “epiphora,” uses at the end of independent clauses or sentences.
Many writers and speakers use epistrophe to drive home their points.
Abraham Lincoln achieved this in his “Gettysburg Address”:
Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Powerful, isn’t it?
Many musicians also love using to add a to their songs and make them catchy.
And they’re right.
We see it in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” song:
‘Cause if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
4. Negative-Positive Restatement
A negative-positive restatement states an idea twice, first in negative terms and then in positive terms. These are typically “not this, but that” statements.
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” said John F. Kennedy.
Another famous negative-positive restatement comes from Martin Luther King. He said, “Freedom is not given; it is won.”
Diacope is the of a or , separated by intervening words. It comes from the Greek thiakhop, which means “cutting in two.”
My favorite comes from Michael Jordan. He said:
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Jordan first said this in a Nike ad. You can watch this short commercial below. I promise you won’t be disappointed:
Speaking of commercials, Maybelline uses a diacope in their tagline when they say, “Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Maybelline.”
Epanalepsis repeats words or phrases at the beginning and the end of the same or .