This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Nuts and Bolts: epistrophe

Hourly joys be still on you!
Juno sings her blessings on you...
Scarcity and want shall shun you,
Ceres' blessing so is on you.

That last line might sound like a modern teenager: he is so on you you would not believe... but it's actually Shakespeare's The Tempest.  A man ahead of his time, and also a man not to shun epistrophe.

So: do you know what epistrophe is, yet?

Epistrophe is when you finish a series of phrases with the same word. I am great, you are great, and together we will make America great. That sort of thing.

Epistrophe is easy to use, has been around for millennia (when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child... wrote St Paul) and can be very effective.

Even monkeys use it:

File:Miniature brass sculpture of three monkeys.jpg
photo by Norbert Nagel

So, as I try to be pithy, hope to be pithy, and wish to appear pithy, I think today I might give epistrophe a go...

...and stop writing.

Thing To Use Today: epistophe. This word is Greek. Epi can mean more or less anything you want it to mean, and strophÄ“ means a turning.

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